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Sep 1, 2010

Failure. That dismal word that represents a cause lost; an act or instance of proving unsuccessful; lack of success; nonperformance of something due or required; a subnormal quality or quantity; an insufficiency. We grew up to fear it; to avoid it; to run from it, yet at one time or another we all have had to face it in one strain or another.

The good news about the failure proposition is that it is in fact a good thing. Think about it. “Failing Forward”. If the testing of the product produced failure the product needs work, right? We simply gain more wisdom through our failures than through our successes.

This same phenomenon is true of our body’s ability to adapt to physical changes through exercise. It is in this failing forward that your body learns what you want it to accomplish in terms of change. But here is the catch: as humans we are programmed in one sense to avoid failure, so mentally this becomes a challenge. This “avoidance” of failing creates familiarity with our exercise routine that breeds contempt. Since we don’t see results, we become bored with the monotony of “sameness” in our routine, and then find ways to avoid the gym completely. On the converse we can feel really good about our workouts because we CAN do them. We know the order of the exercises, the appropriate resistance, the timing for rest in between. We even know the best times to avoid the crowd on that one piece of equipment we love, AND we know EXACTLY how long our routine will take us to do, and do we ever feel good about it when it’s done. Oh yes. “I am working OUT BABY. Watch me roar.” But here’s the second catch: your body and brain know this routine inside and out. It doesn’t take brain or brawn to execute it. It’s too easy. Your body adapted to it a long time ago and is stuck on a plateau of endless repetitive motion. You body is smart and will only adapt to the level of stress you place on it. Once it adapts to that level it no longer needs to change as it has learned how to cope with the stress you are currently giving it.

Now back to this whole idea of failure as it is the key to our life lessons and to our body lessons. Your body needs a jolt of fitness failure to recognize the seriousness of your desire for it to change. Failure means doing one thing until you can not do it. It also is achieved by changing things around in terms of pace, resistance and order of events to create failure at some point during the “change” routine forcing it to adapt to this new level of stress.

Take your present routine and divide it in thirds. A B and C sections. Do the same routine you are accustomed to, but do it backwards. Do this for the next two weeks, then go back to your ABC routine schedule but up your resistance and do less repetition. Then try BCA, ACB, and so on and so on. Keep shaking it up and keep pressing your body to the fail zone and watch out for your “hotness factor”. It is going UP! Failure just means you haven't succeeded yet. For more information contact Fitness Together 619 794 0014


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