The 1st Principle Of Exercise (Especially if you're over 40)

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The 1st Principle Of Exercise (Especially if you're over 40)

The 1st Principal Of Exercise (especially after 40)


Why you should follow the 1st principle


Hey there Sally, That's your name, isn't it? No? I figured it was worth a shot. If your name IS Sally, I'm confident I got your attention. 

If not...


Maybe I'll get it right next time.

But I digress...

I've got something better for you today than a name-guessing game.


You're going to learn the 1st principle of exercise. This principle applies to everyone, but it's especially applicable to you if your over 40.

What's that you're saying?

"Get to the point, Justin!"

Oh yeah, sorry, I get all hyped up on the build-up.

Here it is...

"First, Do No Harm."


Yes, the Hippocratic oath applies to fitness as well.

Why is this the 1st principle of all exercise?

Because nothing will derail your goals like an injury.


I've been training people for well over a decade, and I can tell you that the biggest saboteur of fitness goals isn't your work, family problems, or jock itch.

It's an injury. 

Like any other goal in your life, fitness is about focus and momentum, and injuries kill both in spectacular fashion. 

I started working with a lady this past January who was starting again after taking a YEAR OFF due to injury.


You read that right—a year off, with no actual exercise.

What happened?

She wanted to "get after" it, and she went too hard too fast, trying to get better results more quickly. 

Unfortunately, our bodies sometimes struggle to keep up with our minds, and for Robyn, that meant an injury that set her back 12 months.

How much closer to her goals would she have been if she spent those 12 months exercising? Even if it was at low intensity?

Dramatically closer, if not past her goals, and on to new ones.

And that is why the 1st principle of exercise is...

Say it with me...

First, do no harm.


Now you're getting it!


What You Can Do To Avoid Harm

First and foremost, you have to recognize that your Ego is your enemy.


Your Ego is that little voice in your head that tells you...


"Everyone else in the class is doing it. You don't want them to think you're a wimp, do you? Just do it!"


"You don't want your trainer to think you're not willing to put in the work, do you?"


"If you don't go hard, it'll take forever to get in great shape."


Remember, you're not here to keep up with the Jones's.


You're here to get a little better...




Set your Ego aside and ask yourself, "Am I doing enough to get better today?"


If the answer is yes, then who cares what anyone else is doing.


I promise you the most reliable, tried and true method for achieving any goal is achieving small improvements consistently.


This is why injuries are unacceptable. They make you worse AND destroy your consistency.




Second, you need to get disciplined. 


When most of us hear discipline, we think of becoming extra hardcore.


That's not the type of discipline I'm referencing.


I'm talking about military discipline. 


As an infantryman in the Marine Corps, one of the first things we learned about was the 'sector of fire'.


People think that in the military, you get into a battle, and you just start shooting. 


But that's not how it works. 


That would be undisciplined...


In reality, you have a specific area you're responsible for called a 'sector of fire'.


When the enemy is in your sector of fire, you shoot.


But if the enemy is even 1 foot outside your sector of fire...


You hold your fire. 


You don't engage.


You stay disciplined.


And that's what you need to do with your exercise.


Stay disciplined.


If you're just starting, you need to take it easy and pace yourself.


That's your sector of fire.


If you've been working out for a few months and built up some foundational strength and conditioning, you can push more, but cautiously.


That's your sector of fire.


If you're a seasoned vet of exercise with minimal compensations or dysfunctions in your movement, go ahead and push hard. 


But be sure to give yourself ample time to recover between workouts.


That's your sector of fire.




The 3rd and final thing to think about when exercising is your form.


It's called 'good form' for a reason.


Good form gets you better results with less risk of injury.


Do each exercise with good form, or don't do the exercise. Period.


Drop the weight if you have to.


Do fewer reps if you have to.


Slow down if you have to.


But don't practice bad form.


If you practice lousy form, you'll get better at lousy form.


And therefore, you'll decrease your results and increase your chance of injury.


In fact, over time, you'll virtually guarantee an injury.


If you practice great form, you'll get better at great form.


And Therefore, you'll get exponentially better results and have exponentially less chance of injury.


But remember Mr. Ego (or Misses Ego)?


Ego doesn't want you to have good form.


Mr. Ego wants you to lift the weight that's a little too heavy or do those extra reps with crap form because it makes him feel cool.


Don't listen to him. 


Slow down and practice good form.


Your future self will thank you. I promise.



Now You've Got 2 Options


Option 1: Take everything you've just read to heart. 


  • Check your ego at the door every time you workout.


  • Get disciplined. Know what you can and should do. Avoid what you can't or shouldn't do.


  • Practice good form.


If you do those things, you'll get leaner and stronger faster and with significantly fewer setbacks.



Option 2: Ignore everything you've just read.


  • Let your ego call the shots.


  • Try to do more than you can or should.


  • Just start pushing. Don't worry about form. Just go.


Do that, and you'll get leaner and stronger for a bit; then, you'll probably get injured. You'll wait to heal, wait a little longer to psyche yourself up for working out again...


And then repeat the pattern.



Those are your options and the choice is yours.


But in my opinion, it's better to remember, "First, do no harm."



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