You might imagine some burly Hans and Franz type bodybuilder to subscribe to the motto “no pain, no gain.”
Did I just date myself with that SNL reference?
But “no pain, no gain” isn’t some mindless fitness jargon. It’s a fundamental principle of the total body health equation.
If you want the gain, you gotta feel the pain.
Now, what I mean by “pain” is NOT physical suffering. We’re talking about slight physical discomfort. Take weight training, for example. Your muscles should be a little sore the next day.
They should not, however, be so painful that you can’t move and you’re eating aspirin like candy.
Mild physical discomfort is necessary to build strong muscles. You’re breaking down the tissue so you can build it up again.
Here’s another example: if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less. A smaller body doesn’t need as many calories to function as a larger one.
When you start eating smaller portion sizes, your body will notice, and you’ll experience some discomfort such as a grumbly tummy or a little ache of emptiness. Some people fear hunger so much that they never allow themselves to feel even the slightest bit hungry. I know—I used to be one of them.
And not surprisingly, those people don’t lose weight.
If you’re spending 20 minutes on the treadmill walking at 3 miles per hour and not even breaking a sweat, are you surprised that you’re not gaining any health benefits? Why bother at all if your workout is that lame?
It’s time to pump (*clap*) you up!
Slowly amp up your effort at whatever you’re doing until you get to the point of mild discomfort.
- Increase the speed and/or incline on the treadmill.
- Cut out one of your daily snacks.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier or wake up 30 minutes earlier.
- Try a new cardio class or workout DVD.
Then stay there for a while until you don’t feel the pain as intensely. For me, it takes about 2-3 weeks for my body to adjust.
And you know what happens when your body adapts and gets used to something—you’re not gaining anymore! Time to switch up your routine again.
Apply the “no pain, no gain” principle to your health and fitness regimen, and you’ll love the results.
No Austrian accent needed.
Do you believe in “no pain, no gain”?
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