What better way to kick this off than by clarifying exactly what training & exercise actually are. Exercise is activity. That walk you went on.. Exercise. That random workout you chose off of Instagram… Exercise. Doing whatever you feel like each day to move & get sweaty.. exercise. Wrong? Nope. Not at all! It’s great.
HOWEVER, if you have specific goals you’d like to achieve within your physical activity, then you may need something a little (a lot) more structured & specific.
Enter; Training. Training is a specific activity (or activities) with a purpose. It has a structure & an intent.
When you train, your sessions (should) have specific processes or small goals relative to your larger goal/outcome. The movement, intensity, reps, weights, sets, frequency, it all matters. You include the things you ‘need’ not just the things you ‘want’ to do. Training is having a target/goal & finding a program designed to illicit the response necessary to achieve that goal.
Now, again, Exercise is great. If your goal is to be ‘healthier’, keep exercising away. Keep doing the things you love.
Keep it fun, keep it sweaty. Keep crushing it. Oh, that doesn’t mean you can’t have goals by the way… It just means, there’s likely many ways to get you there!
If you have more specific physical activity goals, however…. Let’s train.
You want to learn Ring Muscle Ups, for example? Having a few random ‘cracks’ every second day is unlikely the best use of your time.
A structured, specific program to learn & build capacity in the ring muscle up, however… #training.
Start by being aware of the intention of your training session. Have you got measurable goals/targets? Do you know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing?
Actually, wait, i might be biased, but i’m going to say, start with getting a (good) coach.
Someone who will hold you accountable and provide an unbiased & honest set of eyes and opinions.
Someone who is knowledgeable & experienced.
Someone you resonate with & will appreciate their feedback.
Someone who will (strongly) encourage you to do the things you know you need to do & probably wouldn’t do otherwise. You know, those uncomfortable, boring, tedious, amazing things.
The weak points. The fundamentals. The prehab. Your self talk.
Another often overlooked but crucial component of ‘training’… Metrics. Measurable’s. Tracking progress.
“what gets measured, gets managed. What gets managed, gets improved” Not how sore or tired you are. Not how sweaty you are. Not how ‘crushed’ your fitness tracker tells you you are.
There’s a time & a place for those metrics & a good training plan will most definitely consider your recovery, your stress & program de-loads & rests.
However, back to metrics, tracking your progress shows you clear progression towards your goals & allows you to keep progressing, keep moving forward & gives you an objective view of the success of your training.
SO, to round out,
The most important part of this whole physical activity ‘journey’ comes back to self-awareness, as with most things in life.
What are your goals? Why? Are you sure?
Are you willing to do the work required to actually achieve your goals?
Are you being honest with yourself? Are you being honest with your coach?
Awesome! Get it.