An effective workout depends on the alignment of several influences. It’s not as simple as having the correct weight or number of reps. In order for a work out to truly be effective it needs to work along with your preferences, resources, and even your own body.
The more alignment you have, the easier it is to accomplish what you want. It’s also easier to maintain those results. On the other hand, a misalignment of influences can make it almost impossible to achieve your results and any progress will be very short-lived.
Let’s take a look at some of these primary influences and what you can do to achieve better alignment.
Influence #1 Alignment of Training Stimulus
All physical activity creates a stimulus for your body. Even now, you’re stimulating how your body should adapt based on your posture and movement.
All workouts do something, but the question is if your workout is creating a stimulus that’s in alignment with your goals. For example, running 5 miles is a fantastic stimulus for training your body to be able to run 5 miles. If that’s your goal then it would be in perfect alignment. However, if your goal is to improve your golf swing or do a one arm push-up then it would be in misalignment with those goals.
Ultimately, an effective training stimulus comes from your application of muscle tension. Check out my book, Smart Bodyweight Training, on the effective use us muscle tension to build muscle, burn fat or improve functional performance.
Influence #2 Alignment of Resources
An effective workout should fall within your available resources. These include how much time and energy you have, as well as your physical resources such as equipment.
Resource strain is one of the biggest reasons why people have been consistent workouts as their high maintenance approaches require too much time and energy. This is why the primary approaches of the red Delta project emphasize efficiency in order to make as little demand on your resources as possible.
Influence #3 Preferences
Effective workouts also work with the alignment of your personal preferences. They tend to emphasize the things you enjoy or gain the most reward from.
Granted, sometimes it’s necessary to practice activities we may be uncomfortable with. However, there is usually a lot of flexibility in how you can go about accomplishing your goals.
For example, if you want to burn calories to speed up weight loss you can do that with almost any number of physical activities. You don’t have to necessarily run or even do a lot of cardio. So it’s running or cardio is something you’ve always deeply disliked then you probably don’t need to do it. You’re probably better off practicing other activities you enjoy doing.
Influence #4 Abilities
Naturally, the whole point of an effective workout is to challenge and improve your capabilities. However, you can only improve upon the things you can currently do so it’s essential that any workout is in alignment with your present physical abilities.
As you become more used to using your body, you’ll become more comfortable with that exercise as you can push your abilities to stimulate progress.
Influence #5 Physical alignment
Lastly, improving your physical alignment will decrease the stress in your joints while making it easier, and more comfortable, to push your limits.
Many injuries and discomfort in the body come from a misalignment of either poor body position or use of muscle tension. It’s easy to blame an exercise for the issue, like saying lunges are bad for the knees, but these problems come from a misalignment rather than the actual exercise itself. Once you can identify and correct the misalignment, the problems not only disappear but that same exercise can be used to heal and prevent those very issues.
Above all, your workouts are supposed to be challenging but they shouldn’t be a struggle. If they Start to feel like a daily battle check to see if there is a slight misalignment occurring in the above influences. Ignoring that misalignment could cause it to get bigger over time and cause serious problems.