Mike Durst, founder of new kickboxing app OOMPH, believes everyone is born a champion. Revealing that inner badass is an athlete’s journey, but all too often it comes to a screeching halt around this time of year. We quit, we procrastinate, we indulge, we repeat. Want to change the cycle from vicious to virtuous this winter? Durst has some advice:
1. Find or create a sustainable gameplan.
Popular fitness routines are borrowing more and more from martial arts, particularly shorter workout times and higher intensities–but without the bumps and bruises of actual sparring. The most sustainable plans build in fun, learning (in the case of martial arts, this usually translates into some form of self-defense), as well as self-empowerment and confidence-building. The formula is simple: if you experience good feelings when you work out, you’ll keep working out.
2. Set yourself up for success with empowering habits.
Right now I’m on a regularly scheduled, 30-day challenge consisting of no junk food, no alcohol, reading 10 pages a day, a cold shower every morning, and ten minutes of meditation. This may be an extreme challenge for most, but for me, it works great. I turn off the TV and set aside the phone and feel. It’s empowering.
Everyone has to figure out the systems that will develop–and sustain–their own healthy habits. Start with a regular bedtime routine. Set multiple alarms for turning off the screens, going to bed, and waking up. Mini-habits compound, so the key isn’t being dramatic, but being consistent.
3. Take action!
Ultimately, it’s all about creating the right environment and attitude where you’ll expend the most effort–in other words, the state of mind that produces consistent action. There’s no substitute for doing the things, but it’s easier when you have some accountability built into your workouts. New Year/New You may be around the corner, but it’s so common for people to buy an expensive gym membership and never show up. So don’t bother trying to bribe yourself this year.
Our home kickboxing app, OOMPH, teaches you to punch and kick. It’s fun. Most of our customers are stay-at-home moms who’ve got a thousand excuses not to work out. So we created hundreds of workouts and lined them up in programs that will refresh every other month. And like other apps, OOMPH has a seven-day trial, so there’s no excuses!
4. Forgive yourself for the slip-ups, then move on.
Champions are champions because they never give up; they always get up. Our mission at OOMPH is unleashing your inner champion; your focus should always be doing better tomorrow. It helps to reduce your social media time and that endless scrolling where only your index finger gets a workout.
A well-designed fitness app will help you get back on your feet, but it’s important to figure out where you are in your fitness journey first so you don’t set yourself up for failure and fall off the wagon right after you’ve gotten on it. OOMPH, for example, offers high intensity and lower intensity options and 15 or 60 minute workouts. For beginners, we recommend working out no more than 3 times a week for 15 minutes, max. This may not sound like a lot, and we live in a culture that encourages going all out, but moving forward is a lot more important than moving like crazy.
5. Surround yourself with positive influences.
So much has been said–and written–about the negative reinforcement of social media. People spend hours looking at their idols only to throw in the towel when they don’t measure up. But why not be on a Facebook group of people who are like-minded rather than fitter or richer than you? Why not be your own biggest fan? Daily affirmations are important. So is being okay with where you’re at right now.
It may sound trite, but the best you can do is the best you can do. If you’re doing your best, right now, you should already feel good about yourself. The biggest influencer in your life isn’t on Instagram, it’s your own voice.
That being said, it’s also important to have people who are further along their fitness journey than you. Striving is good. At OOMPH, we just started a Facebook page for our members and we’ve already seen tons of positive engagement. When you feel good about yourself, you want to give the same gift to others. Kind of sounds like the holiday spirit, doesn’t it?
Mike Durst is a Muay Thai champion and founder of OOMPH App. Along with coaching thousands of people on how to improve their lives through fitness, he is an award winning film and video editor, and avid powerlifter.