Keep it fresh. Change it up. Kick some butt. Keep those muscles always guessing. You have to shock the body to make progress. A new training tool? The “Psycho-bell”. Sign me up!
Statements like these resemble some of the old chestnuts and misleading ideas that distract from real exercise science and conscious approaches to personal health. They aren’t invalid. In fact, some of them may be true some of the time. An old workout you’ve stalled with may need a quick change. A new training implement like thick grip bars for strength training or soothing music while meditating can be the small differences that lead to greater progress.
The trouble with training like a PsycoX90, or perhaps some other variant of exercise program branded and aimed at physically devastating the user, relies on assumptions like “more is always better” and the more new things we stimulate ourselves with, the better. Allow me to argue the other side where mixing, changing up, or freshening our workouts isn’t always a good thing.
The time we spend developing a certain skill set (think ballet, kickboxing, or meditation) or physical quality (think flexibility, strength, balance) becomes more effective as we improve our ability to perform. Likewise, exposure to something new and complimentary can be exactly what’s necessary to make strides. Then again, who’s to say what you should be striving for at all?
There’s a best way to train for a 100m dash and optimal approaches for you to lose some fat. Some of us don’t have goals this straightforward. Doing both while raising 2 children and working full-time complicates things a bit. Looking good in your underpants throughout a stressful time in your life while picking up some ninja-status self defense isn’t easy, but it might be your goal.
In thinking about how to keep care of your body, start by listening to yourself and meeting the challenge of doing what you’d really love to do. Chill out to yoga in the morning or prepare for a fast-paced bootcamp. Hum the theme to Rocky for a few rounds with a punching bag. Pretend you’re a kid at recess and all you want to do is move a bit and learn something new.
To develop an athletic skill or physical quality, the playing field looks a lot like using what works until it doesn’t, then finding tweaks and minor changes to improve. The development of complimentary athletic skills and physical qualities requires one to carefully introduce new variety of stimuli while emphasizing sensible approaches to one’s goals
We all start from different places in life and in health. Our destinations quite often don’t line up either. In exercise, and in keeping care of ourselves, it’s helpful to allow each of us to pursue our own physical culture. More helpful that is, than freshening our workouts.
-Michael Espero, Head Health Coach