Monday, December 18, 2006

Finding A Balance

I often hear and read about people who are concerned about "how much they can lift" or "how much body mass" (a term that ranks right up there with the word "bulk" - both meaning "I workout but there's a nice layer of fat over all my muscle") or they just focus on how large their arms are but fail to focus on any other aspect of their health. Health (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) needs to be an issue that everyone should address and balancing it can be hard. General health is an issue that is overlooked too often. The doctor isn't going to be too impressed when you walk in for a physical and tell him you can squat 300 pounds but you're over weight, get winded walking up the stairs and your blood test results have him wondering how you've made it this far.

It is my firm opinion that an individual not only should be strong but also have a good level of fitness (the ability to perform daily functions with relative ease). Individuals need to focus on a safe and productive strength program, incorporate some type of conditioning work along with proper nutrition and a dose of recovery. Personally, I hold true to a philosophy of training that enables one to become stronger and more fit. This is done by performing a handful of compound exercises for 1 set to muscular fatigue or failure with a minimum (no more than 1 minute) of rest between exercises. Unfortuanately a lot of people worry about what the numbers (weights) are on the bar instead of focusing on working as hard and as quickly between sets as they can. Go in to many commercial gyms and clubs and you'll find people conversing and sitting around more than exercising. In fact, if you were to actually calculate the amount of exercise time they put in it probably would amount to about 30 minutes of activity. Hmm, where have we heard that before? The body isn't chasing a personal record - the mind is and that is all well and goodwhen it's time to run 2 miles or play with the kids or go for a hike it's your strength AND level of conditioning (general health) that enables you to do more than sit on the couch in between workouts.

"Train With A Purpose"

Fred Fornicola