When was the last time you crushed your workout?
I mean seriously crushed it?? Crawled out of the gym because your legs were too wobbly to stand. You couldn’t even wash your face or hair because lifting your arms even inches brought serious soreness pain. Or you ended up in the fetal position, with a barf bucket and deep breathing for almost an hour before you could regain the strength to even get your butt home.
If those are you kinda workouts – then this article is for you.
Because you’re addicted to fatigue.
Now here’s the thing. Let me preface this – I am no stranger to these kinds of workouts. I’ve killed myself for 2 hours, I’ve gone balls to the wall, I maxed out and yes, I’ve pushed so hard I puked.
I’m a sucker for pain just like you. But in my 15 years in this biz, I’ve learned something that you NEED to know.
Those “crushing” workouts are NOT the answer the your fitness goals.
They are not making you stronger. Getting you fitter. Or helping you see real and lasting progress.
And I know you’re ready to hit the back button on this article because you think I’m just a punk touting something froo-froo like everyone start doing yoga and meditating – that you think I’m not hardcore enough to survive the killer workout.
But wait a minute before you X out.
I get why you LOVE the hard core workouts. The rush of endorphins put you on top of the world. You can feel something real and physical happening in your muscles. You know how hard you mentally pushed your limits and how that must translate into progress.
Then add in all the likes and hearts you get on social media. It’s hard not to get addicted to it.
But here’s the truth —
Fatigue is NOT a barometer for the quality of a workout.
It’s only part of a comprehensive training plan.
When fatigue is the ONLY thing you use to measure your workouts, you’re just asking for trouble.
Stalled progress (or backward progress)
Plateaus that never get broken
And yep, sometimes even weight gain
Clearly not the goal when you’re busting you’re a$$ in the gym.
Now I have an idea what you’re thinking…
I love my hardcore workouts. Who are you to tell me what to do?
And I applaud you for your skepticism. Because lemme tell you straight –
ANYONE can walk into a gym with a weekend “coaching” certification and put you through a ball busting workout. Because you nearly died, you think that person must be awesome. They pushed and challenged you, they made you crawl out of the gym on all fours.
But it takes VERY LITTLE skill or knowledge to create a workout that could beat the living daylights out of you. Grab someone from the street and they could do the same thing.
A talented, educated and knowledgable trainer KNOWS this. They also know that 1000 rep workouts are more damaging to your body than helpful. That a fitness program needs to be periodized. That neuroactivation can be more valuable to building strength than number of reps. That unilateral training can address compensation issues. That regressions with perfect form build strength faster than trying to RX a move with crappy technique.
Getting you sweaty is easy. Getting you sore is JUST as easy.
But creating a human being that can live and function in a strong and fluid way is difficult. It requires knowledge, planning and a focus on the big picture, long term story.
Don’t fall into the traps.
Blisters aren’t signs of badges – it’s from pushing too hard instantly without building up your skill.
Pulled muscles shouldn’t be cheered – they happen from improper warm ups and not understanding body physiology.
And the sore for weeks feelings are not to be championed – because those weeks you spend recovering could have been better used to actually make slow and steady progress in the gym.
So let me get off the soap box and just summarize.
Every workout should not be a puke fest. The occasional hard core sesh is great to challenge your mental functioning and sure, blast a few calories and rush in the happy hormones. But the large majority of your training should be based on a well thought out, well planned training program that balances the elements of strength, power and endurance in a way that challenges your limits but allows you to train wisely, safely and progressively.