Forget About "No Pain, No Gain"

Forget About “No Pain, No Gain”

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

Have you ever heard the saying, “NO pain, no gain?” Growing up in athletics, we heard it all the time. Our coaches yelled it at us during sprints when we looked like we were tiring out. It was supposed to make us push harder, and it usually did. With the inception of high-intensity fitness programs, that same mentality has seemingly started to leak into the fitness space. The idea of doing crushing workouts or movements in hopes that we will reach our goals faster has sadly become the norm. There is a big problem with this.  Often, in our pursuit to work as hard as we can, we end up working harder than we need to. We inevitably forget about the road we’re on and the step we need to take now, forsaking it for the step we want to take next.

It’s Always Personal

One of the greatest things about fitness is that it is so personal. Everyone has their own reason for getting into it, and everyone has their own skyscraper to build. The problem is that as humans, we seem compelled to want things immediately. Maybe it’s because of the recent advances in technology that have made instant gratification increasingly common. This need for speed gets us in trouble though, when we start skipping steps in the process.

To build a skyscraper, first you must lay a foundation, then a frame, then walls. After all that is completed, you can start putting the fancy stuff on.  It seems like people want to jump right into the fancy stuff without laying a proper base first. Almost as if they are under the assumption that the fancier or harder things will get them to their goals faster. News flash, without mastery, or at least competence in the basics, the more advanced stuff is just more likely to do more harm than good. There is a reason exercises are progressed the way they are, and that reason is safety and longevity. Remember that three months of less intense workouts will add up to significantly more progress than one totally hardcore workout that leaves you broken and unable to train for three months.

Translation: No Pain, No Gain

So what does this mean in the real world? Well, if you can’t air squat without tipping over like a teapot, do you really think I should put a barbell on your back? The answer is no, by the way. We see it day after day. Why would I let you try to do push-ups on the floor if you can’t maintain a flat back in a plank, or do good, full range push-ups on a bar? I know the military and game show workouts look fancy and fun, but at the end of the day, you are not on a game show or in the military, so let’s be a bit smarter about this.

Another reason we tend to work too hard is we are afraid of looking weak or disabled while others watch us perform modified movements. For some reason, the idea of doing a modified workout makes us feel like we’ve entered the realm of one thousand eyes all staring down at you. The reality is that the workout has not been modified, IT HAS BEEN OPTIMIZED FOR YOU. That’s part of what makes State of Fitness so nice. It has a small group atmosphere.  State of Fitness trainers devote themselves to getting you the workout that is going to get you the best result. I feel like I want to say that again.



So, in the end, it all comes down to working smarter, not harder. Don’t be afraid to build your skyscraper as high as you want. Chase excellence, but remember that without a good foundation, it will collapse in on itself.

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