So you have just signed up at your local gym, crossfit box, boot camp or sports club and I bet you are just busting to get right into the hard work. Never mind that you may have been away from any sort of training for quite some time. You know that just 1, 2 or 10 years ago you could do anything and you probably aren’t that out of shape right? You have only put on a couple kilos but you still get by with everyday challenges.
This is the point where a lot has the potential to go wrong. You COULD jump straight into training as hard as you can. Your trainer pushes you hard during session and you feel like you are getting somewhere fast. You wake up so stiff the next day that you are walking as though you are holding something in your butt cheeks and don’t want to even think about the struggle of simply sitting down. But it is still worth it, this is what good training feels like, right?
You are not alone, we have all put ourselves in this space. With “motivational” phrases like “No pain, no gain” we can be tricked into thinking that for our training to benefit us, we must always make our bodies suffer.
If there is one thing I learned over the years as I developed my skills with Kettlebells it was,
If you push yourself to the point of being a living statue for days after each training session, pretty soon you will be missing more sessions in recovery then you can attend.
This will never get you where you want to be. It is like taking 1 step forwards and 2 steps backwards.
To achieve the fitness goals you want, you need patience.
This is probably NOT what you want to hear and it is probably not something most trainers will tell you. The thing is, those sessions where you are pushing yourself to your limit every time, are only sustainable short term. There is only so far that working at maximum capacity can take you before your burn out or get injured.
The body needs to recover between sessions and the best way to allow that to happen is to train progressively. Start slow. Now when I say slow I don’t mean easy, I mean start by building a strong training base. Learn the right technique for a movement and repeat it, then repeat it again and again. Repetition is what builds safe movements. It is what teaches our body the correct patterns to follow so that when we do increase the intensity we know exactly what to do to keep safe. This is where true strength is developed. Not just physical strength but mental strength too.
You have to understand that when you train you may spend quite some time repeating the same few exercises over and over again. This is not to bore you to death, it is to give your body what it needs to build strength where it is needed. Only then will you really be able to start to see the benefits of your training in your everyday life. Afterall, why else are we training if not to be able to live each day confidently knowing that we have the ability to do whatever we want without physical limitations.
This can only happen when we are patient in our training. Take the time to understand how our bodies move and how to apply these well practiced movements not just on a day to day basis but also over our whole life.
My biggest lesson with the Kettlebell was exactly that, be patient. I wanted to be able to do everything right then and there and it was a very humbling experience to accept that I would need to learn slowly and consistently to master each movement. You have to earn your fitness.