I was in Hawaii last week.  It was great.  I got to see The Road To Hana, beaches, two whales breaching about 75 yards from me, a pelican eating a gecko and a few cats in front of a waterfall.  I also got to work out at a few places. That’s why we’re here. 

     One of the places I worked out at looked kind of similar to what we do at TCPT.  I actually had asked lululemon what the best place to get some workouts with kettlebells and trx and they all said the same thing.  This place will remain nameless because what I’m about to say may seem… Not great. 

     The workout was hard.  We did the EMOM(every minute on the minute)  type deal.  I have played with this a few times over the years.  It makes you dog tired.  We did 7 cleans, 7 squats and 7 snatches each minute.  First few minutes were good, but the 6th minute, I found myself racing against the clock to get my reps in.  You know what else started happening?  My form started to disappear.  I wanted to get the reps in so I could rest a bit more before starting again.  I went quicker and started to use faulty form to get through it.  Uh oh. 

     Luckily, I caught myself.  I didn’t play the EMOM  game anymore, and when I felt my form go, I just stopped and waited until I could get back to making things look pretty.  I fully understood why people care more about keeping up than getting better.  When other people are still going, YOU want to still go.  You feel compelled to still go and compete, regardless of if how you do it helps or hurts you. 

     At the end of the workout,  I was drenched in sweat.  I’m sure the humidity helped, but I was trying to rush to keep up for a while, so that also helped.  We did two sets of EMOM.  One with those three exercises and another with 4.  Then abs (yay…  Just kidding).  The workout was hard for sure, but by the end of it,  I couldn’t tell if I got better at anything.  Did my snatches improve?  Definitely not.  How about my thrusters?  Also, no.  So what did I get out of that workout besides sweaty and a sore lower back? (yes, it got sore from playing the game for just a couple minutes.) 

     That’s the problem with commercial workouts and what we as trainers think you’ll enjoy and what you as exercisers think you need. If we don’t make you sore, exhausted, weak, dizzy, and drenched in sweat, you think the workout wasn’t good.  If it isn’t impossible to do, you don’t think it’s challenging enough.  If we don’t make it “challenging enough”  for you, you’ll say the workout was easy, even if that workout actually makes you stronger, fixes some weaknesses or decreases pain in certain body parts.  

     Hard workouts are just that… Hard.  Good workouts CAN be hard, but mainly, they are good, serve a purpose and challenge your brain to work with your body.  That will increase everything good, and decrease everything bad; bodyfat, laziness, discomfort etc. 7000 burpees.  That’s hard, right?  Is that GOOD?  We need to think in terms of quality of the workout and the purpose of it, not just the fact that you are working out.  That’s great, but let’s make it work for us.