Let us use some space at the very beginning of this blog to mention a few useful concepts concerning exercising and training. We suggest that you take a look at them whether you are novice or advanced sports enthusiast as that will help us all to stand on a common ground when discussing various topics in the future.
Should you obey the rules or be creative?
The nature of being human
is to do the unexpected
and every birth carries with it
the possibility of a changed world.
- Hannah Arendt
When one consideres sports theory and practice, that broad area can be observed at several levels of “magnification”. From far away, one can observe that there are various long term goals that active people set for themselves and there are numerous disciplines through which they opt for achieving them… Some of them simply want to look good. Others enjoy being athletic and using their bodies to perform remarkable feats for sheer pleasure. Yet some folks literally live (and sometimes die) for sport; they are professionals willing to push themselves beyond the limits, compete with the likes and make for a living from that. Those are all legitimate goals.
While pursuing any of those, people follow some plan or program. Perhaps that’s just a general statement – I’ll go to a gym with my buddy two to three times a week, do some exercises and I hope I will look awesome in swimwear. Maybe you are more serious about your body so you have copied several routines from a textbook or a web page and now do your best to adhere to them for months and years. But if your living depends on your rankings, chances are good that you will invest a lot in a personal trainer conducting customized training program, a nutritionist preparing highly optimized diet and a chiropractor taking care of the consequences. Those are all legitimate plans.
If we keep zooming in on what people do when they engage in fitness and sport, we find that any plan and any training routine ultimately consists of exercises. No matter how casual or serious you are about athleticism, you will practice some exercises periodically in order to achieve your goals. And this is where an interesting observation can be made – there are not that many productive, efficient and safe exercises people usually do as one might think; both professionals and beginners seem to be doing very same exercises in the gym. Why would that be the case? The answer is simple – those are the VERY RARE safe and efficient exercises that exist.
The world of fitness is of course very dynamic and it constantly evolves. And yes, there are indeed new exercises that people invent, that quickly spread around the world and acquire many devotees. But most of them fade into oblivion as rapidly as they come to focus. The reason is quite simple – human body has a finite number of movements that it is designed to perform really well and without damage. That doesn’t mean that the number of good exercises is small, it is simply not infinitely large and thanks to generations of smart and diligent athletes, humankind has already figured out most of those that benefit our bodies.
Talk the talk, then walk the walk
We suggest that you think about it this way.
- A typical language has some tens of thousands of words in its vocabulary; only a fraction of that number is really used in everyday conversations.
- Speakers of that language combine them to formulate billions and billions of thoughts every day.
- Despite using same words and similar sentences, stories that they tell to each other about their lives, experiences and achievements are doubtlessly unique and limitless.
In the world of physical culture, exercises are equal to words. There are just that many words, but there is no need to invent new ones all too often as these ones that we already have suit all possible purposes quite well. So that’s where you would neither want nor need to be creative. If you aim at becoming a world class writer one day, learning the existing words and understanding profoundly their deepest meanings is what you should concentrate on first as those are the building blocks which you will use to construct your masterpiece.
Exercising routines and programs are equal to thoughts and sentences built out of words. First of all, each of them ought to have a purpose and then its structure should be more or less adherent to some general recommendations. If you accept that there is no point in stacking words in nonsensical piles, then it should be obvious that there is also no point in aimless hopping from one exercise to another. But if several simple rules are obeyed many sentences will make sense, and similarly many routines will eventually make you fit. Some of them undoubtedly more quickly than others, but it is up to you to choose what seems to work best for you.
Your body is your novel. What you do with your body, how you reverie about its future and what you undertake to make those dreams come true is where limits vanish. You should experiment and explore new possibilities. You should push yourself hard to recognize and develop those hidden talents that you bear deep inside. There are no written rules for that. Because there are no written rules for becoming a human being.