Many people in the sports world are saying that fitness and nutrition together is the new performance-enhancing drug. This is because there are so many new dieting trends out there that people want to try. Everything from various vegetarian based diets to ketogenic diets are the subject of a food craze. The same can be said for fitness routines, specifically Crossfit because of the many variations of it. Additionally, most people have different things they are working out for such as a marathon or a sport. But each thing has different workout routines that work for different people. Those who work out constantly research what will work for them.
Plus, everyone has different reasons why they are working out. Maybe someone doesn't want to be known as "the fat one" anymore. Perhaps a cholesterol spike needs to be rid of. Or potentially, you're in a sport where you always need to be in peak condition. Maybe you just want to be happier when you look in the mirror. No matter what your reason is for working out, yours and everyone else's goal is the same. Everyone wants to be a healthier version of themselves.
On a personal note, I was the one who didn't want to be "the fat kid" anymore. At 10 years old, I was 189 pounds and somehow figured out that I needed to cut out fast food and pop and add in an exercise bike with 180 sit-ups per night on the side. After that summer, my motivation was so high that I decided to join sports, with the first being wrestling. The rest, you could say, is history.
Over the years, I went from working out because of wanting to lose weight and being viewed in a different light, to staying in tip top shape for wrestling, to now, staying in peak performance mode, but without the burden of competition. The truth is as we age, our metabolisms change and we still want to keep that edge of staying active, looking good, and wanting it. We still want to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. The goal is consistently intact. Plus, we accumulate different interests and career paths as well. As you gain a family-oriented lifestyle, along with work on top of it, it becomes challenging to find time for fitness.
At this point, it is mainly about keeping the endorphins alive within us when we no longer have the initial motivating factor to work out or the thrill of competing to prepare for. The same goes for specific workouts. While diving into each lift can be done, it should be saved for an entirely different article. Instead, in reference to weight lifting as a whole, the reasons can be in any order of progression. For most people though, why lifting is a must is because of their desire to "turn fat into muscle," so to speak. It continues for most because of wanting to improve a certain aspect of their being such as agility, explosiveness, or form. For those not lifting for the extremity of it, utilizing it for keeping fit, limber, and younger are the main factors. The bottom line is that no matter why we lift, it is all about wanting to feel confident about ourselves.
Personally, I am not like most people. What got me started with fitness in the first place was cardio. However, I really hated running. In fact, I really only tried running the mile in gym as a kid without stopping just to shut my dad up. It felt like he was constantly badgering me about doing it. Eventually with wrestling, other sports, and running in practices, I got into seriously good shape and began enjoying it on my own.
I soon ran because I wanted to stake my territory among my peers and opponents as "the kid with the insane gas tank." I wanted to be able to wear anyone out before myself. While I still have that mentality now, I also have another when I run. I also enjoy running now because it is the only thing you can really do by yourself. It is a chance for me to get away from everything and everybody for a while. So, I get some shoes, a headband, and IPod, and I pound the pavement. In a sense, cardio is and always has been my drug.
With that being said, are fitness and nutrition the new performance-enhancing drugs? If they are not THE drugs, they are two critically important ones. No matter if you like to run, lift, or bike and no matter what foods you decide to eat or not, it is critical to find out what works for you. So, no matter how many times the reasons for your regimen may change, your goal is always the same.