The Love Hate of Fitness

If you are an active person there are probably still aspects of fitness that you don’t enjoy.

For example, we all know someone who is really fit but doesn’t enjoy running. They will do almost anything else rather than run. They will swim, bike, row and even go hiking. But go for a 5 or 10 km run? Never.

This reminds of the dinner hour at the Collins household. Alexandra does a great job of preparing delicious meals each evening. But with two little girls there will be something that’s been prepared they don’t enjoy.

With Vangie, 4 years old, this could be peppers. It doesn’t matter the colour i.e. red, yellow or green, she has an equal distaste for all of them. If you try to hide them in chili or something else she will pick them out and set them off to the side.

Sometimes we have to do the things we don’t like in order to get better.

Given the choice if every meal were ice cream, cookies and pudding she’d be OK with this. And it’s tough for her to recognize that her mom and dad feed her foods to help with her growth, development and overall health.

So there are the foods she’d like to eat and then the ones she needs to eat. And it’s trying to find the balance to make sure gets what she needs and every now and again she gets a little bit of what she wants.

This is kind of be how fitness is for many people.

Maybe we are already active. We go to the gym. We squat, bench and deadlift. The numbers are all going up. We’re getting stronger. And everything is great. Until it’s not.

And it stops being great when we have a new physical demand to face. Maybe it’s going on a ski trip. Or taking the kids to Wibit or some other type of ropes course. Or we get the call from a buddy to come and play men’s league soccer for a game.

Let’s say the event doesn’t end with a knee or Achilles tendon injury. Maybe it’s the next day popping Advil and on the couch watching sports all day. You’re so stiff and sore you can’t move and open waking in the morning you’re quickly aware of every muscle that hasn’t been worked in that way for years, if ever.

This could have been prevented.

And usually it comes back to doing the things that we need rather than we want. For some this is training the backside of the body. It means working the glutes, hamstrings, calves, low back and lats. It’s not uncommon to work on what we see in the mirror after a shower. We see the extra layer of insulation. We see a keg instead of a six-pack. We see soft shoulders and pecs. And so we go to the gym to address these things and improve.

Besides working on what we see, and ignoring what we don’t we can also fall into the trap of doing what suits our body type. For example, a smaller, leaner person will typically choose activities where they have to move their own body and not have to move external load or an opponent. The 145 lbs guy will gravitate towards running triathlons and running marathons but may not look to play rugby.

The opposite is also true. Larger people will tend to sports and training where they can move others or external load. Strong man competitions and powerlifting come to mind. And they won’t be looking to sign up for when they have to move their own bodies on something like American Ninja Warrior.

What about our energy system development?

What do you do for this? Typically sprinters are gifted people. They have the right length of levers, body fat, coordination and muscle fibre type that quick movements come easily. Fast people are just fast. You can work to develop this quality a little bit but it’s not the same as someone who can turn it on in a moments notice.

So far a sprinter they probably don’t do a lot of cardio. They don’t look to go for a 3 hour bike ride or swim a few kilometres at the pool. And yeah I guess you could say because they’ve gotten away with their God-given talents they can be a little bit lazy.

So what is the take home message here?

Well it’s to look at where you are with your health, fitness and performance and we’re you’d like to be. It’s being aware of what you typically do and what you usually avoid. And it’s figuring what you consider more fun and what feels a little more like work.

You don’t need to reluctantly approach every training session because you know you’re going to have to do something you don’t like. But the longer you avoid it the harder it will be to address. Hello, procrastinators, I’m looking at you.

This isn’t the easiest thing to figure out. You need to know all the elements of fitness that contribute to health and performance. You need to know what you are currently doing to improve these qualities. You need to know what your weak links are and how you will address them.

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry.

Reach out to one of our coaches at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc and we can help you figure out a plan and the safest, more efficient way to achieve results. And a bonus, we’re usually pretty good at making it fun as well.

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