I am 100% sure you’ve heard this phrase before because it’s relevant and powerful in every area of life from relationships to health to finances: “Work smarter not harder.”
You wouldn’t work more and more hours and harder and harder for the same amount of money would you? Just keep piling on more and more projects, stay later and later and then keep getting the SAME result?
\What about having more and more conversations, harder and harder with the same people and getting absolutely no where? Sounds crazy and that is the definition of crazy isn’t’ it? Doing the same thing over and over again without any different result?
So why on earth do we see people working out more: increasing volume, length and intensity in a way that produces the SAME or even LESS result over time?
I want to introduce 3 common ideas or misconceptions around training and 3 tweaks + 1 challenge to get you more effective with less work. How does that sound?
As a health coach, personal trainer and professional for over 20 years I have seen this over and over again. People want to get fitter, leaner and stronger so they think…
Idea #1 : “I will work out MORE!”
So .. they keep increasing volume, sometimes to crazy amounts…. I’ve seen people who refuse to take a day off or train every single day, sometimes twice/day!
I hate to admit that I have actually been this person.
Idea #2: They think, “I will work harder! It must be that I am not working hard enough!”
So… they up the weights, which certainly sounds like a good strategy as long as you see gains and do so pain free. That’s the key. I see people thinking they have to go harder and harder, lift heavier and heavier and all the added effort often leads them to physical pain which they ignore and push through until their bodies break down.
Now – disclaimer here. There IS a difference between physical pain and muscular discomfort and what I am talking about is pushing through pain.
Or another one…
Idea #3 : “It’s all the rage right now, it MUST work!”
So… off they go. To join the next fad bootcamp, boxing, zumba, body pump, spin class (yep – taught them all), running group (yep – coached lots of those), yoga class (check that too) or personal trainer that is offering some great deal.
And then… they do it. Over and over, harder and harder and for some have a great time doing it, get some momentum and results for a bit but then… things may or may not last, the novelty wears off and they feel stuck. If it lasts it generally does because they keep working at it, adjusting it and fine tuning. It it doesn’t – it’s probably because well… we didn’t challenge things in the right way. (Sounds like many relationships – yikes!)
So what gives? What is the real problem here and right solution to get us where we want to be?
Debunking Idea #1: “I will work out MORE!” Why it doesn’t always work…
Volume can affect results dramatically – for good or for bad and it really depends on each individuals current physical foundation + stress load.
What’s really missing from many programs I’ve seen in the fitness industry is the assessment of the individual to determine what foundation they have and what stress load they are capable of handling.
What do I mean by this? When I talk about foundation I am talking about
What past injuries have you had that are affecting your ability to move freely and pain free today?
What is your posture like? Postural issues cause muscular imbalances that are augmented by volume! That means if they are not addressed and instead we create lots of repetition – it just gets worse = pain in the long run and injuries.
Do you have joint and core stability and strength? A weak or disfunctional core = guarantees back problems down the road especially under fast, repetitive loads such as bending movements.
Finally what is your stress load like? For someone with a lot of downtime, rest and recovery, increasing volume can be a great strategy. However for most people we see who are working full time, caring for families and running around non stop – there isn’t a lot of downtime happening and THAT is when our bodies get stronger, heal and build new tissue.
I’ve worked with so many runners and athletes suffering from chronic back pain or injuries that keep creeping back up any time volume goes up because they are refusing to address the root issues of stability, mobility and recovery so in this case:
increase in volume = less results + more fatigue + more strain + injury + poor recovery = frustration!!
Debunking Idea #2: “I will work out HARDER by adding intensity!” Why it doesn’t always work…
Just like volume, intensity can affect results dramatically – for good or for bad and it really depends on each individual’s current physical foundation + stress load.
Yes I have seen clients who aren’t pushing nearly hard enough and definitely need to increase the intensity of their workouts.
BUT what I see more of is an overwhelming amount of people who simply have TOO MUCH intensity in their lives already.
