Here’s why you might be feeling like crap when you take up exercise…
I’ve seen loads of fitness women out there demonstrating amazing exercises on social media lately. And in the comments, they list the exercises so that you can do it on your own.
Most of them do it all with awesome technique too – which I’m always so happy to see (over 10 years working in injury rehab and I’ve seen a lot of bad lifting)…
Here’s the bit they leave out though – the amount of time they have been training for. Exercise progressions need to be layered – and it’s not just to build heart rate fitness or enough muscle to lift.
It’s to build what’s called TENSILE STRENGTH. This is the thickening and reinforcement of the passive structures in our bodies – like ligaments, tendons, joints, bones.
And here’s the rub – this process cannot be sped up.
So when we leap out and copy that workout on instagram, by the trainer who’s been working out for the last 3 years – we get injured. Maybe not then and there. But in daily life, things start to hurt, where previously they did not.
We do movements that our passive structures don’t have the integrity to handle – and boom – pain. Back pain after getting back into running. Knee pain every time you lunge. Dodgy neck or sore wrists when you try and lift stuff. Or suddenly you have some jelly belly or pelvic floor issues in daily life where before you did not.
It’s a sign that you have put too much load on those passive structures – and something has given way under the pressure.
If this has been you – it’s probably not your fault. How are you supposed to know what level you are at and exactly how to progress? There are no disclaimers on the workouts demonstrated on insta to say “hey – I’ve been training for 7 years now. My ligaments are rock solid.” There’s no hash tag on that squat jump video that says #this-took-me-a-year-to-build-up-to
It’s the natural law that you have to walk before you can run. And in our seated culture, if you keep starting an exercise program and keep burning out and stopping – you’re trying to progress too fast.
That’s all it is. You will absolutely get there. Just not in 28 days.
Did you know that in strength and conditioning circles a beginner stays a ‘beginner’ for a year?
A whole year.
That’s not too sexy. “Wow – get stronger than you have ever been…. in only 12 months.”
The truth of exercise physiology does not make for great marketing.
But here’s a different way to look at it….
You’re going to move anyway. Movement is compulsory. If you’re exercising at the right level for you, you will feel challenged, but happy. You will rarely feel drained. You will rarely feel smashed. You won’t have to give up good technique in order to do a movement your body just isn’t ready for. You’ll be sore sometimes, but not in agony.
And so it will always feel good – instead of feeling like a chore. You’ll notice how much progress you make every single session.
If you’re moving at a level that’s right for you, every single session you will be stronger and more capable than you were last time.
There is such a thing as exercise that is too hard. Exercise that takes too long to recover from. Exercise that trashes our joints, creates abdominal separation and leads to prolapse.
But most of us don’t know that. A lot of trainers don’t know that.
Our courses take a long time. We spend 7 weeks in each phase. We do 7 full weeks of rehab based work before we start any impact activity. We do 10 full weeks of training before we even touch a barbell.
Because that’s the truth of how long it actually takes to rehabilitate and start training.
And here’s the thing by the end of it all – these women are strong. Injury free, rock solid, absolutely fit and strong.
Nearly every woman I work with says that by the end of the 5 phases they are stronger than they have ever been.
They can now run, lift heavy, jump and do fancy party trick type of moves completely pain (and leak) free….
And I think the reason is because, for probably the first time, their bodies have deep, secure, stable TENSILE STRENGTH.
That’s the stuff that ensures they are building a body that doesn’t break down.