Our bodies are built to move. We have muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments which along with our brain, give us the gift of movement. Here’s the thing;
We need to move in order to keep our hearts strong and develop a vast, vascular network.
We need to move through a range of planes of motion to lubricate our joints and be able to complete tasks that might put us in functionally, challenging positions, such as moving a large and odd shaped piece of furniture or climbing a ladder to reach something high and at an offset angle.
We want to build and maintain lean body mass to keep us strong versus fragile so that we can do things for ourselves.
Do we really need exercise routines that put high, repetitive stress on our movement mechanisms? I can understand the accomplishment that someone feels when they complete a workout that involves putting in 100+ pull ups, 100+ wall ball squats and 100+ push-ups (this was an actual set that was prescribed by someone ) yet a few years down the road, that same person probably won’t be able to raise his arms to get a box of cereal out a cabinet. Is 100 reps of anything necessary? Is running mega miles miles every weekend really necessary?
Being a coach and a former elite endurance athlete, I understand the necessity to put in the training time, but most endurance athletes do not have access to or can afford all of the things that help to put them back together and allow for repair an recover (massage work, manual, functional stretching, acupuncture, acupressure etc.). The risk of injury with any excessive amount of volume are high both in the short term and probably more likely in the long term. Balance of workout load is key as is finding balance in the modes of activities (variety is the spice of life).
It’s amazing when we come upon an activity on our own, or a group activity that changes not only our body, but our psyche too. It’s like hitting the jackpot! It can be wonderful and empowering! We then want more. We think more is better, and we need more to obtain the feeling of a great workout that totally wipes us out. It’s no different than any addiction. Addiction comes in all formats. I see this with fad diets as well. They work for a period of time, but then the body and the psyche come crashing down when they realize that they can’t keep up with a life of living off of shakes. There is lack of balance.
Finding “just the right balance” can be challenging. We get caught up in comparing what we are doing with what others are doing. “They are doing more so maybe I should be doing more.” “They eating this kind of way so perhaps I should be too.”
It can be really, really hard to “go solo” and trust what you know is good for you. We are all unique, complicated individuals. What works for your friend, may not work for you.
When you stop comparing yourself to others and their process, you become empowered.
When you tune into what you know is good for you and your body, you become empowered.
When you find sound support, you empower yourself.
When you work on patience in your process, you become empowered.
I want you to put your workout in perspective and step outside of yourself for a moment.
Think about what is allowing you to move.
Appreciate your body. Respect all of the intricate parts that create movement. Respectfully challenge it!
Love your body – think if it as your best friend. Would you disrespect someone that you really care about by having her, or him, to do something over and over that puts them in a stressful state?
Think of the long term consequences of highly repetitive movement.
Finally, be grateful that you can exercise! Do your best to keep it that way by avoiding the risk of injury.