Usually when asked for our top piece of advice we say train harder not longer in that less exercise at high quality is far better than more exercise which is easier. The problem is too many interpret this to mean train like you are trying to qualify for a crack assassin team going all out jumping, swinging, blasting and bouncing.
The issue here is two-fold, first supposed ‘hardcore’ training actually promotes cheating and skipping past, over and around your weakest traits. Second…speed kills. In sport it is essential but comes with risk and in sport the skilled actions and rules can minimize possible injury. Exercise should be medicine not require it. Exercise prepares you to be less injury prone during activity and sport while also raising your abilities across the board.
Too much ‘hardcore’ exercise is based on ‘feeling’ rather than physiology. Momentum and over reliance on the elasticity of your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) leads to cheating through the toughest ranges of motion a muscle is supposed to go through while muscle exercising. It also leads to snapping and breaking your weakest links from repetitive trauma.
The best advice we can give is slow down. Move slower and work the entire range of motion of any exercise. It is natural to want to feel athletic while exercising but just concentrate on building real strength and stamina then go and actually be athletic.
If you doubt us and want to know just how effective slowing down is try this – Do some push ups at your normal speed, say about 8-10. If you cannot do many full push ups do them from your knees the point here is to really ‘feel’ the difference so it lodges deep in your brain. Now do your push-ups counting 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up. Do a full count – 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi… the difference is astounding!
Now you know the truth.
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney