DO Sweat the Small Stuff

When it comes to warm & fuzzy inspirational quotes about life, we are often told “don’t sweat the small stuff”. But when it comes to our health and our fitness, this could not be farther from the truth.

In fact, it was one of my own clients who, when I was in the midst of explaining what makes our training philosophy different, said, “so, what you’re saying is, I should sweat the small stuff?” Well, she might have used another word instead of “stuff”, but that’s beside the point.

And this is not meant to be misconstrued as meaning one should become obsessed with health, fitness and their body. Believe me, balance is critical to sustaining success.

What I am saying is that the fitness industry has evolved to lead the general public to believe that the best & the only way to get stronger, leaner & more powerful is to do more, faster & harder. Yet, as we learn more and more about the body, we must finally abandon this idea in lieu of the idea of high-quality movement.

Did anyone ever master a sport, or any skill for that matter, by simply jumping right into the advanced moves and performing them without care or thought? Did anyone learn to play the piano by just carelessly, haphazardly tapping random keys? When did we start to believe that we could somehow change our bodies with such utter disregard for quality, for precision?

So what does high-quality movement mean? What does precision look like in the realm of fitness? And why should we care?

Firstly, most people have some desire to become better at something. We are human. We are competitive in nature. We like to win. We like to be the best. Whether that is being the best runner, being the best mother, being the best golfer, or simply feeling amazing in our bikini.

So, if we truly desire these things, it wouldn’t be so crazy to think that it might take a little bit of focus and high-quality training in order to achieve our goals, right?

To keep it simple, I want you to walk away with an understanding of what low-quality movement (imprecision) and high-quality movement (precision) look like, and how you can start enhancing your training now.

Low Quality Movement:

  • what we see in most gyms
  • rushing through movements & exercises
  • thoughtless, careless, lacking intention
  • does nothing to promote optimal joint function & muscle activation/recruitment
  • lacks progression – no goal of performing the exercise with greater range of motion, control, fluidity, load, complexity, etc.
  • exacerbates pain, tightness, weakness, and vulnerability to injury
  • Example:
    • doing as many “burpee push-ups” as possible in a minute even if that means we are no longer using our upper body muscles properly and are placing strain on our low back instead.

High Quality Movement:

  • we do not see this in most gyms
  • taking time to perform each movement – quality over quantity
  • precise, thoughtful, intentional, purposeful, focused, mindful, progressive
  • promotes optimal joint function & muscle activation/recruitment
  • progressive – the goal of each repetition is to perform the exercise with greater range of motion, control, fluidity, load, complexity, etc.
  • alleviates pain, tightness, weakness, and prevents injury
  • Example:
    • Learning how to do a proper push-up from the ground by training proper shoulder & pelvis function in order to recruit upper body muscles rather than overusing the low back.

So next time you are going through your workout, take a moment to consider if the way you are training is designed to really help you get better. Or is it designed to just get you through it?

Are you training with precision? Are you sweating the small stuff?

Contact melanie.schneid@gmail.com for information on claiming your complimentary introductory personal training session, online programming/training, and to answer any questions you may have on how to truly train your body for results!

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