A Perfect “8”   Leave a comment

Maybe we shoot for a perfect “10” when we’re dating, or jumping off a diving board in the Olympics. But there’s one particular time I’d suggest you shoot for a perfect “8”. When you’re working out!

But wait, if working hard is good than working full blast must be great, right? That’s what a lot of exercise systems would have you think. It’s become a recent fad to have these insane workouts that kick your butt and leave you a heap. Look, I can take any tool, machine, or bodyweight drill and make you dog tired.

Here’s the problem. We’re a stressed out society. We already do full blast enough. Sleep too little, work too much, and caffeinate to keep going. This causes a huge challenge with your hormone system. It leads to the crisis many folks are facing with adrenal exhaustion. I’d encourage you to read up on it. It will probably shock you when you read the symptoms (sound familiar?).

So is the goal of an exercise routine to stress the living heck out of you or make you stronger, leaner, and healthier? I’d say the later.

This is why I always say in class, let’s work out at an 8! And my clients are probably reading this and laughing- “you mean I’m not dog tired at the end?” The other important piece to this is how long you sustain it, and how many days/week you do it. In other words, it’s good to work out very hard for reasonable chunks of time (re: intervals), and to workout hard two to four days a week. It’s when you do these workouts for 1.5 hours and 6 days a week that you are running a bigger risk of taxing your body.

For others, the issue isn’t working out too hard. It’s not working out hard enough. I always talk about my time at the YMCA watching the same overweight people working out at the same boring pace looking the same every week/month/year. They were working at a 3. And that’s got its own issues.

If you are more this second type, use the services of a smart trainer to teach you how to safely get to an “8”. And this is your 8, not mine. It’s got to be the intensity that’s right for you. I find most people who work out too easily are scared they’ll get hurt. I always point to the show the Biggest Loser, because it demonstrates something very important.

These are the worlds largest, most unathletic and unhealthy people. And they get their butts kicked. Personally I think they push it far too hard and border on what I was warning about before, but they’re trying to drop well over 100lbs in several months which is a questionable pace for health. The point being, they are very sick people and they are able to push much harder than you would guess. And yes they have some challenges along the way, but they are capable, even at 350lbs, to work out at an 8 without their head falling off.

So go out there and find your Perfect “8”!

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Posted July 25, 2011 by 39minuteworkout in Uncategorized

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