Category Archives: Principles of Training

Workouts don’t develop the body. Resting after them does.

I often hear fellow athletes and fitness enthusiasts bemoan that they missed a workout.

There’s a lot of reasons people have this attitude. Maybe someone’s counting calories, and they are too tired to burn their allotted amount today. Maybe they have a strict training plan, and they feel obliged to stick to it. Maybe someone’s worried that if they stop they’ll never go back because they’ve hated the workouts, hated the nutrition, and only do it for the looks—or the speed.

You can’t “miss” a day of training, especially if you’ve been training so much (or eating so little) that the reason you missed training today is because you’re exhausted. Continue reading Workouts don’t develop the body. Resting after them does.

Pain is NOT weakness leaving the body.

At one point or another, we’ve all been given those well-intentioned pieces of advice: push through it. Pain is inevitable. Not really, no. Pain is the body’s way of telling our conscious faculty—our “executive control”—that something is wrong. The sensation of pain happens so that we are aware of what is making us stop, so that we can consciously pick activities that won’t damage whatever is hurting.

Instead, we tune out the pain. We ignore what’s going on—and by doing so we become incapable of changing the conditions that led to pain in the first place. And the culprit is that well-intentioned advice: pain is weakness leaving the body.

Continue reading Pain is NOT weakness leaving the body.

Answering a common question: I want to run, but I keep getting injured. Where do I begin?

Nothing can show you the way to go better than an expert in the body’s biomechanics: a kinesiologist. But a lot of people think just like me: we’re too proud or too determined to let someone else micromanage our athletic development. We want to do it ourselves.

To do that, we had better start by understanding the principles that pertain to any dynamic system—including the human body. These are simpler than you may think. Consider the advice given to people that are trying to improve their social and personal relationships: the first step is to develop the channels of communication between parties. All future progress depends on that.

Continue reading Answering a common question: I want to run, but I keep getting injured. Where do I begin?