Do you ever feel like you’re doing too much sometimes?
The third sickness in four weeks. First it was strep, then the viral upper respiratory flu thing that didn’t want to go away, capped off with the stomach bug. As I pulled my head away from hovering over the toilet I had to laugh. “Seriously God, can’t I catch a break!? I need my energy back!”
I’ll tell you what He said later. All I know is when things get out of hand my hashtag becomes #SomethingsGottaGive. So I fall back on three training principles that help me stay grounded and on a path to peak performance in life. My guess is you may need to apply these same concepts to your own life.
1. JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD
It’s like the guy who told me he was going to run a 10 mile race even though he never ran more than 3 miles before. I told him he could probably force himself through the 10 miles but it wouldn’t be smart. Most likely he would put himself at major risk. His ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles, and respiratory system weren’t prepared for that increased distance. So although he may feel ok during the event, he would be paying for it afterwards.
2. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS
Body awareness is a difficult thing to teach clients but a crucial component to maximizing one’s training. Understanding your body and where it’s at in space, or how it’s moving both properly or improperly, where you’re supposed to feel something during an exercise, how to make things more challenging, or how to modify to avoid pain, is invaluable awareness that doesn’t come easily for many.
If I call out 30 burpees in a class setting and you have nagging sciatic pain, you should be prepared to do a modified version so you’re not putting your hips and back in a vulnerable position. You can’t worry about what others are doing or try to compete at a level you’re not at yet. In all that you do at the gym you need to know where you’re at and where you can take it.
3. LOAD GRADUALLY.
Chances are you know someone who jumped into a ninety minute workout session after not working out for three months. Perhaps you are that person. Or you saw a young athlete try to max out with 100lbs more than they can handle and you cringe when they almost dropped the barbell on their chin.
Progression should be gradual. You can’t load up too quickly. Ironically, sometimes de-loading will get you more results. Go light and do it right. When you slow down the movement, control reps with full range of motion, and lighten the volume, you may gain more in the long run.
Tell me these concepts don’t apply to life.
I have come to the realization that I’m not superman. Maybe you’re the type of person that can juggle an insane amount of workload. I know I can’t. When I have too much going on I can only give people and experiences a portion of my potential and in my opinion, that’s not fair nor is it peak performance.
Phases happen and we’re all going to get caught up in the commotion from time to time. The challenge is to be aware of it and catch it, so something else can give before we do.
As I sit here writing this article my eyes draw up to a large framed picture hanging on our living room wall. The words state, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
I’m not going to attempt a mega conclusion here. It comes down to this, the above three training principles will help us better fulfill this scripture. We can’t do what Mark 12:30 says, to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” when our life is full of distractions and our energy is depleted.
You may say you can get by on five hours of sleep every night. You may think you can add more to your schedule and enlist in more activities. You may be able to manage a life full of chaos. But I would say don’t get caught in the trap. God won’t give us more than we can handle, but the enemy will. Even great, positive, productive things he’ll put in our way to prevent us from pursuing God.
God’s response by the way, “I’ve got you right where I want you. Cast no other idols before me. When I am number one, all will work out better than you could ever imagine.”
I’m guilty. I say I put God first. Doing less, knowing my limits, and going light and doing it right will make my actions show it.
I encourage you to do the same.
And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.