Doing vs. Performing: The Difference Between Exercising and Getting Results
Back when I was young and living on my parents' farm, there always seemed to be plenty of tasks that were reserved for the low man on the totem pole. And you guessed it. That low man was me. Picking up and piling sticks seemed to be one of my dad's favorite tasks for me, and quite frankly, it was one of my least desired jobs to do. Funny how that works. Anyway, every time my dad would tell me to go out and complete one of these undesirable tasks, I would respond with the requisite whining, complaining, and carrying-on that usually comes from a young person who is having to do something he/she doesn't want to do. Nonetheless, I would slump off and begin my task, usually in a half-assed manner. Then I would rush in and tell my dad I had completed my task. He would go out, check it, and 9 times out of 10, he would make me go back and redo, complete, or what-have-you some of aspect of my job. He would always tell me, "It is much easier to do it right the first time." This is a lesson that did not sink in until some years later. Now, however, I fully embrace my father's philosophy, in part, because on a daily basis I see the same issues/attitudes I had as a young person showing up in how people approach their exercise programs.
It seems nowadays people are in such a damn rush to get nowhere. I can see it on their faces when they walk in the door at my facility. They are either still at the last place they were or they are already at the next place they are going. They have already set themselves up for a very unproductive training session. What it really comes down to is that they are just there to "do" their exercise and are not really in touch with their personal reason(s) for being there. They just know that "everyone" says you should exercise because it will help you stay healthy, lose fat, etc. When you just "do" something, 9 times out 10 it will end up like my boyhood projects -- half-assed and in need of correction or finishing. This is when frustration sets in for many people. They just can't seem to understand why they are not getting what they want from their exercise program.
I could train two similar individuals who perform the same exercise with exactly the same form; however, they will not get the same result because one of them is a "doer" and one of them is a "performer". You may be asking yourself, "Troy, what is the difference?" To put it simply, since your brain tells your muscles what to do, there is a connection between the two. This is typically referred to as the "mind-muscle connection"(the mind-muscle connection to put is simply is paying attention/focusing on the muscles that you are using to perform a particular movement. Another way to look at it would be the mentally focus on deliberately contracting/lengthening the proper muscles throughout the entire movement). Although there is little research on this phenomenon, it does exist and has been proven through vast amounts of anecdotal evidence from people who are extremely successful with their exercise programs. I feel there are two main differences between the "doer" and the "performer".
1) "Doers" are not mentally available. They are either thinking about their previous engagement or they are already planning for their next engagement. Either way, they are not focused on the task at hand and have eliminated the possibility of having an optimal training session. "Performers" come prepared to get the most out of their training session. They concentrate on their exercises and utilize the mind-muscle connection to the fullest extent possible.
2) "Doers" do not have clearly defined goals. If you do not know why you are doing something and do not completely commit to achieving it, then there is a very high likelihood that you will never attain it. "Performers" do have clearly defined goals which are important to them to achieve. Thus, they approach every training session with the desire to make progress on reaching those goals.
This is not to say that "doers" are completely wasting their time. They are accomplishing some physical work, which is what training is in its most basic form. Although "doers" may have a murky idea of what their goals are, because they lack the mind-muscle connection, they often become frustrated with their progress and quit altogether prior to achieving their goals. "Performers", on the other hand, use the mind-muscle connection to make steady progress toward their goals. In order to achieve their goals, they learn which exercises are most appropriate to achieve their goals and the proper methods for performing those exercises. They strive to gain an understanding of how their bodies function, not only during their training sessions, but also during their nutrition and recovery periods as well. To put it bluntly, "performers" actually care about accomplishing their goals/objectives and put forth the effort necessary to do so, while "doers" just are there putting in their time.
Tips to Help YOU Become a "PERFORMER":
1. Set goals and then reinforce them to yourself on a daily basis. I recommend using the SMART Goals technique. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Trackable.
2. Slow down. There is no need to get wrapped up in the "I want it yesterday" attitude of our society. "Rome was not built in a day" and neither will you achieve your goals in a day or even a week. Training/Exercise is a physical skill that has to be learned. Take your time and learn the right way to do what you are doing. You will be amazed at how much more productive your training sessions will be when you are able to do this.
3. Remember that just like any other learning curve, this one varies from individual to individual. Do not get frustrated because it takes you more time to learn something than others.
4. Mentally prepare yourself for your training sessions. There are many ways to do this such as listening to music (personally, something like Metallica suits me) or repeating a special personal phrase. "I am going to have the best workout of my life" is a good one. Anything that will get you in the proper mindset to have a great workout will work.
5. Training does require you to think about what you are doing while you are doing it. Additionally, it is a proven fact that mental awareness during exercise also carries a beneficial crossover to other intellectual activities.
The three main points that I would like everyone to take from this article are:
1) It is extremely important to set goals that are "YOURS" not someone else's. That way you will know EXACTLY why you are training.
