• Jake


Updated: Mar 3, 2019

Around the new year, the gyms are flooded with new clients, eager to put themselves on new footing, lose that tire, gain some muscle, some join boot camps and Xfits. How do you use this machine? Why are you using this machine? Sure feels good to spill into a sopping mess on the floor after a hard workout, doesn't it?

If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.

Why do some folks quit after a month, and others keep going? Is it will power? Why do so many people make gains at first and wind up burnt out three months down the line, needing to take a week off that turns into a month that turns into fifty pounds overweight eating chips on the couch? Why do so many promising young athletes wind up with overuse injuries before they've even hit their athletic prime?

If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.

Why are you doing five sets of ten? Why not ten by five? What are you training for? Strength? Conditioning? Hypertrophy? Why are you running thirty minutes three days a week? Why not fifteen six days a week? Why not an hour twice? What's your pace? What's your heart rate? Is it important? Are you ending in a heap of death, or are you still fresh at the end? Why are you doing it like that?

Why are you training the way you are training? Why is it working, or why is it not?

Why are you training at all? What are you training for?

Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to burn calories? Or are you trying to lose fat? Are those all the same thing?

Are you trying to get strong? Or are you trying to build muscle? Did you know you can greatly build strength without building pounds of muscle? Did you know you can build muscle without building an equivalent amount of strength? Foolish as that might seem, a lot of people spend their time doing just that.

When you run, which energy pathway are you using? Aerobic? Glycolitic? Alactic? Are you training the right one for your goals?

Are you trying to improve your work capacity? The capacity to hike for hours after your car breaks down, or the capacity to heave a couch up a flight of stairs with a friend one weekend when that randomly comes up? Or the capacity to take a hit on the field and keep going? Can you prepare for any and still prepare for all?

All this is to just get you asking the question 'why?' What is your real goal? Is losing that fat around your waist merely a cosmetic change, just something you're doing because society tells you its unattractive, or do you think shedding that fat is going to make life better for you, because you'll be lighter on your feet at dance class or better able to keep up with your kids at the park?

I believe strength should have a purpose, and I think knowing that purpose for yourself will improve your focus and motivation for your training. Anyone can "exercise" or "work out", but it's when you have a goal that you are training. You train for something. Part of my job is helping you find your something to train for, and then we--you and me--can better train you toward that purpose.

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