Tips for maximizing the time and outcome of your workouts
Story by Kyle Kercher
Some might say it’s the millennial in me, but I believe you shouldn’t work hard just for the sake of working hard. Instead, you should find ways to be as efficient and effective as possible to get optimal results from your hard work. This concept should be applied to our health and fitness just like our finances, career goals and family.
For any of these goals, the biggest variable to consider is the investment of our most valuable asset: time. Is the time invested in an activity worth the outcome? And is that activity as efficient and effective as possible to maximize the outcome?
For people who work out regularly, the lifetime investment of time is massive. Two concepts are certain:
1) Ensuring your workouts are aligned with as many benefits as possible
2) Constantly reevaluating your program, processes and systems
Thousands of people come through the front doors of our facility to perform all sorts of different workouts. A large percentage of people work their tails off. Some are dripping with sweat, pushing their boundaries; some go for miles and miles on treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, and the track. The health variables to consider are nearly endless, but among the most important are cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, power, joint stability, agility, balance, posture, and mobility.
Walking is one of my favorite activities, but it, along with jogging and some other aerobic activities, does very little to maintain your body’s range of motion, strength and posture. In fact, some of the stiffest individuals are the ones who walk and jog the most. Often times their focus is strictly walking or jogging for exercise. The point here is not to stop walking and jogging, but rather to make sure you include other types of exercise that may be outside of your comfort zone.
Then there’s high-intensity training, loved by some, feared by many. It isn’t sustainable for most people because it doesn’t feel very good to most people. We might engage in it for a month or a year, maybe even a few years, but long-term adherence is unlikely. One issue with high-intensity training is that it often lacks emphasis on other key training variables such as mobility, stability, strength, posture, and other technical aspects of training. These workouts may be hard, but they are missing some of the most foundational elements of a well-functioning body if the program is not designed and executed with attention to detailed variables. Ultimately, the goal here is to increase the number of people engaging in sustainable exercise behaviors that effectively improve a variety of health attributes.
Mobility, stability and strength allow our bodies to function best in our daily activities for the rest of our lives. This is where we might consider directing our focus. We need to be able to lift heavy objects from the floor or lift them over our head, lunge or squat to tie our shoes, and move our body in all sorts of different situations. A routine that includes a well-designed program with strength training features full mobility, stability and posture built into the protocol. Here are some pictures of a couple of my favorite mobility, stability and posture-based exercises.
Wall Angel: Move slowly and keep as many points of contact on the wall as possible.
Overhead Squat: The ultimate mobility exercise. Practicing this will help other exercises feel easy.
Kyle is a husband, entrepreneur, author, coach, and leader in Kalispell. He leads the Competitive Edge program at the Summit Medical Fitness Center. His new book, “The Mental Game — Grit, Growth, and Mental Toughness in Athletes,” is available on Amazon or at kylekercher.com/shop. Contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.