Lift, Rest, Repeat

Being a trainer means talking to people about training (doy). One of the more interesting questions is “Why do you choose this style over others?” In my case, it’s usually in the sense of my preference for strength training – bodyweight or iron – over endurance efforts like marathons. One reason is laziness: I’d rather work hard for an hour than pace myself for three.

The deeper reason – one I rarely bring up – is that life just doesn’t feel like an endurance event.

I’ve never had the feeling that life is a matter of trudging on at a steady pace. Even in the month-long stretch up to a final exam, or during the months of job-seeking, it never seemed as though plodding along was the key. There have been moments – far too many for my taste – where the load suddenly increased. The pace I’d maintained was suddenly insufficient or impractical. I needed to bear the new weight, and bear it with a smile – or at least without showing the stress. Sometimes I didn’t even know how long I’d have to deal with it: finals are over within a week, but who knows how long it’ll be before a company gives you a callback?

All that time, your form must be tight. All that time, you must stay focused. All that time, you must be fully aware of your current state and any and all changes therein.

Then it ends, and you can take a break. You can relax, can catch your breath.

But sooner or later, you’re going to have to do it again.

That’s the mentality you build in strength training. That’s the mentality I find myself needing.

That’s why I prefer push-ups to pounding pavement. It isn’t about going on and on and on in the hopes you get there – you need to know you can carry what comes your way as well.


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