Yes, I’m a believer. I really feel that when you strength train, a little pain means a lot of gain. There is such a thing as overdoing it, but a little pain means that you had a good workout the day before because you created the stress in your muscles necessary to create muscle growth … a good thing when you strength train.
Yesterday, I conducted a little research at a local spa, Exhale, to prepare for a presentation. I took a class they call “Core Fusion,” which is basically a one-hour fitness class that combines core conditioning, Pilates, and yoga in order to produce “long, lean muscles, a flexible, youthful body, and a sense of peace and relaxation.” Well, I’m not sure I agree with the last part of that description. I was not at peace, and I was definitely not relaxed. I was in pain and I didn’t enjoy it.
I like pain after I exercise, as I mentioned, but this was different. It was painful during the class and it pushed me to do things that were not comfortable. I’m generally comfortable with the standard 8 to 15 repetitions of an exercise … training for strength, and this class required what seemed like a million repetitions of each exercise to train for endurance.
I left the class thinking good research, but this is not for me. I left the spa, and didn’t look back until mid-day today that is. I felt the pain that I thrive on a good pain, a soreness in spots that haven’t been sore in awhile. This was good.
I got to thinking maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe I should go back and try again. Maybe my body needs this; obviously, I had pain to prove it. The lesson learned here, is that exercising is great but exercising differently and diversifying routines is key to making sure that you are working out all parts of your body in all kinds of ways. This is the best kind of conditioning one can do.
If you love running and do so every time you do cardio, try switching it up: try speed walking up hill; try spinning; try the elliptical trainer. You’ll feel it. No matter how in shape you are, switching it up will prove to be rewarding. Additionally, if you strength train (which you should as a balanced fitness regimen), try different types; try different classes and methods.