One of the most common approaches to physical exercise is what I refer to as the “force it” method.
Regardless of whether you are engaged in weight training, bodyweight calisthenics, cardio endurance training, speed work, yoga, tai chi or discuss throwing, the idea is as follows: push yourself out of your comfort zone. Force yourself to do more, even if, and perhaps especially if, it hurts.
Many years ago I advised a client on how to improve his fitness with uphill sprinting. He hadn’t run sprints since he was in high school, but man was he fired up about the possibilities.
I told him to begin with some light bursts at about 50% of his maximum, and after doing three or four of these, to continue with two to three more bursts at 70-80% max.
“Then what?” he asked.
“Then you’re done for the day. This isn’t a one-day program. You’ll see incredible results over a few months time.”
A few months? This wasn’t good enough for him.
There’s no way that will be enough, he thought to himself. I’m not going to be able to change my body with this simple approach. I need to push myself hard.
So he went out that same evening and began sprinting up a hill. He ignored my advice and whatdyaknow, he pulled a hamstring and threw his back out.
When he told me about his injuries during our next call, I asked him what he did for his workout. “I did seven sprints total,” he replied.
“At what percentage of your perceived max?” I asked.
“I sprinted as hard as I could on each one,” he replied.
“That’s not what I told you to do.”
“I know, but your approach is too rinky-dink for me.”
“And now you are injured and can’t run at all.”
It’s not just block-headed men who do this sort of thing to themselves. Women do so as well.
Last week I spoke to a woman who returned to the gym a few weeks ago and began doing a lot of abdominal exercises. She pushed herself too fast too soon, and started to feel pain in her midsection. But instead of backing off, she added gasoline to the equation. Now she’s needs surgery to repair the damage.
All over this nutty-plain, you’ll find the “force it” method transforming bodies into a surgeon’s dream.
I used the “force it” method for years, too. Now I don’t because I get better results, without injuries, with a different approach.
Now let me tell you something that you’ll want to put into writing and hang somewhere prominent: “YOUR BODY REMEMBERS.”
Yes, your body remembers what YOU did to it and what others did to it.
Your body remembers every injury, every surgery, every ache and every pain.
And if you think the injuries you had long ago are forgotten by your body because you never consciously think about them, think again. The body remembers, takes notes, and eventually sends a message that something else is wrong.
The good news is that you can make greater strides than ever before with an approach that doesn’t force improvements.
This can be verified in any sport, and in any exercise.
One of my friends is a catcher on a local baseball team. One day when we were talking about this idea of coaxing results v. forcing them, he remarked that he’s seen many pitchers throw the ball harder, and with more movement, when they’re relaxed and not trying so hard. But the second the pitchers “muscle up” and apply extra unnecessary force, their velocity dips.
Whether it’s sprinting, or flexibility training or hitting a golf ball, the pros understand that the ability to relax on command is key – and the harder you try to force something, the worse your results.
This is why I believe in improving upon your previous results with a “coax it” rather than a “force it” approach.
Apply too much force too often, and there’s going to be a breakdown. And it’s not going to be pretty.
But when you coax yourself, you will be continually amazed at how much you continue to improve.
That’s a smidgeon of what you’ll learn in my new course, Power Postures – Tiger Tendons.
I suggest you begin learning this approach NOW as it may very well save your body from unnecessary trauma, helping you recover from the aches and pains that are begging to be energetically cleared.
P.S. For those of you who are aspiring copywriters, info-publishers and so on, you might wonder if this “coax it” approach applies to what you are doing. It most certainly does. If you are forcing yourself to write, you’re not only using the will power approach, which leads to burn out and a “frying” of the nervous system, but your verbiage will never have a sense of flow to it. See how el Furecat does it by clicking here.