Originally Posted by Andrew Wilson
Some people take exercising very seriously.
I know what you're saying here. But it made me think . . .
I take exercising very seriously, too. I just don't define "seriously" as "Death before DNF."
If I work as hard as I can when it's called for, quit working out when the cost of the workout exceeds its value, and I walk out the gym at least a little closer to my goal than the day before, I've had a good workout. To my mind I've demonstrated my seriousness about getting better and achieving my goals. I don't skip out on workouts, quit before quitting time, or put in less than I have in me that day. I take every rep and every second of training seriously, and I enjoy doing so. But I refuse to accept that I'm accepting mediocrity because I don't push myself beyond what is needed to maximize my results.
I think it's easy to confuse "exhaustion" with "productive workouts." In the clients I train, I regularly (like, every single session) mention that they've gotten more done this time than last time. More cardio time. A higher resistance level. More weight. More reps. Less time. Lower heart rate for the same work. Shorter rest. Whatever it was that day, they've done more and should take that home as proof that they are putting in good work.
And on the subject of hard work, I don't define it as "Grinding out each day and not stopping." That's only one kind of hard work. Laboring in a coal mine is nice, but coal miners don't want their kids to be coal miners and it's not because they don't value hard work. If I do more today, if I'm more productive and useful today, and I go home knowing my clients are better for what I've done for them today and my students go home with more knowledge and ability than when they arrived, I'll call that a good day's work. I don't need a sore back to prove I've done something useful.
Heh. Sorry, that's a little ranty. And it's not aimed at you but rather the attitude your quoted person's essay encompassed. Yeah, some people take it seriously. Too seriously, and define training by feelings of exhaustion rather than long-term results. I think that's a terrible mistake. All IMO, etc.