In Life As Well As The Gym, Do It Badly

                                 In Life As Well As The Gym, Do It Badly                                        

You don’t need to train and strain to make your muscles grow. You need to repeat. That’s all. If you do a thing long enough benefit comes of it.

There is no single ‘must do’ exercise that can’t be replaced with something else.   Be clever, be creative, use your noodle. You can find substitute practices that achieve the same result.

You have a bone structure that makes you better at some exercises than others: long arms, short arms, long legs, short legs: Find out who you are and don’t kill yourself trying to put toe up your nose. Look at others, learn from them, be inspired, then do it your way. Take flexibility: there will be borders you’ll never cross.   Learn about them. Accept them. Focus on your own body and its limitations.

Take your time. Don’t rush. Slow is good. Fast makes it more difficult to focus mentally take apart what is happening in your body.

Interestingly enough, there is a gene called COL5A1 which is linked to a hereditary level of flexibility. One version of the gene means you’re quite flexible, the other means you’re not. Don’t be embarrassed or disappointed because you aren’t a spaghetti or, as an older person with less active growth hormone your muscles don’t bulk up as quickly as they did when you were young – or at all.

There is a point at which you’ll stop making obvious improvements; but don’t stop practicing whatever it is you practice. The benefits become more subtle, more refined.  More energy, stability, self-knowledge. It’s quite enough to stretch what’s tight and strengthen what’s weak and notice that your powers of observation are greater than they were. Nothing stays the same. You’re either going up or you’re going down. Even when you don’t notice either.

Resistance is a good training. Good to observe, good to exploit. For example, when doing yoga poses, reach the point of resistance and wait it out, staying as long as you can. Use resistance in your daily life too. Push against tables, your knees, the door frame. There are dozens of ways to be creative using the principle of resistance.

One more thing: if you work hard all of the time, you’ll start to notice little aches, pains and tears everywhere. Be sensitive. Pace yourself. Learn when to push and when to let go – in life as well as in the gym.

Your body isn’t a machine. Rest it. Work hard but don’t kill yourself.

 

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