How many reps? Sets? How many calories?
Are these REALLY the tough questions we should be focusing on in our workout? Short answer: these ARE important elements! Question is, in the long term, are THESE the most critical elements to a successful program? What if there were a little more to it?
The reality is there’s a lot to a successful fitness program and most of what ensures achievement is largely unseen. While it takes a quantifiable amount of education to design a sound, successful protocol, it doesn’t take a great deal to recognize that many elements from one program tend to resemble those from another. A great example would be repetitions. Pretty hard to make twelve repetitions in one program look very different from twelve repetitions in another.
If so many elements are similar, what is the difference and what do we need to be asking? It may be very simple:
How comfortable is this?
Is twelve repetitions the right range? Or, should we ask, how much did the last few reps make my muscle BURN? Maybe I could slow the movement down, follow a stricter tempo.
Why would I perform workout protocol X, when I am much more familiar and comfortable with protocol Y? Isn’t protocol X, which I’ve been doing for a while, proven to be more ‘beneficial’ for me? Especially after all this time? Maybe a few modifications would confuse the muscle and force them to adapt.
Is a particular caloric intake enough to achieve my goals?
Or, is it more productive to ask, am I consuming QUALITY calories to nourish my physique and my recovery? How often am I consuming ‘comfort foods’ instead of whole foods with a productive nutritional value?
Comfort levels are based on the familiar and the familiar is rooted in what we have always been doing. Isn’t it common knowledge that if you want something you’ve never had you must do something you’ve never done?
Here’s a tough question:
‘am I knee deep in a comfort zone, or is this something that would encourage adaptation? Is this uncomfortable because its not the right thing to do, or because its placing me outside of what I’ve been doing for a while?’
These questions might help us get to one of the most important concerns about health and fitness. ‘Can I stand to remain the same? This same body weight, this same body composition, this same level of performance?’ If the answer is no, the next question is going to be the most painful.