Oftentimes what people want to do and what would get them the results they are looking for are two completely different things. Completely different. For example, someone might want to become faster at running the mile so they keep running multiple long miles per day because that’s what they want to do. However, what would generally help them accomplish their goal would be to learn how to actually run since most people have never taken the time to learn this skill. I’ll be the first to tell you very few people naturally run well. So learning to run would be one huge improvement as well as working on interval sprints to increase foot speed. Doing more of what you are already doing and expecting different results, we’ve gone over this already, it’s insane.
Sometimes what your body may need is completely different from what you want to do. You want to lose weight but don’t want to temporarily cut back on certain foods and are unwilling to create better food habits but instead want to keep adding more of whatever exercise you are already doing. Don’t get me wrong exercise is great but exercise with no adjustment to your diet is not the answer. We have to be able to do what we don’t want to do some of the time to get what we ultimately want.
For all of you athletes out there don’t think you are off the hook. You want to get better at your sport so what do you do? You do your sport year round. Leaving you with no time to work on imbalances or movement quality and putting yourself at a higher risk for overuse injuries. Put the football, baseball, soccerball down for a second and learn how to properly do a squat. Or how to properly do a plank or a deadlift or how to actually jump and land. Doing more of what you are already doing doesn’t mean you will get better at it. Many times fixing certain imbalances you may have in your hips shoulders ankles or feet is exactly what your body needed to be able to cut a little bit faster and sharper, or jump a little bit higher, or throw a little bit harder. Good strength coaches know the importance of post season training consisting of getting the body back into balance and allowing the tissues that have been strained for months a little bit of rest. You, the athlete, may not want to recover because you may feel that you are falling behind but in all actuality, rest and recovery are what allows your body to adapt so without it you will be stuck in a state of not getting better. There are other aspects of the sport you can practice that doesn’t involve being on the field such as the mental aspect. It might not be sexy but generally, that’s what separates the goods from the greats.
My last rant goes to those who want to get stronger but habitually max out. Please stop. When you were new to lifting that probably worked for a little bit but now that you have hit the wall, constantly checking your max stopped “making you stronger”. I know the fun thing to do is to see how much weight you can move every time you are in the gym. It’s intense, it’s exhausting and it makes you feel like you did something. Problem is, for strength training, not every session needs to feel like the hardest thing you have ever done. It needs to undulate, both volume and intensity. It needs to be somewhat programmed and calculated. This will ensure that you don’t end up injured by constantly trying to lift as much weight as possible for as many reps as possible every session. Most of all your program needs to not be absolute. If you feel like crap one day maybe don’t lift heavy. Listening to your body and giving it rest when it needs it will allow you to have more healthy training days in the future. Ignore what your body is asking for and expect to be sidelined at some point in your future.
We cannot always do what we want to do. Getting used to doing at least one thing per day that we don’t want to can help build mental strength. With mental strength and resilience, it allows us to accomplish whatever we put our minds to. We will no longer look at obstacles as impenetrable walls. We will actually start to change and become the person we want to be. It will be uncomfortable at times. It may even feel boring at times. But taking the right steps to get you to your goals is always worth it in the end.