2) Training/Exercise is a learning process so just because you do not "get it" after two repetitions of practice does not mean that you will never be able to perform that exercise. If you put the appropriate level of effort into doing your exercises properly, you will be rewarded by achieving your goals.
3) Training does require you to "be there" mentally in order for you to achieve optimal results. If you always bring your "A" game to each training session, you won't be disappointed with the results. My dad was correct. It IS easier to do it right the first time.
Troy M. Anderson, B.A., PES, CPT, is the owner of Integrated Evolution, LLC, in Tempe, AZ. The #1 goal of Integrated Evolution is to help clients and members achieve levels of strength and performance they may have thought were impossible to achieve, by providing the education and support to facilitate those goals. My philosophy is "if given an opportunity, there is always a solution." For more information about training for strength or performance enhancement, subscribe to my FREE newsletter go to http://www.integratedevolution.org Troy maybe contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or called at 480.227.8090.
Get Moving...The Benefits Will Last a Lifetime!
The benefits of physical activity are numerous and very well documented. Aside from substantially reducing the risk of dying of a heart attack, regular physical activity decreases the risk for stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain forms of cancer. Regular physical activity helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints and reduces the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis. Regular physical activity helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis and degenerative joint disease and reduces the falls among older adults. Regular exercise has even been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. As overwhelming as these benefits are, the sad fact is that less than half American adults do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. Less than 25% of adults are not active at all in their leisure time. The good news is, it's never too late to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle.
How To Get Started With Exercise: The Magic Pill Of Your Weight Loss Program
In a previous article, I mentioned the weight loss mantra of "Eat Less... Move More" and I wrote about how to choose the diet plan that could help you eat less. In this article I will discuss the "move more" part of the equation.
Are you in an exercise rut? Do you want to kick your fitness level up a notch and increase your endurance? Would you like to add more intensity to you workout? Interval training is a good way to achieve all of these goals in a safe and systematic manner.Interval training is simply a matter of alternating high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. It allows one to get the benefits of the high intensity work while giving the body some rest time. It allows one to extend a workout time period and build endurance gradually.Running on a flat surface burns calories and gives your heart and lungs a great cardiovascular workout. Running up hill challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, burning more calories and providing additional toning. But taking a 30 minute run up hill or on a steeply inclined treadmill would quickly exhaust most of us, or likely force us to stop early. However, running up hill then back down, or up hill then on flat ground would allow for high intensity work counter balanced by intervals of slower periods of active recovery. Interval training burns more calories and pumps more blood than continuous lower intensity exercise because it includes intervals of energy and oxygen-hungry work.Because interval training burns a lot of calories and provides good muscle work, it may help you save time. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks. Likewise, running one mile burns the same number of calories as walking one mile. But walking one mile takes a lot more time. If your goal is calorie burning and toning, and you are short on time, then interval training does more, faster. Just remember that improving cardiovascular health requires aerobic exercise of 30 ? 60 minutes, so don't make all of your workouts quickies, save those for when you're in a rush. Interval training can also be helpful if your goal is to move yourself up to the next level of endurance and fitness. Maybe you have been trying to start a running program, but can't seem to maintain such a demanding exercise. Interval training is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to train the body. Marathoners commonly use this method to train for an up-coming race. A good program is to run for 4 minutes then walk at a good clip for 1 minute, or do a 3/2 interval. Your body will work hard then rest (while remaining active), work hard then rest. Your heart, lungs and muscles will make the transition to running, running farther, or running faster in a safe and productive manner. There are a lot of ways to add intervals to your workout. If you are already a runner add hills or speed segments. If aerobics classes are your genre, add explosive moves like jumps or sprints. Include segments of speed walking in your normal walking routine or take the incline of your treadmill up a little higher at timed intervals.Interval training is productive and can add excitement to your ho-hum exercise routine. Doing interval work in place of your normal routine, once a month, once a week, or once a day, is a good and effective plan. E-mail me if you need suggestions on how to intensify, endure and enjoy. You'll be glad you did.
The Great Forgotten Exercise -- Parallel Bar Dips
When it comes to building lower pectorals, triceps and frontal deltoids, dips are without doubt one the best exercises I've ever used. They are seldom used nowadays and the reasons are plain to see: you have to be able to handle your own bodyweight for reps ? unless you have access to one of those fancy-dan machines that allow you to dip (or chin) with less than body weight.
Weight Loss and Exercise in Tough Environmental Conditions
Working out is working out, right?
Tone Up While at Work
I know better than anybody that sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your body. You don't get much movement and you can get what I like to call "spread butt"
Strength Training After Fifty
Strength training after fifty is no longer for those people who are having some sort of mid-life crisis. In fact, doctors are literally writing prescriptions to get this generation up and moving. They are taking out the pen and prescription pad, writing something barely legible, ripping it off the pad and handing it to more and more of their patients. So what's the result? Well the result is lots of people strength training after fifty years of age. It's magical. A doctor writes a prescription to strength train! No pharmacy necessary.
