Happy NFL Opening Day everyone, immediately a couple of you are going to mad thinking of the NFL. Either because, you hate them or you don't like that Fall is around the corner. They're both here, grin, bare it and try not to spoil it for the rest of us. For those that didn't know, no I'm not a Pats fan, don't hate them, don't like them, GO PACK GO! Ok, I'm done with that. I got my sports mention/fix in, let's get to the reason why you're reading, the good stuff.
Stop me if this sounds familiar, you’re tired you’re sweaty and there’s a pretty good coating of you-juice all over…oh stop there? The point(s) being everyone sweats when they work out, and almost anyone can drive you to that point, seriously. Give the most random person on the street a shirt that says “Trainer” on it and a clipboard, tell them that the client needs to leave the gym drenched in sweat and they’ll make it happen, however they need to.
Here’s the thing kiddos, you simply cannot measure if a workout was actually good for you simply by how much you sweat and by how awful you feel. I’m pretty sure Dr. John Rusin said something to that effect. I’m not saying it’s the worse thing in the world. You’re not going to catch cancer and The Man in Black isn't going to walk through the door to drop your dog dead if this happens. You're going to have workouts that leave you feeling this way, especially athletes because they simply don’t know how to step away from that red line feeling. What I’m driving at is that you should be able to literally walk away, because if you can’t something went wrong, not good. Secondly, you should feel good and maybe a bit energized, but if you have the energy and motivation to go run a 10k afterwards, go to jail (or back to the gym) and try again. The answer, as usual in fitness, lies somewhere in the middle. I’m saying this as someone that is ok with that red line feeling now and again too. Believe me, there have been some puddles of yesterday’s lunch left all over by yours truly, especially on hills. Been there, done that. It sucks and it’s not a good thing to feel that way after (almost) every workout.
I would much rather have a client hate life for about 30 seconds while they perform an exercise with an appropriate weight, at an appropriate intensity and be able to walk away. Soreness happens always, just about no matter what. Some days it's pretty noticeable, other days it's negligible. Even if you’re on a deload week (we need to talk if this is a new concept for you), you’ll be sore. Conclusion here is, soreness is not a good measure either. I have to do all I can to hold my tongue from jumping out of my mouth when a client comes back to me, complaining that they didn’t feel they were sore enough. Every coach and trainer has had this happen to them, they get the evil eyes going and devil horns magically sprout from their neck just for a second. The intelligent ones just increase the weights a bit and maybe change up a variation or two from the previous session’s programs. The not so knowledgable ones...well that's what we're hoping to avoid here.
Here’s the thing about using these as a measure, are they actually going to be measures of progress for you? How terrible you feel after each workout and whether or not you can make yourself feel worse and worse? Feeling so sore you can't even walk up the steps of the bus to go to work? The answer is, probably not. Why in the bloody hell would you really want to use that as a measure of a good workout, if that's the case. Measures of whether or not your current workout program (more than a single workout, GASP) is going to be things like, do you have more energy during the day, does your (insert often sore joint) feel less achey, are your clothes fitting better? Don’t aim to drive yourself into the ground, because if you try to do it every single time, eventually you won’t get back up and then all that progress is down the tubes and back to square one you go, hooray…NOT!
That's what I got today folks, stay tuned next week. I have a special series of posts concerning carries planned. Is anyone really surprised? Thanks for tuning in, go out there and get after it!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS