Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best lifts of the year.
When Halloween came around, you ate candy until the early morning, crashed, and then spent the next afternoon sweating out sugar on the elliptical. On Turkey DAy, you gobbled down the bird, passed out on your aunt’s couch, and then did goblet squats before dessert. Now December has rolled around and you’re humming White Christmas during your warm ups. Christ was born this month and to celebrate you’re doing Midnight Mass the right way: in the Chapel of Chalk, the Temple of Tris and Bis, the Mecca of Muscle, aka the Gym. Permission to be bold here because I think this is the absolute best time of the year for lifting. Let me count the ways…
Christmas is when it gets cold out. And while all the other little animals in the forest are hibernating at this time of year, you are glowing from all those extra calories being burned just to keep the body warm. There’s more. December is the first month you can reasonably pull up to the gym or the park or where ever in full sweats like an anabolic assassin, like James Harrison. Working out with a hood on is the closest the layman will get to feeling like a warrior. And the best part is when you take the sweats off, boom, you look like a well oiled, slightly dehydrated, machine. Might I suggest filling a fellow gym lovers stockings with their favorite team’s gear?
Contrary to popular opinion, you’re definitely the most motivated to workout around the holidays. It’s a beautiful cycle: you overeat, you feel guilty, your fueled up though, so you go lift like a maniac. That plate of Christmas cookies looks like it will bust your macros (and it will), but think of the unholy amount of energy you’re going to bring to the gym because you’re well fed. This is not exactly peak performance, but it sure beats trying to workout on a summer diet, when you pass out midway through a set of squats because your primary fuel source is calories in mixed drinks--Gah!
Continuing with the contrary to popular opinion stuff, I think that Christmas music is versatile enough to guide you through any workout. If you’re going for intensity, I’d suggest upbeat pop, hip hop, and even jazz renditions of the classics. I personally like Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” and Outkast’s “Player’s Ball”-- the first release of the song has the “players ball” set on Christmas day ( funkier than Steve’s reindeer hat). Now if you’re a rat pack lover like me, the best Christmas songs are sung by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the rest of the guys that died sometime before the new millenum. I don’t care if its “slow” or there’s “not enough production”; you’ll find that a smooth crooner can help you handle an extra pound or two. They bring a certain suave. People use to dance to this stuff before Zumba reinvented workout music.
I’ll leave you with a final, possibly scary, thought: December is the last month you get to lift with all the regulars in the gym. Once New Years comes around, oh boy, I don’t care where you train, there will be new bodies in the palace. And if you train at a popular chain, your mecca of muscle will likely be crowded by eager beavers trying out every piece of equipment for the first time. Do they not understand this was your holy land first? ‘Course not, who does. The only thing you can do is wait them out, maybe take some yellow tape and section off an area around the squat rack and bench. So enjoy the month of December and happy holiday lifts, folks.
Football was meant to be played in leather helmets and sweaters. Currently taking suggestions for which NHL team I should support.