Quality not Quantity
Not so much quantity.
People are becoming more aware of this in their exercise activities now.
A few of years ago, I was training a couple of hurlers, county players, who were spending one and a half, to two and a half hours in the gym.
They were tired.
They weren't just physically tired, they were mentally tired from the boredom of pressing a weight in a desultory manner through the movements they were doing. They'd been taught that to get benefit from weight training, you had to spend time in the gym'.
To a point, that was true.
But the problem was that they weren't training. They pushed a few weights, took a break, chatted, talked about the weight they were using and added another bit, or did another couple of repetitions in the hope that they'd get stronger, faster, bigger, more muscular, more powerful, and achieve indomitable strength on the hurling pitch.
Now, in one regard they were on the right track. If they kept on doing that, there would likely be an increase in muscle strength, size, and eventually, efficiency.
However, physical training is a skill. And to exert an effective result on the body, the skill needs to be learned, practised and developed. So it isn't so much what you're doing, as it is how you're doing it.
What's important to remember when training is what goes on underneath the skin. it doesn't matter what you've got in your hand.
You can get as much from a concrete brick as you can from a Solid Gold, Designer Dumb-Bell.
So, every now and again, it's vital to go back to basics, ask yourself what you're seeking as you train, and tailor your programme accordingly.
But whatever you do, you need to learn the skill of thoughtful training. That's learning to focus on the movement you're performing. You need to think about the stance, the positioning of feet and hands, the element of balance, the tempo, the style of action, that suits you. You're the one doing the exercise and when you take these things into account you can alter the effects of the movement dramatically.
And it doesn't mean that you have to become encyclopedic about physiology or anatomy. It means that you try small adjustments as you train. You can shift a foot forward, or alter the angle of your body, or grip a bar or rope a bit tighter, or looser, or alter the tempo, or experiment with your breathing, shorten or lengthen the range of movement, or any number of other small changes that can make a big difference.
i've seen this hundreds of times over the years; where a body has made some small change in technique that doubles the value of a movement.
Never forget, training is a skill. It has fundamentals. They can be learned, and then adapted, modified to suit the style or the shape or the temperament of the person doing it.
this is what turns the activity into a developed skill, sometimes even to reach the level of artistry.
I often describe physical training as a type of muscular choreography. It can be a form of dance, with the same thought, focus and rhythm brought into it that blends the mind and the body and the spirit into a movement in which the entire Being becomes the doer of the act, and the recipient of the benefits.
It makes for efficiency, for effectiveness and a developed interest in application and progress.
Try this on your next exercise session. Think of it as an exercise in Concentration and Personal Development.
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