The 4 Components Of A Quality Workout
Set Yourself Up For Success By Following This Advice
If your New Year’s resolution is going to include some type of fitness component, please keep this in mind:
“More exercise isn’t better. Better exercise is better.” – Gray Cook
What is “better exercise”? Well, that depends, and this is what I hope you will discover for yourself in this blog.
Humans have quite possibly the most diverse sets of skills which allow us to do everything “pretty good”. We aren’t as fast as cheetahs, or strong as gorillas, or swim as well as dolphins, but we (as a species) are “pretty ok” at all these things. We have evolved as a swiss army knife of movement, so we should approach our fitness as such.
Here are the four components of exercise you should think of including into your routine if your body is physically capable of it.
1) Mobility – This doesn’t include five minutes of stretching before your run or weight lifting session. Whether you choose to do yoga, or spend two to three days a week going through a full body active stretching routine, it’s important that you are moving well before you move often. Moving through ranges with coordination and body awareness is much different than simply stretching, and failure to address this component will make injury inevitable.
2) Strength – This doesn’t mean doing body weight squats or lunges. It also doesn’t mean 5lb arm curls for 25 reps. Keep weight heavier (relative to you) and reps low; say 3-5 reps. At least one time a week, whether you want to run marathons or be active with your grandchildren, increasing your top end strength will make everything else easier.
3) Cardiovascular endurance – This has gotten a lot of flack over the past five to ten years because most people use it incorrectly. And without going into a whole other blog, here is why most people use cardio wrong; they run or bike too hard. Unless you are training for competition, cardio should be long slow bouts. What is slow? There is great rule of thumb developed by a world-renowned expert Dr. Phil Maffetone, called the 180 formula. Setting aside some minor tweaks here is the rule: 180 – (your age) = the heart rate you should be training UNDER during your runs. This will ensure your body can support most of the training by burning majority fat, instead of breaking down muscle and utilizing that sugar for fuel.
4) Isometrics – This component can often be part of the strength umbrella, but it’s important enough that I believe it merits its own category, especially from an injury prevention standpoint. I often see people trying to do complex exercise routines, when they can’t even hold a simple side plank or wall squat. Get good at being still. It gives you a foundation of stability that you can build strength on. Without addressing this component, you will build strength on a house of cards. (Here are some of my favorite isometric drills: hangs, side plank, birddog, air squats, Single leg stance with opposite hip flexed as high as possible).
Under these 4 umbrellas are hundreds of tools you could potentially use. The trick is figuring out how to program them into your life on a weekly basis. If you are already active and in a routine, focus getting the areas where you are currently lacking the most plugged into your routine. If you are new to fitness, its easy; start anywhere! Try adding one thing to your week. It may be 30 min of doing isometrics 1 time a week. When you are comfortable with that, add another component 1 time a week until you are doing all of them at least one time per week!
There is a reason why the fitness professional and health professional industries are a huge business. It’s never THAT easy, and these two professions aim at keeping you moving, pain free, for a long time. At ChiroStrength we’ve developed a program that will offer you treatment to get and stay pain free, and personal training to teach you how to work around or fix old injuries that have plagued your fitness attempts in the past. The video below explains in more detail.
Go into 2017 with confidence in your plan. Set yourself up for success by getting guidance on the front end, and having support throughout the entire process. Make choice to change your life, and as always…
Don’t Just Mend. Transcend.