The more and more time I spend working with the human body (either with personal training or massage therapy) the more and more this common theme becomes apparent. The theme being; in order to make change, whether it be getting stronger, becoming more mobile, losing weight, improving sleep, reducing tissue tone, learning a skill – the nervous system is involved, and the nervous system is in charge.
If your brain sees an input as a threat (this could be lifting a heavy weight in the gym, a severely restrictive diet, a bright tv screen late at night) it’s going to go into survival mode. You can’t chronically force your body to lift heavier and heavier weight, just as you can’t force your body to fall asleep after it’s been wired to an electronic device.
Bare in mind the key word here is chronically, chronic means long term.
Sure you’ll improve in the gym by increasing the weight every session, or you’ll lose weight quickly by restricting your food intake, but these things are all on an acute cycle. Sooner or later your nervous system will sense this input as a threat, things then slide into a viscous cycle.
The nervous system will recognise something as a threat if it is applied too much too soon (an overload on the system), or too much for too long (the exhaustion phase in the General Adaptation Syndrome below)
Photo credit – https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/General+Adaptation+Syndrome
I’m not saying you don’t need to work hard, or shouldn’t work hard. I’m saying you need to work shard (that’s smart and hard at the same time)
All of the examples above (exercise, gaining mobility, strength, health) are like a recipe. The ingredients include you, your body, the thing it is you’re doing in order to improve the thing it is you want to improve. If you throw all the ingredients together at once, and cook them as fast and at the highest temperature possible, it won’t work. If you keep cooking them for to long (or not long enough) it wont work. You need to understand the recipe, the process, the timing, the tempature, an so on.
The devil is in the dose (and the details)
To tie 3.1 and 3.2 together
- Have a plan (or find someone who does)
- Treat everything as a skill
- Listen to your body
- Test – Track your progress – Retest
- Come and see me for Personal Training and Massage Therapy