I get really nervous in doctors’ offices. Even at check-ups.
Because I know one day, I’m going to die.
I also seem to have high blood pressure. Not insanely high, but higher than would be predicted for someone who is young and reasonably fit. Is my blood pressure reading what’s called “white coat hypertension?” Sure, it’s possible my fear of mortality raises my blood pressure when I’m in a doctor’s office.
Regardless, I can relate this to the terror many people feel when they first come into a fitness environment. At the end of my most recent visit, I couldn’t remember anything the doctor said. Including the directions for taking the urine sample they needed, which led to some delightfully awkward questions for the unamused staff near the bathroom.
(As a side note, their lack of empathy is more inspiration for the nurturing experience I want for frightened new Ninjas, but I digress…)
You Need Some Yang and Some Yin (TWEET THAT SHIT!)
This whole experience got me thinking about how we spend our fitness time. Exercising is better than not exercising, obviously. But if one’s main goal is to manage stress, I’m wondering if we always use our fitness fun time effectively…
Most humans conflate getting their ass kicked with a productive workout. If your fitness goal is to work so hard you shit blood, that’s fine. But let’s be honest about the ramifications of this, including, but not limited to, joint injuries, chronic aches and pains, and decreased performance. Please don’t justify your desire for extreme physical exertion as a “healthful” pursuit.
This is particularly Sisyphean («DOUCHEBAG WORD ALERT) when the goal is fat loss. You can’t out train the diet. It’s not helpful to do more of what’s not working.
There’s of course a time and a place to train hard. If you NEVER push it out, that’s also going to mean you never achieve your potential peak of health or hotness or performance. So we do need to train ballz out sometime, but other times we need lower intensity adventures. Effective training is not synonymous with your spleen popping out of your ear. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)
And while we’re calling out the entire human race, yes, if you just like taking restorative yoga, moving gently, and thinking about your feelings, you’d do well to take up powerlifting and balance your shit out.
What we’re looking for is balance. All intensity levels have a part to play.
Can Science And Tech Call Us Out?
Inspired by a potential early grave, I’ve discovered a new found interest in how to train the heart.
Lately I’ve been diving into something called “Heart Rate Variability Training” a system that allows you to objectively measure recovery using a heart rate monitor and an app. This helps trainees decide if they should get after it hard or take it easy on a given day.
I think this shit is the next frontier. HRV started its life in the clinical setting, and now it’s being used for sports performance. Since we know part of the game for fat loss and muscle gain is having the appropriate stress response, I think we’re going to see this applied to hotness sooner rather than later.
We’ve seen time and again in the Ninja Clubhouse and the industry at large, Type A people tend to be better off training LESS and going a bit EASIER. When Type A folks hit it harder and harder and harder, their body cockblocks any physique success. It doesn’t care about your six-pack, it’s trying to survive perpetually dealing with systemic stress and inflammation.
By applying HRV measurements, we can start to guide the trainee’s intensity levels based on objective measurements of recovery.
Lovingkindness Equals Hotness
You wanna go hard? Rad. I hope you are kind as fuck. To the world around you, and most importantly, to yourself. World peace starts at home bitches. In your brain and and in your heart. Please don’t use exercise as one more way to punish yourself for not being enough.
Let’s make a deal. You only get to train as ferociously as you are kind. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)
It’s possible to have “exercise” (movement?) in your life that isn’t about an ass-kicking. Gentler forms of movement need to be a part of well-rounded fitness regime. Otherwise the body only recognizes exercise as a time where it goes to war.
Although lower intensity steady state cardio may still suck for efficiency, the performance, health, and recovery benefits are worth considering. And while it may not be the most time-effective way to burn calories, the bodybuilders have used it successfully for years. I think if we make better choices with our steady state cardio modalities (ie light bodyweight circuts and mobility drills instead of jogging), there can be huge value here for health and hotness.
Ron Hruska IS Sex, Trust Me On This
Breathing is all the rage in the fitness industry right now, and this can be confusing to folks who get started with us. After all, why the hell are we working on breath when I’m trying to get ready for my honeymoon speedo?
By improving the way you breathe, we can do a lot of good things very quickly. We can reduce unnecessary muscular tension so you move better, and we can help your joints sit in a happier and more neutral position. We can get you to train harder, faster, with fuller ranges of motion, and using more weight. This leads to more calories burned, more muscles built or maintained, and faster hotness results.
Furthermore, by improving the way your body breathes, we’re reducing the systemic stress of constantly breathing in “fight or flight” mode. We can get the nervous system to chill out a bit. Not only is this good for your hotness goals, but it’s likely to make you more relaxed and happier.
And lest we forget… the end game is always happiness.
“What Do We Say To The God Of Death?… NOT TODAY.”
The good news is, outside of my real or imagined high blood pressure, the rest of my blood work suggests I’m totally healthy. After cutting back on my coffee intake and adding more “yin” style movements into my regime, my blood pressure is down to “prehypertensive,” at least as far as I can tell based on my occasional check-ins.
I’m not a moderate person. I know I will always have to work on chilling out. The same work ethic and stamina that has brought me success in my life pursuits could very well bring me an early death if it goes unchecked.
If you think this sounds like you, I’m inviting you to join me in taking the edge off. Let’s go fucking cuddle and meditate. I’ll see you under the Bodhi tree…