It seemed like a good idea at the time…….
With all of the hype and promise within our fitness culture, there is a great big elephant in the room that we ignore at our own peril.
This big elephant is what I call the inconvenient truth about diet and exercise stress.
The truth is in the following 3 parts:
#1 Our desire for further results is limitless. We always want to be leaner, faster and stronger.
#2 The stress we can place upon ourselves is also infinite. We can always place more weight on the bar, run a longer distance and place more restrictions on our diet.
Sounds good so far, but………..
#3 Our ability to withstand and recover from said stress is in fact finite and we can only handle so much.
What these three rules add up to is that in the world of fitness and body transformation we are constantly engaged in a chicken race against an opponent that will never chicken out. No matter how strong we are, the universe will always be able to pile on more than we can handle.
Sometimes our infinite desire makes us place so much stress upon ourselves that bad things happen.
- Dieters keep cutting out foods until they don’t eat enough to sustain healthy nourishment.
- Weight lifters keep adding so much weight that their form suffers and injuries occur.
- Workouts become so long that they push other important aspects of life aside.
- Diet and exercise routines can become so rigorous that little time or energy is left for other pursuits in life.
- Over use injuries occur from activities that simply wear the body out faster than it can heal and recover.
For the serious fitness fanatic these sorts of outcomes are inevitable sooner or later if the stress just keeps being piled on. What’s important is to recognize that they are signs that things may be going a little too far for our own good. Unless your career is dependent on milking as much out of your fitness as possible, there is little benefit to seeing how far you can push yourself before you break.
The good news is that you can still have fantastic results without placing yourself at much risk. You don’t have to play chicken with the unstoppable forces of the universe to get in shape.
In the next post I’ll cover some ways to elevate how much stress you can handle for greater gains.