So, to answer that question we need to recognize:
WHAT IS EXERCISE?
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Now that we have identified your goals and mentally worked past any and all limits it is important that we work through the next question: What is exercise? I understand that this may seem elementary but you will be shocked at how many people get this question wrong. More importantly, you yourself might not truly understand the real definition of exercise. But in order to get the body you want this must be the very first thing you understand.
This might actually shock you, but exercise is not sport. That’s right, marathon running, swimming, playing tennis, basketball, even surfing and martial arts like kickboxing or boxing are sports—they are not a strength training and conditioning exercise routine. What do I mean?
Let’s start at the beginning:
There is sport and there is exercise—the two are very different. We often mistake one for the other between many people have taken up recreational sport activities as a way to stay active and fit—using a sport as a form of “exercise.” However, sports are not your exercise routine. Recreational sports like swimming, running, playing tennis or basketball are activities or, sometimes, hobbies. Your exercise routine is the strength and conditioning regiment used to get you in shape for your sport and to help you fortify your body and avoid injury from your sport, as well as in your life. The only exception is bodybuilding and, to a point, power lifting—however power lifters still have a strength and conditioning routine to help fortify them for their sport specific lifts. So why are we confused? To be honest, the word “activity” is bland, while “exercise” merits huge amounts of recognition and respect amongst our friends and peers. When I say I exercise it means I have discipline, it means I am strong and healthy and I care about myself. Activity on the other hand feels like a random act of anything. You might still be confused—I know I was. I thought that people who play basketball with their friends or run marathons or box are exercising—but no, they are being active, perhaps they are recreational athletes or even professional athletes. But if you notice, marathon runners, swimmers, football players, as well as all other athletes, have a strength-and-conditioning exercise routine that is separate to their sport.
Your exercise program is made for two reasons:
Performance enhancement: a solid exercise program is meant to improve your ability in a specific sport. This is why triathletes, basketball players, tennis players, swimmers, and every other professional athlete particpates in a regular, regimented, and prescribed strength and conditioning routine.
Injury Prevention: as you train, workout, or exercise (all interchangeable terms) you are fortifying and balancing your body. Correct exercise should never ever lead to injury. While it is okay to get injured in your sport (like falling in a hockey or tennis game) it is absolutely NOT okay to get hurt lifting a weight, a kettlebell,
or doing a push-up. Those exercises are made to fortify your body and aid injury prevention.
The by-product of exercise is a healthy and fit looking body. Yes, I called it the by-product! While many of us start exercising to lose weight and look better, in the true definition of the term, improved body composition and increased cardio-respiratory functioning is a simple by
product of fitness and exercise. And while you can also find yourself losing weight and feeling better when you become active—and, perhaps, begin to play or take part in sports— exercise /fitness training is directly related to balancing the body and providing the best overall results in health and wellness, as well as in all of your recreational activities and your daily life.
Need an example? Consider two sports I really like: tennis and boxing. In tennis you are constantly using one arm; in boxing you have one lead so you are overworking one area of the body in a specific range of motion. You would need to hit an equal amount of backhands or jab with your other hand to avoid creating an overuse or muscle imbalance in your body. The job of your exercise routine is to balance the body and make sure the length-tension relations are equal and that your right and left are not unilateral. So you see, there is exercise like strength and conditioning and there is sport and activity like marathon running, horse back riding, volleyball, and soccer (to name just a few).
WHY IS THIS SO VITAL FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND?
I believe that if we are training together, we should be transparent. You should not simply follow my every move or word, you should know why you are doing the exercise and what benefits you will gain from proper training. Another reason is I will need your trust. Just as I asked you to trust yourself, I will ask you to trust the program. I believe that the people who get and keep the best results are those who have a clear understanding of what fitness is. In this book I will be laying out a plan for you. Many of the exercises will be unique and fun and they will challenge you both physically and mentally. But, I want you to understand that as diverse and unique as I try to make your experience, the basis of the workouts will always involve the fundamentals of fitness.
These exercises are independent of your sports and will link together to balance your body in muscle strength-and-length, as well as challenge and enhance your body’s stability, agility, coordination, and cardio-respiratory function.