Is Your Training Helping You?

Is Your Training Helping You?

I have some questions for you, my reader.  Why do you train?  How does training make you feel emotionally and physically?  Is your training changing your physical body and abilities in the way you expected?  Do you use training to feel better about yourself?

Emotions are powerful motivators.  People often make decisions based on how they feel.  Physical training and sports training are not immune to this influence.  Society recognizes that people can be emotional eaters or that people sometimes turn to substance abuse to feel better about themselves.  People also use physical training and sports to feel better about themselves.  It's important to recognize the role of these influences when deciding on training habits, training frequency, etc. 

How Often Should You Train? Emotions and Training

The answer to this question depends on your ability to recover from training and how much training do you need in order to get the result you are aiming for. 

Most people are physically able to train 4 or 5 or 6 days a week, but they are not able to recover from training done so frequently.  You can determine your optimal training frequency with a shift in your thinking.  Rather than asking yourself "how much training can I do this week?" ask yourself "how much training can i recover from this week?" OR "how much training do I need to get the result i'm aiming for?"

When you train is it because you had a bad day at work?  Or do you train because your body is recovered and training will improve your physical condition? 

When you train is it because you feel guilty for the desert you had at dinner last night?  Or the food you chose during the day?  When you train is it because you think you are a bad person for not being thinner?

If any of those reasons are your motivations I worry for you.  Training is fleeting and aging is inevitable.  The food choices you make don't make you a bad person.  Your exercise habits do not make you a good person or a bad person they are just activities.  Food is just food and exercise is just food.  Our lives are bigger than that and who we are is separate. 

When you make training decisions learn to understand your motivations.  I believe this is key to personal growth and can cause major breakthroughs in your training.  Once you accept who you are you can let go of negative beliefs and negative influences on your behavior and start to see the positive potential you have in front of you.  Here, you will make training decisions that help you rather than making decisions that compensate or fill areas you feel are lacking.

The Role of the Fitness Industry in your decisions

In my experience body fat is the number one measurement used to assess fitness or training success.  Man, this one scares me.  It is a goal presented as a health goal (and this is not entirely off) but it is used in a way that manipulates people's self worth and self perception.  Health practitioners and the health industry are quick to champion people with low body fat and shame those that don't fit that mold.  I see many mangled bodies that are presented as healthy and as a role model even though they are clearly wrecked.  The ONLY factor analyzed is body fat or muscle size (both of which are irrelevant in performance). 

The personal training industry endorses this egocentric viewpoint.  As a result the majority of training ignores ALL other aspects of physical preparation and the human as a WHOLE. 


The New Year is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.  Every day is a moment to do this.  Develop yourself as a Whole person.  Learn to love yourself no matter what, learn to love others for their unique viewpoints even if they are different than your own, learn to experience nature and the world without expectation or judgement.  Make training decisions that truly better your health and happiness and as a result your performance in life and the sports you enjoy.

I love this quote from The 5 Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz (I paraphrase)

If you live your life through knowledge, you miss the experience of life - Don Miguel Ruiz

Tom LegathComment