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Sometimes false statements are rooted in truth, and this statement is a great example (NO PAIN NO GAIN). After all, whenever you decide to make a life change, you need to get out of your comfort zone. And doing that involves discomfort/pain, right?
The problem is that we often take this thought process a few steps too far, and start looking at the value of our workout sessions based on how much they hurt. This usually leads people to poor decision making when choosing exercises.
What I notice from the average fitness novice is that they choose these 3 activities (jogging, crunches, and static stretching) as core exercises of a sound fitness program. While any or all of these activities might have a place in the proper training program but for the most part, they're all overrated for most people.
The list of questionable things we do in the name of pain is long indeed: forced reps, training to failure, long-duration jogging, Bikram yoga, P90X, Insanity, compound sets, giant sets, drop sets, high-rep Olympic lifts for time, fasted training, super slow training, the list goes on and on…
Please don't miss my point – everything on this list can be potentially beneficial under the right circumstances and in the right context. In fact, I personally prescribe some of these techniques in my programs. The problem is the decision to do these things is rarely made for rational, evidence-based reasons – we find them appealing because they hurt, and NO PAIN NO GAIN….right???
The rest of this column is a post from Charles Staley (his website http://tffitness.wpengine.com/our-team/ )….He sums up my opinion of jogging very elegantly. Please read on! Also watch my video of the Corporate Cup in Omaha below.
“Confusing Correlation With Causation - This common error is actually a component of Scientific Ignorance. Here's how it happens.
Let's say you're watching a professional basketball game, and you can't help but notice that pretty much every player on the court is exceptionally tall. You then conclude that the activity of playing basketball (which we'll call "A") causes tallness (which we'll call "B").
In truth (and obvious in this example but, trust me, not so obvious in many others), basketball doesn't cause tallness, but rather, is associated with it. Since tall people tend to be more successful at playing hoops, it's common to see tall people and basketball happening in the same place at the same time, and you therefore mistakenly believe that A causes B.
In the mostly non-rational world of fitness, many, many poor exercise and nutritional decisions are based on this error.
Case in point: Jogging.
I know I covered this activity in Reason #1 above, but jogging deserves special attention due to its very poor benefit-to-drawback ratio for most people, and because it's a great way to illustrate my point about causation versus correlation.
The evidence against jogging is so abundant it needn't be regurgitated here, but suffice it to say that jogging is probably the most effective form of non-surgical gender-reassignment available to those of you itching to explore your feminine side.
Jogging reduces strength, power, and muscle mass. It increases catabolic hormone output, punishes joints, and, in summary, basically reduces every commonly accepted marker of masculinity.
Apart from the undeniable pain factor, most people jog because many of the joggers they see are thin, and therefore believe that jogging causes thinness. Of course, the reality is that only thin people actually enjoy jogging, in much the same way that strong people enjoy lifting and flexible people enjoy stretching.”
The point of this post is to hopefully stimulate your thought process in how you choose your MODES of exercise to better increase your quality of life! Not all things we do for fitness need to make us feel like broken down feeble beings. So when you do (over a series of workouts) more work, you get fitter. Yes, that work might hurt sometimes, but it's not the primary goal – at least if you're smart.