Do You Want to Get Tired or Get Better?

Do You Want To Get Tired or Get Better?

Training for health and hotness can be confusing. Thanks to our ever increasing access to information, the fitness scene is inundated with an endless stream of gurus, diets, and training advice. Understandably, this has left most fitness consumers a wee bit unsure of what path to follow.

Even more confounding than conflicting advice is our own brains. We understandably judge our workouts by how they “feel.” Unfortunately, this is a pretty poor barometer of what fitness choices will serve our goals.

The body often behaves in a counter-intuitive manner. It’s so hard to let go of the instinct that doing crunches is going to burn the fat obscuring your six pack, even after you’ve learned that you can’t reduce a specific area of body fat by working the muscle underneath.

It just doesn’t make sense to our egos that endless high rep workouts aren’t necessarily as effective for muscle growth as higher-weight, lower-rep training that doesn’t give you the gratification of the “pump.”

Perhaps the biggest and most consistent mistake I see from people is equating the perceived difficulty of the workout with its effectiveness. Let’s recall our mantra. Say it out loud:

Your body doesn’t care what it “feels” like. It simply adapts to the stimulus you provide it.

Your heart is admirable but…

I recently found myself checking out the website of a “fitness guru and entrepreneur.” This particular fit pro has a series of DVDs she is selling on the site.

Now I can’t speak in detail about them as I haven’t actually seen them, but suffice it to say, based on my current understanding and experience in making people hot, these DVDs looked to be, as we say in the biz, “completely fucking stupid and a total waste of your time and money.”

But again… I didn’t watch them. So let’s just give her the benefit of the doubt and say that these DVDs are totally awesome.

What really caught my eye was that the ad copy and testimonials focused on the fact that the workouts were “hard.” “The hardest 30 minute workout I’ve ever done!”

Say it again:

Your body doesn’t care what it “feels” like. It simply adapts to the stimulus you provide it.

Gentle reader, I lovingly encourage you to gauge your workouts on their RESULTS, not on how close you are to puking.

Now to be clear, I’m NOT saying I don’t want you to work hard. Yes, you need to work hard to change your body. And yes, sometimes you need to completely kick your ass.

But that is not the best way to judge whether your training regime is effective. Getting tired is not the same as getting better.

So for those of you that love kicking your own ass, I ask you: Are you achieving your goals? Are you getting hotter? Are you getting healthier? Do you have more energy? Does your body move better? Are you staying injury free?

If your goal is merely to be exhausted, that’s not necessarily a problem in and of itself. As long as you’re avoiding a full-on addiction to your own brain chemicals, go nuts!  (And yep, that totally happens, long distance runner who’s ignoring your joint pain because you HAVE to get your run in… I love you, but you’re an addict. Stop.)

Ultimately, it’s your body. That’s not my particular journey, but you get to run your own life. That’s why as much as I think CrossFit is not going to be a good choice for most people most of the time, I can’t say it’s wrong.

But if your goal is to get hotter, or have more energy, or piss off your friends at your high school reunion with your firm and muscular ass, don’t you think that actually achieving your goals should be more important than feeling like you’re gonna puke every single session?

Again, easy to say, harder to live. There’s a psychological satisfaction that comes from leaving it all on the floor (at least for most of us hardcore fitness junkies). I totally get that. Hell, I want you to enjoy that! It’s part of the fun of training.

But if you’re not getting your desired results, I’m going to suggest you consider changing what you’re doing. Have you made demonstrable progress recently? Is your knee-pain-inducing treadmill jogging making you objectively leaner? Has your “pump up” Flex magazine workout put a measurable inch on your arm circumference?

Because if you really do want to achieve your goals, and it’s not just about the enjoyment of the workout itself, I’m gonna challenge you to do better.

You deserve better. If you really want your dream body, be honest with yourself about progress. And if you’re NOT making progress, and you think you’d like some help, the MFF team is ready and willing to cradle you in our fitness love and take you to the mountaintop.

No wrong choices kiddies. But ultimately, you ARE making a choice. So I ask you:

Who do you want to be today?


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