With so many exercise modalities growing in popularity that promotes doing as many reps as possible in a set amount of time, or adding as much weight as possible, I have to ask, what’s the goal of fitness?
Is it to take care of our bodies and treat them right? Or to annihilate them?
I don’t see any value in being sore for three days. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s unnecessary.
The simplest, most basic movement, can stimulate your abdominals to get stronger. You can do a basic glute bridge and work your buttocks muscles without having to dead lift a bunch of heavy weight. You can work your shoulders by doing simple arm circles, instead of lifting 80 pounds over your head in a herky jerky motion.
So, why do people still risk their health and medical bills in order to “get in shape?"
Unfortunately, I believe it actually is an addiction. People get addicted to the “runners high“ or adrenaline rush of lifting weights.
This is so incredibly dangerous, because you end up chasing and elusive and dangerous feeling, or arbitrary numbers, instead of methodically building up the strength and flexibility.
Our ability changes so much. Progress looks more like a stock market graph than a linear progression. You will have your good days and your bad days. Don’t worry about how much you lift. Don’t worry about how many reps you did. Don’t worry about how fast you did your 400 meter run.
The only thing that matters is that the movement patterns that you’re performing are deliberate and concise. Compensation–free movements.
The best way to think about this is the three colors of a traffic light: green, yellow, and red. Most of these popular modalities will have you in the red zone every single day. Again, this is incredibly dangerous… And does not even guarantee that your results will be any better. You just think that they are better because you associate that feeling of annihilation with a good workout.
Instead, spend about half your workout in the green zone bordering up against yellow. This is your warm-up. Your workout should sit comfortably in the yellow zone. The only time you would ever go into the red zone is when you periodically decide to do some sort of race or something like that, to test yourself. Occasionally, it’s great to challenge yourself. But do this once you are in shape. This is actually not a very good way to get in shape. Because it does not actually build you up, it breaks you down.
Most modern fitness programs are performance-based. They are very numbers driven, and depend on how fast you do it how long you do it, how many reps, sets, and speed. That's a recipe for injury.
Contrast this with an exploratory-based model, where the workout is about discovering movement patterns, and using the measurements of form and feeling to judge the effectiveness of an exercise and a workout.
The two markers of an exploratory fitness program are that it’s fun and it feels good. The results are just as good as a performance-based system, and much better in terms of injury prevention. It’s about mindfulness, wholeness, balance, stability, strength, flexibility, and unity. Connection with your higher self.
It’s not about meeting some arbitrary goal that some trainer (that is not you) dictated. Who gives a #$%^ how many Burpee‘s you can do.