YouTuber Craig Benzine, aka WheezyWaiter, has been taking on a wide range of health and nutrition challenges in the last couple of years, including adopting different sleep schedules, trying “laughter yoga,” and giving up alcohol, sugar and coffee. One of his longer ongoing projects has been to work out every single day, and as he nears the two-year mark, Benzine reflects on what he’s learned from 700 consecutive workouts.
Once he began exercising regularly, Benzine soon realized that he’d had three major misconceptions about fitness. Firstly, the idea that you have to be “ready” to work out, complete with an expensive gym membership or home workout equipment, or that it’s too complex, or you’re not fit enough to start (which creates a logic loop, because how are you going to get fitter if you don’t start?).
“The truth is, you’re ready right now,” says Benzine, recalling that when he first started out, he stuck to simple bodyweight exercises that could be performed anywhere, and it was only after he mastered those that he started acquiring some equipment to make his at-home sessions more challenging. “Maybe just find something simple,” he says, “do it a teensy bit every day, just see how it makes you feel.”
The second big misconception, Benzine recalls, was that working out is boring, unenjoyable, and uncomfortable. “Yes, it doesn’t always feel good, you’re going to probably feel soreness, especially early on when you start working out, or when you push yourself significantly further than you’re used to,” he says. “But now I’m at the level I’m at, I’m mostly just trying to maintain, and it doesn’t hurt, it actually feels good.” And as for the argument that it’s boring? That depends on you. Benzine says his workouts are actually the only time that he has in the day where he gets a chance to catch up on podcasts and TV.
The third misconception, and perhaps the biggest one in terms of holding people back from getting into fitness, is that working out is for a certain specific “type” of person. “Working out doesn’t define you,” says Benzine. “I don’t care about the competitive aspects of it, I’m not even paying attention to the numbers… For me, it’s like meditation, with more effort.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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