Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is progress when the normal way is down?

I've been re-reading the post I put up yesterday from Bill DeSimmone and there are some elements that have been prompting some reflection.  I think it is worth re posting part of that post alone to highlight the particular issues that he got me thinking around:


...... being obsessed with “progression”  (is no good if it)  leads to injury or makes you dread training.

For me, “progress” in terms of amount of weight lifted is an obsolete standard.  As we age, “normal” is to decline; so, if the weights I handle stay the same, I’m ahead of normal.  The only way to maintain is to train regularly, and the way to train regularly is to avoid injury.

 In the early stages of training, weight and reps are perfectly valid standards.  But once you are strong enough and big enough, you have to weigh the possible marginal benefits of increasing weight and reps vs. the additional discomfort and strain.  For me, I find it a lot more useful to “progress” in terms of control of muscular actions, and the Bodyblade®, Bosu®, and ball are ways of addressing this.

 I think this is a really interesting and important point.  Sometimes the way in which exercise is presented, the idea seems to be that you can forever keep on progressing in terms of weight or reps....obviously that is untrue or else given time we would all be deadlifting 1000lb or whatever.    There is a ceiling.  How do we handle it? 

Bill has an interesting approach in changing the metric.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Exercising at all puts you outside of normal here in the US. Agree that most of us should give up the bodybuilder aspirations of continuous progress. For me, exercise is becoming more about replacing some normal human level of muscular activity. Still, not sure about the BodyBlade...

rezzrovv said...

The idea of maintaining as being ahead caused some new neurons to pop up. Interesting. I'm thinking the bodyblades could be a good warm-up or off-day exercise. My wife has tendon issues in one elbow so considering it for that also.

Anonymous said...

I have always found those consumer exercise gimmicky things to be less for other people, whether it's a blade or a ball or a shakey thing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm also not sure about the Body Blade/ball thing. Maybe when I'm 80. I'm at an age when maintaining is progress and that's fine. I've basically maintained for over 20 years, anyway, as I'm no stronger at 46 as I was at 26. At the same time, I'm nearly as strong at 46 as I was at 26 and don't look much different. Probably not many can say that. So far, a couple of HIT type sessions week and some good walking/hiking keeps from the exercise angst.

rod said...

If you are an outlier, just training is good enough. For most of us,training for "something" bridges the gap that leads to obcessiveness and injury. Train to do something helps most people but it if its a long term project we change direction or get lost.Strength is great but perspective is a necessary tool for the long term.