My understanding and belief of exercise is easy to do, first we set a goal which is not too specific like lose weight we may even set it at a certain weight say 70 kg, then we go for a walk, run, ride, or swim or partake in resistance training. Even if you are an amateur sports person who uses the off season to improve for the next season if you are just going to the gym and lifting weights with no specific area you wish to improve I belief you are just exercising. So how can you tell if you are just exercising, look at your program and ask yourself these questions:
1. Did you download it from internet site, if you did it is either a generic program or it was designed for someone else,
2. Did it come from a magazine, if so read 1
3. Are you copying a friend’s program or worse following the person who looks like they know what they are doing in the gym?
4. Are you constantly suffering from DOMS?
Now if you answered yes to any of the above there is a good chance you are exercising, maybe working even harder than what you need to, eating less or more than you need to and worse stressing your body to the point that you will end up burnt out or injured.
So I understand Training requires more planning, you need a specific goal on what you are going to achieve and how it benefits you, so if you’re a football player a goal might be to improve explosive power, or if you are not a sports person it could be to improve strength ,mobility and body composition, however whatever your goal is, it must be important and mean something to you.
Once you have set your goal you need to plan on how you are going to reach it, you need to individualise a program designed to target your weakness(can’t get this from a magazine), now once you have identified your weak area it must be worked on first, when I talk about a weak area it doesn’t have to be a strength issue it could be anything from nutrition, sleep maybe even stress. By constantly targeting a weak area you will continually progress towards achieving your goal. By following this method, you will soon realise how important recovery really is.
So if you want to improve your sporting performance or your health and wellbeing stop exercising and start training. Even better find a coach who can discover your weakness before they become a real issue.