Flexin’: Part 1, The Intro

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I have sad news to report: I lost my trainer. Yes, my trainer of 5 years moved back to Toronto for life and love and I can’t blame her. I wish her the best, since she has opened my world and helped me become stronger–both emotionally and physically.

In light of these changing circumstances, I’ve decided to train myself and pass the experience onto you, my dear readers. I must’ve learned something in our 5 years of working together and thankfully, Kristy isn’t cutting off her knowledge supply: she will still help me with putting together programs and answer any questions I have.

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The first few posts of the new regime will introduce the mechanics of the muscle–don’t be afraid, I will try not to lose you and in doing so, I’ve decided to make this a series. So, curl up in your pyjamas, draw some tea and let’s begin.

Your body has a single, uniform purpose: to survive. To do that, it communicates with your environment via adaptation. The environment starts the conversation by imposing stress on your body, and your body responds by selectively adapting in a way that best suits its survival chances.

Training, then, is a conscious communication with your body—imposing self-selected stress to mold your frame into a desired shape, or increasing your capabilities beyond their current state. It’s a powerful farce. You convince your body that, if it doesn’t meet your demands, it will perish. This, of course, isn’t true, but it’s the true power of training. —-Todd Bumgardner, Bodybuilding.com

Deep, eh? This (long) quote pretty much sums up the general concept of exercise: you’re manipulating the shape and performance of your body by introducing controlled stresses in order for your body to adapt to those stresses. Once you remember that, you’ll understand that exercise is not just about doing sets, or hitting your 1 Repetition Maximum (1 Rep Max). What you are trying to do is mold your body into a highly functioning machine that can withstand the stresses of everyday life, as well as unexpected shocks that will challenge your body and your mind. Every type of exercise (lifting, cardio, yoga, CrossFit, etc) does this differently, yet is not mutually exclusive. In fact, do you know that there are 6 components of fitness? Yeah, 6, and these are they:

  1. Strength
  2. Endurance
  3. Power
  4. Agility
  5. Flexibility
  6. Body Composition (the percentage of fat in the human body).

Chew on that. Six. OK.

Notice that not one of them is weight. OK.

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In addition, there are 3 different levels of training:

  1. General conditioning
  2. Sport-specific conditioning
  3. Skills training (eg. working on reaction times, coordination, balance)

So, my friends, that leaves a lot of room for manipulation and confusion. Hopefully, confusion will cease if you continue to read this blog.

You have to know the rules to break the rules

 

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