I call this “redlining’. If you are redlining at home, at work, emotionally always trying to keep up with ‘never enough’ time/energy then adding one more thing to put you into redline isn’t going to get you healthier.
Optimal health, strength and performance comes from meeting our bodies where they are at and providing a training program that balances that out.
“When your body is in balance, it will respond
in a positive way such as weight loss, increased energy and mental clarity.
If it is out of balance it will respond negatively such as
poor recovery, weight gain, chronic fatigue or plateaus in fitness.”
So here we see stressed out, sleep deprived people pushing harder trying to lift more weight or go faster and end up more tired, more sore or frustrated with the lack of change. If this is you, listen up!
“Your body is talking… are you listening?”
Debunking Idea #3: “It’s all the rage right now, it MUST work! AND it’s such a GREAT DEAL!!”
Seriously. I can’t believe I am actually having this conversation but I must.
We are ALL so completely different on the outside as well as the inside.
Each one of us has unique stressors in our lives, movement patterns and a health history that determines our current state.
While there ARE some foundational things we all need to work on to create an solid base, most fads out there and cheap classes are not addressing these things.
What I see is people of all abilities and backgrounds with completely different health needs being thrown into cookie cutter classes that may be fun and social but do not address or meet the physical needs to heal, repair and strengthen your body the way it needs in order to get the results you want.
What makes our approach different?
Your OUTSIDE is a DIRECT reflection of your inside.
We want you to achieve and sustain OPTIMAL health & performance.
We want you to fall in love with being healthy and moving your body.
We want you to move freely and pain free so you can say hell YES to whatever comes your way.
If the goal is a combination of health, a lean body, confidence, stamina, strength, and flexibility, there’s a better and more efficient way and we believe it’s the BIG PICTURE way.
We do this by teaching you to TUNE in to your bodies needs and signals and to meet those needs with proper training, nutrition and lifestyle coaching.
Here is our 5 Step Approach to Optimal Health:
1. Each person starts with a comprehensive health consultation so we get to know you, your health history, injuries, goals and what’s gotten in your way in the past.
2. The next step is a Functional Fitness Assessment including a postural and movement screen. We assess your core function, strength and from there create a program path that works for you.
3. Clients transition into a training program to match their needs. Each client is taken through 3 initial Private sessions before transitioning into either 100% Customized Personal Training or Small group sessions (max 8-10 people ) which are structured to build the foundations first then develop strength, endurance and increase intensity as fitness improves.
4. Each person also goes through a comprehensive nutrition & lifestyle coaching program to make sure we fully support your training and set you up for success long term.
5. We reassess and re-visit monthly with each client to make sure we are checking in on progress, setting new challenges and adjusting the programs as need.
The CHALLENGE I have for you
It’s simple but in everything – simple doesn’t mean we take action.
WHERE is any of this faulty thinking showing up in your life?
WHERE do you feel perhaps a little stuck in one of these patterns?
WHAT has caused you to believe this to be true?
TAKE ACTION: REACH OUT & ASK your coach about what you have been doing, what your goals are right now, if this load/intensity is still right for you and ask for where you need support. Then trust the process! If you are a client of ours, book your FREE Monthly FOCUS session to make sure you stay on top of this and stay in your sweet zone 🙂
Have questions or comments? I would love to hear from you!
If you are new and would like more information on our coaching let’s connect here.
Yours in Health,
Don’t miss out March Workshop: Beating Back Pain with Carl Weston.
Click here to register and learn more!
Back pain doesn’t have to be the norm and it doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you enjoy! Nearly 80% of people will experience back pain during their lives. Come learn what you can do about it. Space is limited so registration is required.
P.P.S. Did you know we are now offering Rehabilitative exercise & In Depth BioMechanical Assessments in house as well as Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching online? Now you can work with us from anywhere in the world on your nutrition, life coaching or training programs.