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  • Jakki Flaherty

How Much is too Much When it Comes to Fitness Part II

When asking for feedback on a personal or group training session I commonly hear that the session was good, but we could have done more. My response is often one of confusion. Done more? What does that mean? Does the person think that it was a poor training session? Did I miss the point in planning and stray from the stated goals? I know what some of you must be thinking. "Jakki, you are a professional. Shouldn’t you know the answer to the above questions?" Well, the real answer is that I do know, but I am in denial about acknowledging it. The real answer is that we have become accustomed to HIIT-style workouts. Workouts where we are left drenched in sweat, feeling beat up, and exhausted. The type of workout where we need to sit or lie down for a minute before we stand up and continue on with our day. We have become accustomed to workouts where we are instructed to do impossible exercises for many minutes straight. The goal is to have our muscles shaking and reach the point of fatigue 30 seconds into the exercise. We are told that this is where we build muscle when in fact you are doing the opposite. If training away your demons is your goal, this is a great way to train. You are left brain dead and with a body filled with endorphins, cortisol, and hunger. If you are training for a specific goal like getting stronger, developing more lean muscle mass, or working towards a physique change, then this is achieving the opposite of your training goal. The HIIT-style training sessions daily are breaking your body down and doing nothing to build it back up. In a world where we are constantly being told to improve our looks and embrace our bodies, this mentality is a stark contrast. Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a time and a place for a heart-pumping sweat-drenched training session where you are left feeling gassed. I just don’t think that time is daily, or even 4 days a week for that matter. Examine your training goals and ask yourself "What am I doing daily to support those goals?"


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