Become Stronger In The Locker Room To Be Stronger In The Boardroom

 By: Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD
Is your workout missing something? Are you feeling stuck in your daily routine? Have you ever looked at the person running next to you on the treadmill and thought, "I spend twice as much time and effort at the gym as she does and look at her body. What's her secret?"

Most successful business women are so busy that just walking through the gym door is an accomplishment. If you're going to make the effort count, then it's time to harness 10 strengths that will relieve boredom in your workout routine and recharge your passion for sweat and spandex.

From the boardroom to the locker room, you can become not only the CEO of your business, but also the CEO of your workout. I transformed my fitness regimen by applying the same 10 strengths I used to build my business.

You already have the power to achieve the body you want by using all 10 strengths to achieve a more powerful, energetic and healthy body. Using these strengths will elevate your workout and produce maximum results.

Most of us rely on only one or two strengths like persistence or discipline (no - stubbornness is not a strength) to get us through our workouts. That is why we often find ourselves bored and no longer making progress. Adding just one or two strengths can yield exceptional results, but the real secret is mastering all 10 strengths:


This is about choosing the exercises and routines for your personality. Find what sparks your fire, whether it be a kick-boxing DVD at home, running in the mountains, spinning at the gym or riding a real bike in the streets. Enjoy the proud sweat that rolls down your face and makes you smile. You need to enjoy what you're doing in order to keep doing it. Engage in artful trickery. Any good sorcerer knows that proper clothing can cast its own spell. The simple act of donning favorite exercise clothes can help you enjoy your workout. I always joke that I'm at least dressed for the part.

Intuitive Vision.

Imagine it, believe it and then you will achieve it. If you want to lose weight, you'll have to lift heavier weights or run some intervals; picture yourself thinner, doing 20-pound bicep curls or flying down that straight-away. Trust yourself to work out at the edge of your limits.


Schedule your workout as you would a business meeting with an attorney-client. It needs to be an equal priority. Whether you commit to two, three or five days a week, stay true to yourself. Schedule a time of day - no excuses, no substitutions. Let no one or nothing stop you. Engage in finding a workout buddy - you'll be more likely to show up for a walk or at the gym if you know someone will be there waiting for you.


Your body may already be flexible, but it's time to flex your mindset and try something new. Blow up your routine. If you've plateaued, stop blaming the step machine and pick up a jump rope, take a boxing class or hire a trainer to push you beyond your limits. I'm addicted to how good my body feels when I do Yoga 2-3 times per week. I enjoy the sweat, the way it clears my mind of everything but the pose and the fact that I'm more flexible now than when I was 18. Try new and different types of exercise. You never know what will strike your passion.


Do your homework. Read health, diet and fitness publications (especially the ones with photos of guys with ripped abs). Find well-trained mentors to help you on your journey. Instead of seeking out people on your own level, learn from the person with the body you most respect on the gym floor (just make sure they're using good form).


Business women tend to put themselves second behind family, career and other obligations and their workouts often suffer. Make a promise to yourself to have regular workouts and honor your promise. Be honest with yourself about your workout. Being at the gym isn't the same as working out. Did you skip a set or skip that last rep? Did you spend more time socializing than sweating? Was your power walk just a stroll in the park? Concentrate 100% on your mind and body - focusing on the intensity necessary to yield a change in your body. Weigh in frequently to avoid delusion.


It takes a concentrated effort to endure the type of workout that changes our bodies. Without the proper food you can't focus on your goals. Food is the fuel that energizes your performance. You wouldn't feed a prize-winning racehorse potato chips and expect him to win, but how many of you grab a bag of chips when you don't have time to eat lunch? Think about the fuel you feed your own body - after all, you're worth more than a thoroughbred. Be sure to indulge in enough delicious and healthy food to keep up your energy level. Also set a goal. Trying to lift a little heavier weights or running a little faster will build endurance and keep you entertained too - don't be afraid to sweat. Keep a record and reward yourself for achieving certain milestones.


CEOs expect a payoff for every business venture and every minute of their time spent on a project. Start thinking like the CEO of your workout. Expect a health payoff every day. When choosing how to spend your time ask, is this supporting my fitness goals? Choose the stairs between floors in your building instead of the elevator. Take a 15-minute walk at lunch instead of indulging in a cubicle buffet. Instead of a slow walk on the treadmill for 60 minutes with little payoff, increase the pace by doing some fast/slow intervals for 30 minutes and get a better payoff. We can always find time for television - why not find time for your health? Put enterprise to work in pursuing your fitness goals. Be the CEO of your body.


Expect to feel renewed and full of energy after your workout. Even if you feel drained before you exercise, do it anyway. Your body will reward you after your workout with more energy than you can imagine possible and your brain will positively pop with fresh ideas. All your newfound energy will make you feel ready to take on the world. It's an attitude adjustment!


Create a "fusion group" to share each member's distinct workout experiences, fitness passions, fears and goals. Use the strength of fusion to pursue your vision of the perfectly fit body and to support each other when that perfect "10" body isn't achievable.

Commit to become stronger in the locker room today and you will become stronger in the boardroom tomorrow.
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