Fitness, it’s not just a numbers game!
What does that even mean? Fitness is about training; you know the old fashioned blood, sweat and tears right, so where do numbers even come in to it?
Well if you think about it for a second, when we train we are actually quite fixated on numbers. For instance, Treadmill ….ah today I’ll do 20 minutes of cardio, or tomorrow I’ve only got 45 minutes to spare for my workout or I’m going to lift heavy 5 sets of 5 reps, I’m going to aim for 25 push-ups etc etc.
OK, so what’s wrong with this? Nothing really – it’s great to put metrics in around training it helps you or your trainer/coach monitor your progress in a systematic fashion and you do get a buzz when you realise you have achieved your goals….and to be honest its quite nice to see it there in black and white, it’s the icing on the cake :)…. Cake…..pause for a second……
However, have you ever had days where you come out of your workout (or class) and just feel “oh, I’m actually OK after today’s session” and that’s even tho
ugh you hit your target for that session. i.e. running the 5k in your target time or pushing out the leg press for 8 reps with no issue. Well, that’s when you should stop focusing on numbers and start listening to your body!
The body is a fascinating creature and the way it adapts and recovers really does amaze me. Some days I’m just so pumped to go workout but others I just lack that umph to go near anything taxing. So I personally ensure I try to stay in tune with my body as much as possible. Appreciate when my body needs rest, nutrition and recovery and on the other side NOT FOCUSING purely on numbers when I’m chomping at the bit to get in the gym.
So how can you do this….well one mode of training is to exhaust the muscles. Sounds tiring right!? Well that’s the point, it is. If you plan on working the back on for the majority of your session, why not try pre or post exhaustion of a particular exercise before your numbered sets and reps.
For example, if you can, try to do as many repetitions of pull ups after your warm up but before your main back workout starts. I do this quite often, and trust me there is no waiting for the back to engage after that. As soon as you do any back exercises the lats will be on fire!
The same applies to post exhaustion. This is adding pull ups (or whichever exercises) at the end of your workout to completely exhaust that muscle group. That way you can ensure you don’t just walk away from the gym with the “oh that was easy” feeling. You ensure you get those micro muscle tears so that you can recover and come back stronger next time!!
So see how you get on. Remember to listen to your body. When it’s time to rest, REST to avoid injury. When you’re feeling good and ready to go further, don’t shy away, go further and push yourself! Set new personal bests, don’t worry about what the paper says….smash it!!!