Train Your Body, Not Your Ego

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One of the biggest mistakes that is made in the fitness world is lifting to impress the ego, rather than lifting for health and wellness. What I am talking about is trying to lift weight that is completely too heavy, as well as, trying to perform cardio like they are 18 again.
This problem used to be strictly a guy thing, but now women are also falling into this bad habit. For some reason the phrase “Train Smarter Not Harder” was lost and replaced with “Grunt … I Can Do It”. Ego lifting is leading to higher levels of injuries then ever before and not just physical but mental as well. 


What do I mean by mental injuries? Basically, not only did the person physically get hurt but now their ego was hurt, and it has left a mark of failure and fear. Very few people just jump back up and try the thing that hurt them again. Instead they avoid it all together.
Had the individual started out slowly and eased their body into a training program they would not have gotten injured physically and mentally. Too many online programs do not progress people at the pace that they need to progress when they are deconditioned. In fact, most programs whether online or in person jump right in hardcore to get results as quickly as possible because they know that’s what the person is looking for in a program. Of course, there is always the disclaimer “Please consult a doctor before attempting any new exercise or exercise program”. Which 99% of the people never do, instead they just jump right in. After the very first workout they are so sore that it hurts to move for days because their intensity was too high. 


Why did this happen? First, the exercise routine was not personalized to the individual’s ability. Second, the exercise routine was designed to continuously motivate and push the individual to do every exercise to completion. Third, the ego took over and said, “Grunt … I can Do It”, when the body was saying “Slow Down, I Am Not Ready”.


Training for health and wellness means consulting with a qualified professional about your goals. Then have that professional perform an exercise assessment to find out if you have developed any muscular imbalances, as well as, flexibility issues. Muscular imbalances and flexibility issues can lead to injury very quickly and delay you from reaching your goals for months. A qualified professional will design a flexibility program, strength program and cardiovascular program to help you meet and exceed your goals safely. Whether you train with that qualified professional on a regular basis or just perform the plan they designed you should always make sure to get a checkup. Over time your form for each exercise can become altered simply because it felt better initially. This is how cumulative damage develops over time. Depending on the length of the program is exactly when you should check in again for another assessment. If you are following the program your flexibility should have increased, your strength both muscular and cardiovascular should have increased and best of all you should be closer to your goals.