When you come to the gym, do you know what and how many things you're training for? It's quite a list so here are just a few..
The easy one - to be healthier than we were yesterday.
To achieve our personal goals.
We train for the unknown and unknowable.
We're building strength for day to day activities, functional training.
Dustin says we're training to survive the Zombie Apocalypse! :)
Regardless of what you're working out/training for, variation and change is a KEY element to SUCCESS. They say if you're not changing, you're not progressing. So what variables can be manipulated to get you the MOST prepared for the unknown ?
Our Workouts: I think we can attest to the fact that our workouts are always changing. Greg Glassman, the Founder of CrossFit, put world class fitness into 100 words. Part of the definition speaks to all the elements of a great workout to include major lifts and gymnastics skills.
He says, "Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy."
There is something called muscle confusion and our muscles need it! If you do the same exercises in the same way and same frequency, your muscles will get used the patterns and eventually hit a plateau.
This is why you don't want to do the same modifications for a move all the time because your body will get used to it and you won't get the same results as when you mix it up.
Our Tunes: The most popular play list I have is one that includes Eminem, Rage Against the Machine, Backstreet Boys and Cyndi Lauper just to name a few.
When we talk about change, what we listen to can also play a huge factor in mood and motivation.
For me, I can't work out to anything slow, but as long as it has a good beat, I'm good with whatever genre.
We have some members that need a good heavy metal to get motivated for those big lifts. We have others that need Eminem as loud as it can go to be psyched up for an amazing AMRAP.
Being in a group class may mean that you don't get to hear THAT song you need or THAT artist. That's okay. It's different for everyone, so take in the music, find your mental space and get after it.
Our Environment: We all have OUR spot on the rig or on the floor. Some have THE bar that has to be used or their special jump rope. W
hat if you ran out of the house and forgot your gym bag that had THE jump rope in it and today's workout was 5,000 dubs??
Are you going to just skip it then? NO..the answer is NO! Maybe that day you try a different rope, a different bar, a different spot on the rig..heck maybe even working out in a different room (*gasp*) and find out you did just as well or better!
The power is in YOU, not in your environment.
Our Day to Day: What do you do regularly? Lift children, lift laundry baskets, sit in an office chair, climb stairs, walk in an icy parking lot.
All of these things could have something go wrong if you move a certain way or don't know the proper way to do a standard squat or hold something far away from you.
These are all things that we can correlate to what we're doing in the gym. You need to squat to pick up a laundry basket or child properly.
You should hold be holding things as close to the center of your body as possible like we do with a barbell.
You should have a good weight distribution while climbing the stairs.
You get my point.
By working on your technique in all the varying ways we do, you're training your brain to do the same in your day to day activities. I can't say that this will always save you from injury or tweaking something, but I can say that it very well will help mitigate those chances.
At the end of the day, embrace variation, embrace change, embrace trying something new and pushing your limits!
You never know when that Zombie Apocalypse is going to happen and you better be ready!