Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Working Within Limits-

Definitions of limits 
  • the greatest possible degree of something:
  • as far as something can go
  • the boundary of a specific area
  • the greatest amount of something that is possible or allowed

Can we agree on the above definition?
If yes, then why do we insist on choosing systems or ideas that take us beyond what we know to be our limitations? This can be applied to ALL of life, but for the purpose of this post I would like to discuss movement/training.

What training systems or programs am I referring to? Pretty much all of them! Think about it... Is there a method that teaches you to listen to your body, is guided by YOU and not some set movements you should do? Most teach that in order to see results, it's their way or the highway. What about your way? We live in a society that truly believes in order to attain bigger, faster, stronger or a healthier, more vibrant body, that there is going to be some pain involved... that you must sacrifice. That you must go beyond your limits and push until you break through them. Unfortunately (fortunately), that's not how it works!

We are adaptive and evolving Beings.... would you agree? That means we are ALWAYS learning and adapting to the world around us... always. Since we have agreed on this, what happens if I train beyond my limits? I learn that movement and training is hard. I begin to associate pain instead of pleasure with doing such movements, and the downward cycle ensues. But what if I work within my limits? I learn that moving is easy and my limitations are then expanded. I do want to expand my limits, right? I do more movement and it get's better and better. I see results and I now associate pleasure with moving/training. Things are looking good.


and I add... expanded without effort. This is your birthright. This is how the body works. This is adaptation.

Rest assured that if your training is based on the limits of someone else, there is a cost, and you will eventually break. If you're ok with that, please stop reading now.

How do we know our limits? Good question...

stay tuned for part 2  -KNOWING YOUR LIMITS-


  1. I like the concept and I think for anyone who is serious about fitness & diligently avoiding injury, this is extremely practical.

    The problem I think that most people have with this comes down to two American truths:

    1.) People like to follow rules rather than think for themselves. In most aspects, we like to produce rules so that someone else can blindly follow said rule without having to produce any consideration on their own and live in a state of complacency. They follow someone else's workout routine because they believe by doing so, they will receive the exact same results. Which as you know, is not the case.

    2.) People are impatient and want results NOW. Never mind the fact that most fitness models in advertisements required years of training to look the way they do; the average person sees this and is convinced they can do it faster and have that appearence NOW. They believe if curling 20s until fatigue will help them, then curling 40s (with bad technique and threat of injury) will help them faster.

    I'm looking forward to Part II...

  2. Preston-
    I couldn't agree more on your two points.
    1) We can still produce 'rules', but rules that allow people to think for themselves or question things.

    rule - prescribed guide for conduct or action

    With that being said... I am hoping my next article gives action steps or 'rules' for people to adhere to within movement and life.

    2) We are a society of instant gratification, and in our industry it often comes at a high cost (my liver, my overall health, my movement etc.). I hope to save people of that high cost, but often times it takes that path for people to finally realize what they have been doing doesn't work. I too have taken that path before... it doesn't work.

    Thanks for the comments!