Everything starts with a thought. That’s why the mindset you have when you go into the gym is important. It can determine the outcome of your workout.
Fitness culture today exhorts us to push and exercise past our limits. We’ve all heard the slogan “no pain, no gain.”
But just how far should we push ourselves? At what point does the physical pain of exercise become injurious and counterproductive?
It’s true that some of us have a problem pushing ourselves at all. It’s hard for these people to get motivated enough to get to the gym, much less finish a workout. To these people, workouts are chores to be finished as quickly and painlessly as possible.
But for others, it’s quite the opposite. They take things to the extreme and become victims of their zealousness. They go into the gym and use weights that they cannot handle with good form. They perform too many exercises. They over- train and strain. These people may end up actually causing themselves more harm than good.
Your goal when you go into the gym should be to stimulate, not to annihilate, your muscles. In other words, the idea is to stimulate muscle tissue enough to make it to respond favorably. But over-training or pushing weights that you are not capable of handling with good form can lead to tissue damage and injury.
So here’s how you can develop the right training outlook…
The burning pain you feel in your muscles during training is the result of lactic acid buildup and fatigue. That’s a good thing.
But if you’re feeling pain in your joints, or feel something ‘grinding’ while you’re working out; or feel sharp pains from the onset of an exercise, then you are potentially injuring yourself. That’s not a good thing.
Pain perception is largely subjective, but it’s important for you to learn to distinguish between these two types of pain.
In summary… “exertion pain” is good. “Injurious pain” is not. Make it a point to get in touch with your body and listen to its feedback. Your body will let you know when it’s hurt.
Mild soreness is normal and is a sign that you’re challenging your body enough to create positive changes.
On the other hand, chronic pain and inflammation are signs that something is wrong and should be attended to.
Learning how to balance how hard you push yourself is important to your long-term success in changing your body.
Push yourself, but respect your body too.
Think about that as you do your workouts this week.
Yours in health,
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.