How & Why to Challenge Yourself
Becoming stronger is a process of constant work and increasing effort requiring you to regularly challenge yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Once things become easy, you've stopped becoming stronger in that aspect. Things feeling easy is just a symptom of complacency, and if you become complacent in any aspect of your life it's easy for it to bleed into other areas including work, relationships, etc… like a wicked disease. Being complacent is a weakness keeping us from reaching our potential. It creeps into our lives when we stop trying to push our limits or challenge our potential. It makes us think that we can get something from nothing. When in actuality, nothing comes from nothing, no matter how you look at it. The only way to achieve your goals is to invest the time and energy required for your goal. Only continuously challenging your body, spirit and mind will keep you moving forward!
One thing that is constantly seen around the fitness industry is the misleading concept of getting more for less, decreasing the investment required to reach goals. People can't expect to train less and gain more ground. I can't put in less time and expect greater results. And though the reasons are many to keep me from putting in more time, I only need one to keep going, and that is challenging myself!
When we challenge ourselves it brings out a greater part of our strength than just following a good routine. When you truly challenge yourself, it requires not just more physical strength, but also your mental and spiritual fortitude to make up the difference where your muscles may not feel up to task. And this is where people find the reason to keep going. The challenge to be able to do more than last time, to be faster than last week, or beat the competition that beat you last time. Many sports and physical activities have venues and events to showcase the challenge, to put all the skills together and require as much as you have to give. Other physical activities don't have the large fields and weekly competitions, and here is where you, the individual, need to push yourself, or in other words, Challenge Yourself to do and be more than before.
Heavy challenges and threshold training shouldn't be done too frequently, but rather limited to the number of times your coach, doctor, or trainer tells you is acceptable. This kind of training is intense and should only be done under guidance and observation of a professional, always have a buddy to spot, or be beside you just in case something doesn't go according to plan. All of your body’s movements and functional systems will be challenged and signal to the body and prove to your mind that it can grow and do more. Here are some great ways to train for threshold and really challenge yourself:
-Pyramids, and reverse pyramids: Steadily increasing intensity and shortening duration of sets of an exercise: or vice versa
-Tempo Cardio: Going for a long distance as fast as you can.
-Finding your 1 repetition max.
-High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): performing repetitions of intervals at very high intensities with little rest.
-Tabata: an extremely intense bout of effort lasting 4 minutes.
-Aerobic Threshold training: With a trainer who is certified to find your VO2 max and Lactate Threshold, keep a pace at the determined intensity for a series of long intervals.
Keep pushing yourself, keep moving forward, and most importantly remember that it is important to find time and challenge yourself to find how high your potential truly is.
Be sure to stop in our locations in Boise, Meridian, and Nampa to consult with what nutritional supplements can help you dig deep and find that extra gear to challenge your training. Be sure to let us know that you read this blog and give us some feedback on what we can write about to help you along your fitness journey!
Every Day... A Little Stronger