Your Approach To Exercise Tells Me Everything About Your Life.
Your workout behaviour mirrors your life behaviour. This, I am certain of. I haven’t met anyone that behaves differently in both.
Let me explain.
I had a conversation with a client yesterday about how he deals with the transitions between exercises. He’s learning gymnastics and his program is quite difficult. We’re progressing, but I know something very key is holding him back.
Namely, how he transitions from one exercise to the other.
The second an exercise is done, he loses his correct posture, rolls his eyes and literally turns his brain and body off until it’s time for the next exercise.
Why is this a limiting behaviour?
Because it is damn hard to get somewhere if every time you stop your car, you turn it off. Coasting, sitting idle, but still with the engine on ready, is much more productive in the long term. As you may have noticed, if you improve your posture in life, if you practice your exercises in the morning every day, your workouts become easier…so it begs the question, “Is it only what you do within your workout that matters?” and “Is it only the exercises themselves that matter?” The answer is No.
So, what happens in those moments? When I count down, “Two reps left”, “Last rep”….. “Done” and then it’s over. Well, psychologically a lot. First of all, it tells me that he has lost his power. He is only “on” when I say he’s on, which means he is telling his body that I am the boss and not him. So, he needs to remember that HE is the boss. He chose this program, he chose his goals and he wants it, badly. But, he has forgotten that.
Also, he is telling his body and mind that he doesn’t want it. He isn’t taking responsibility; he isn’t OWNING the process. The second the exercise is over he also is assuming his default “rest state” which is “mind numb and escapism”, think of nothing and exit my body.
I have noticed this the last few sessions so and thought I’d ask him a few questions. I started with “When you’re at work, in between tasks or projects, what do you do?” His answer was, “Nothing”. I wanted more detail. “What do you actually do specifically?” He answered, “You Tube, scan my phone….nothing”. Well, I already knew that. You know why?
How someone is when they workout is 99.9% how they are in real life.
The client that I am talking about here is not unlike many, many others.
He is demonstrating the art of “compartmentalization” of life, of workouts, of exercises etc.” When he is “on”, he’s on, but when he’s off, he is literally off.
What’s the problem here?
Well, it is the “in between of things” that demonstrate your power. It’s the little things that add up. It’s in the moments before you’re on when you prepare, you strategize, you visualize, you dream, you tell your body and mind what your intention is. These things add up to better performance for you in everything you do.
If he keeps his engine on in between and keeps idle by walking around, maintaining good posture, grabbing water, asking what exercise is next so he can prepare, lower his breath purposefully, do you think the next exercise would be easier? You’re damn right it would be.
Why do we turn everything off in between? Because we have this idea that turning everything off makes things easier, that completely letting go means that we are “resting”, but really, we are powering down which means powering up takes MUCH more energy than going from idle to “GO”.
I see people do this with their lives ALL THE TIME.
They don’t think about work, don’t do work, don’t strategize or work on their skills AT ALL during their “off” times and when they’re asked to be on special projects, take on more responsibilities or opportunities, it’s always “NO” because it doesn’t fit into the compartment of work, they think it’s bleeding into the space of “life”.
What if instead of turning our engines off completely, they were simply idle, ready to go if needed?
What if elements of our life were fluid and we allowed one to influence and inform the other? What if my life is made better by taking on a special project at work? What if my work was more productive, more rewarding because my life bled into my work?
What if my relationship engine was idle at work so if I get surprised at work by my beau, I’m happy and embrace that? Instead of being completely thrown off and mean if I’m interrupted? Or, what if my work engine was left idle so when Monday morning rolls around I’m not scrambling and totally ill prepared for my day?
What if I thought about my exercise goals when I’m meeting a friend for coffee or driving in my car. What if I work on my posture during the day, will my training be easier and more fulfilling the next time?
My money is on Yes.
Do away with compartmentalizing your life. It is all one.
You can organize and separate the clothes in your closet, but if you try and do this with your life, nothing will move forward. You will be passed up for promotions, you will stay in the same house for 10 years, you won’t purchase that dream property, you won’t make the best of the time you have together with your sweetheart.
And that handstand will take you years.
I know my client is reading this, why? Because he does want to get better and he does want to live an EPIC life. So, hey, I see you, stand up straight!
It is all one and it all matters. Get better with your transitions between events, meetings, projects, destinations, meals, dates… Prepare, dream, visualize, rest, but keep your engine on.