After WLS: Walking for Wellness
Step for step, mile for mile, walking is the best cardiovascular activity you can include as part of your weight loss surgery success story. Walking is easy, accessible, inexpensive, individual and effective. It is the gold-star sport for real people with real lives. Formerly stigmatized as cheap transportation and a senior citizens' sport it is now a credible and fashionable form of exercise. And it's been around for a long time ? anthropoids stood upright and put one foot in front of the other thousands of years ago and we haven't looked back since.
VO2 Max- Exposing the Myth
VO2 max is defined as the maximal amount of oxygen the body is able to extract and use to support work performed by the body. It is therefore an indirect measure of the aerobic power of the body, which is controlled by complex interactions between neural (brain and nervous system), cardiovascular (heart and lungs) and skeletal muscle factors. The equation for VO2 max it is equal to the product of stroke volume (the maximum volume of blood the heart ejects in a contraction) and the arterio-venous difference (the difference between the saturation of the arterial blood and that of the venous blood). The aerobic power of the body will change constantly throughout a well-designed running program due to physiological changes and therefore its usefulness in designing a program and determining running capabilities is questionable. This article aims to explain the reason VO2 max is a better indicator of fitness levels than running potential and conditioning program design.
Weight Training: The Real Weight Loss Exercise
So you want to lose weight? Chances are, you'll spend the next few days "pigging out" while in the back of your mind you resolve that ...Starting Monday, no more fried foods, no more between meal snacking, no more whatever it is you think is causing you to pack on those ugly pounds. So Monday rolls around and sure, you start out strong, eat right all day. Next day same thing, maybe you'll make it a week. Unfortunately, after a few days, you'll probably find yourself scoffing down a double whopper somewhere, and that will be it, the diet will be over, and you'll quickly gain back whatever weight you may have lost ?plus a few extra pounds just for good measure.
3 Exercises for Good Posture and a Six-Pack
These days many people spend a significant part of their day slaving away over a hot computer and as a result, their posture is not what it should be. Bad posture can result in short-term discomfort such as neck stiffness and headaches and also lead to more serious problems in later life. It is therefore worth spending some time to counteract the damage we may be doing to ourselves every day. But how about this - did you know that some of the same exercises that you can do to maintain good posture are the very same exercises, which if done regularly, can help you to achieve a six-pack? I am totally serious ? this is something I discovered recently while looking at different exercise routines because I wanted to do something about my own bad posture. As well as sitting and standing up straight, you will also look good on the beach next summer. Kill two birds with one stone!
4 Exercises That Will Help You Change Your Body Faster Than Any Other Exercises You May Have Tried
1. Lunges with a barbell. Properly executed, this exercise is the king (or queen) of total body reshaping exercises.
Tour of Diet ? Cycling for Your Health
The last seven years, or so, at the Tour de France has shown a success story that is very uncommon. Winning seven Tour de France championships is a feat that will be extremely hard to duplicate. Lance Armstrong knew it could be done, even overcoming a life threatening bout with cancer.
Exercising In Heat
Summer is officially here. Finally you can pack away your jackets and get outside. Summer offers extras hours of daylight and with it the opportunity to spend even more time enjoying outdoor activities. For many, this means more time doing physical activities and playing sports. So, it's important to remember the potential dangers that also come with exercising in hot conditions. As long as you know the dos and don'ts of working out in the heat, then you can fully take advantage of all the fun of summer.
Arthritis Exercise ? One Way to Relieve Pain & Stiffness in Your Joints (part 3)
There are three main types of exercises to include in a basic exercise program:
Exercise Smarter Not Harder ? 10 Ways to Make Consistent Progress in Your Exercise Plan!
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder personal trainer to movie stars, and former employee of Kathy Smith. For twenty years I have been able to keep my body fat levels lower than most, and consistently exercise five days a week, and having fun in the mean time. Not because I am anything special, but because I have learned a few tricks along the way, that I would like to share with you. Start incorporating them into your plan today and notice the difference tomorrow.
The Right Exercise Intensity
We've all heard the exercise guidelines that recommend we participate in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 3-5 times per week. That seems easy enough to implement. Or, does it? The duration and frequency guidelines are very straight-forward and easily defined. But, "moderate" intensity is often left to interpretation. So, how do we define "moderate"?
An Ab Exercise For Everyone!
I don't have much of a problem with belly pouch or bulge, since I've been doing one ab exercise or another for most of my life to make my abs flat.
How to Get Better Exercise Results By Improving Hydration
Water and Exercise
The Two Greatest Myths About Abdominal Exercises
If you have ever read a fitness magazine...
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