February 28, 2024

Now that it is College Basketball playoff season and we have passed the sweet 16 and are closing in on the final 4 we get to see a lot of young kids interviewed after games and often they say things like “I gave it 100%” or “I left everything I had on the court” or my very unfavorite (as my daughter would say) “I gave it 110%”.

Gave it 110% eh? Well that does not even make sense but the reason that people say that is that they want to stress that they had nothing left except what they did today.

The fact is it is impossible to give your workouts, whether cardio 100% of everything all of the time. You have off days and you have times when you are a bit tired or your diet is not quite there on a particular day.

To really make gains ion strength or weight losses in fat you need to go beyond your norm, beyond 90% and remember how these college athletes do things trying to get to the final 4.

I have always been a believer that if I do a set of bench press the first few reps are useless for strength increases. The only reps that matter are the ones where you are pushing past your already known strength limits and reaching to levels of strength where you have never been, the last couple of reps is where all of the muscle gets created so your bod knows what is needed next time.

Similarly when doing cardio, the first few minutes of a ride or a run are just the warmup. I never look at the workout as really being fat burning and endurance generating until I am over 30 minutes or when I am over 80% of my max heart rate.

This week look at all of your workouts. Are you pushing as hard as you can? Are you going through the motions? I know that there are down times but if you are not reaching your goals right now, why not “Go the extra mile”?.

Get a new sense of what is possible by pushing harder and faster in the next couple of weeks to levels of fitness that you have never reached before.

My New Spring Running

Right now I am starting a new running regimen that I haven’t done in at least a couple of years and I am sore, really sore for a couple of days after. Even though I whine and complain, I know that this is what it is going to take to flex those muscles physically, to push myself to a new normal level of strength and capacity that my hips, and knees, and those seldom used muscles in my core are just not used to.

The other thing that I am trying to really dial in is my diet. Getting a better handle on whole foods, eating less junk, and making sure that my body has the fuel to heal itself. For rest I am getting a bit more high quality sleep and stretching to get the lactic acid out of my muscles.

As hard as it is in pushing past your self imposed limits, in the end, right after the workout even, it is very satisfying. The results come fairly quickly and you know it hurts and your body needs to heal in between, but doing these hard pushes a few times a year gives you so much more confidence in what you are capable of. You go to bed with more satisfaction.

Even though getting up in the morning can be a bit more difficult and there is a bit of wincing when I go down the stairs right now, I am waking up with a smile on my face and I am sure you are as well.

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