How do you know when you’ve had a good workout? Next day soreness? You're sprawled out on the floor sucking in air after your workout? When you’ve had a good workout, your body just feels good? Just like a lot of people, I enjoy a good HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout, a good run, or even an intense strength training session. But, are these workouts the best for your fitness longevity?
No pain, no gain has been echoed over and over throughout the years as a marker of hard work. What may be perceived as pain is actually dormant muscles resisting change, resisting extra movement. Changing your physical body can be painful, humbling, and worthwhile. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, or build your endurance, you have to push consistently beyond your comfort zone for your body to physically change. Pushing yourself to that point takes strength and mental fortitude daily. When I think about the phrase no pain, no gain, I think injury is looming and I want to avoid it at all costs. Let’s do a mindset shift by replacing “pain” with “chase the burn”. This helps our mind steer away from thinking about pain, which hurts. Shifting the mindset to “chasing the burn” helps me think of burning calories,fat, and sugar and everything that comes with shedding the old me. When I start to feel the burn, I chase it even more because it's the feeling of a new me evolving through the fire sculpting a leaner body.
Quality over quantity has been my mantra, my driving force to keeping me safe and healthy, and injury free on my fitness journey. I believe in lifting heavy, and often, but being smart about your approach. Oftentimes, when I watch people obliterate their bodies in the gym doing these crazy workouts of 100 plus reps of multiple exercises just to lose a couple of pounds, I think "that’s not sustainable".
Be a beast in your workouts and a gazelle on your runs. The ultimate goal is to be better today than you were yesterday and build momentum. Chase the burn and tell your muscles to grow! Over time, you’ll learn that your body can go the extra mile as long as you don’t sacrifice quality over quantity. Have your workouts sustainable, challenging, varied, and fun.
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– Louis Allen, CSCS