“Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.” That’s what my coach used to say to me. And it’s true when working out in the gym. Yes, we all feel tired; it’s been a long day, the daylight is short, we’re burned out after the holidays. And easily we can think, getting to the gym and sleepwalking through the workout is better than not working at all, right?
Well, I would like to suggest an alternative. Be deliberate in your movements. Yes, it’s easy to imagine not moving from your couch and it is vitally important to get the foot in the door to workout. But a conscious twenty minute workout is far more effective than being a Scooby-Doo-like zombie sliding from machine to machine.
Even if you’re not tired you’re mind might be racing to the grocery list, the preparation of a post-workout meal and that work call you have to return before the day is out. Or maybe, you’re having a completely out of body experience and are mentally sitting in the audience of The X Factor, while glazing at the tv screen in front of your treadmill. All of these scenarios involve “mindless” working out and that is not only far less effective, it’s actually dangerous. If you’re doing a lunge and you’re mind is on autopilot your knee is likely to drunkenly swagger and you’re foot will go it’s own route from the rest of you and the next thing you know you’re sitting in your orthopedist’s office hearing the words “scope, repair, miniscus tear.”
When I teach my clients how to do a fencer’s lunge I like to use this example. “Ok, you’re one of the three musketeers and you’re about to challenge someone to a duel. If you sloppily and lethargically lunge at your opponent, you’re gonna just knick them and that’s probably gonna just piss them off and then they’re gonna kick your ass. If you start something you better mean it. If you perform a lunge every line in your body should be clean and activated.”
My point: if you’re working out, make it count. Move with deliberate control and the unison of your mind and body. It’s ok if you workout is short, but make it a perfect practice.