What’s In Your Workout?

Capital One has managed to make a similar saying quite famous. Good marketing! Take that sentiment and apply it to your workout. Where are you putting your energy? What should your workout consist of? Consider the following:

  • Cardiovascular endurance, which includes the ability to breathe well
  • Strength
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Mobility/Flexibility
  • Joy in movement and what you are choosing

We tend to think of conditioning as cardiovascular endurance. But we should also consider the fact that if adaptation of our bodies is always occurring, our workout should include planning for injury resistance, which includes mobility, flexibility and strength training as well as endurance.

So rather than blindly training and hoping for the best, you might want to consider what you are training for. It is good to consider what experienced athletes look like, move like, and feel like in the different modality in which are you choosing to train. Of course there is the factor of genetics, but that aside, don’t expect to have the body of a dancer by power lifting. And don’t be disappointed that you aren’t achieving incredible flexibility and strong hamstrings if the only thing you do is bike.

None of these modalities is good or bad. You just need to be realistic about what you are working towards. If your goal is to be more flexible and injury resistant, or perhaps swing your golf club a bit better, tearing it up on the gym floor might not be doing a thing for you. Consider your performance over time that is the telling piece. What is your current pain, movement capacity, strength and endurance telling you about your regime?

The longer I’ve been in this industry and the more bodies I work with, the more I know that we always have to find the thing that resonates with us so that we are willing to get better at it. With that said, if you do it to the exclusion of other movement or strength techniques, you very well may be limiting yourself if not working against yourself.

So where does that leave you in figuring things out?

  • Give up the idea that there is an ideal

Whatever you decide, it doesn’t have to be the end all program/exercise right now. Take one thing at a time. If you want to work on strength for a bit, do it. But know you need to come back to your mobility. If you want to work on your golf game, fantastic, but consider circling back around during the winter months to addressing thoracic and hip mobility and lumbar stability.

  • Consider there is more to flexibility than touching your toes.

Mobility and strength go together. You can’t get stronger if your joints don’t move well.

  • Redefine what “well-conditioned” means

The ability to go from high levels of work, to rest, and back again, are signs of a well conditioned body. This doesn’t necessarily mean being able to pump out a ton of push ups at once.

Being bulletproof means being able to adapt to the real needs of daily activities, the energy to perform our daily tasks and being mentally and physically prepared for the day. Most of us want nothing more than to be able perform the tasks we need and love to do. So as we all start to hunker down for the oncoming winter months, consider taking a month at a time to work on the different parts of what consists of a well-conditioned and adaptable body, mind and spirit.