January 18, 2017

Workout Variety – Tarek Fadel

For many of us, the workout year is pretty similar. Some of us are ‘runners,’ others are ‘swimmers’, and some will mix it up – maybe weight lifting with some kickboxing thrown in. Not Tarek Fadel though, MIT Recreation Member and Assistant Director at the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. He approaches fitness a little differently than some, and likes to throw a lot a variety and change-ups into his routines to keep himself challenged.

Workout Variety - Tarek Fidel

Tarek’s general ideology for fitness does include structure, but without being too limiting. “I try to balance between endurance and high-intensity/strength exercises in a given year,” he shares. Within his yearly calendar, there is plenty of flexibility on specifics, but Tarek chooses one goal to keep him focused in a broad sense. “Since grad school, I’ve taken on running a half marathon a year,” he says. With a race to train for each fall, Tarek focuses his spring-summer workouts on endurance. After the race finishes, he switches his focus to high intensity/strength training and Judo. Then when spring rolls back around, he switches back to endurance workouts.

Workout Variety - Tarek Fidel

Shaking it Up

There are some great advantages to changing up your workouts, even just periodically. For one thing, you never get bored. Maybe more importantly, it tends to shake up your sense of just how fit you are. “No matter how “fit” you feel, there is always an exercise that can make you feel like you’ve never exercised in your entire life!” admits Tarek. He seeks out this experience every time he switches his usual routine for a new one. “I am always eager to explore new challenges and learn something new about what my body can (or cannot!) do,” he says.

Workout Variety - Tarek Fidel

The sheer variety of workout options at the MIT Recreation Center is part of why Tarek decided to become a member. “The Recreation Center is geared toward a spectrum of workouts and disciplines. Anyone can find a workout at the Rec Center that they can be passionate about,” he says. For anyone seeking their ideal workout – or seeking to add some variety to it – the Recreation Center offers everything from Swimming to Squash, and almost everything in between!

The Biggest Challenge

Even with more flex in his routines than most, finding the time to workout at all can be tough for Tarek. “The biggest challenge of them all (in my opinion) is maintaining a proven workout regimen while balancing my work/family life,” he says. With a son only 21 months old, finding the time to work out can be more challenging than the exercise its self! But Tarek makes his health a priority, and even finds opportunity to share some of his love of fitness – and Judo – with his son.

Workout Variety - Tarek Fidel

“If there is effort, there is always accomplishment.”

– Jigoro Kano

In the end, for Tarek the best routines push his limits to the next level. “I think every human being should feel muscle failure once in their lifetime,” he says. “It is a reminder of your limits and what lies beyond.” So what’s up next on his workout schedule? “I am thinking about diversifying my endurance/high intensity routines. Probably take on swimming or some of the classes offered here at the Rec Center (plenty to choose from!),” he shares. Whether we see him in the pool, in a class or on the courts next – we wish him well!



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