This little blog post is really aimed at people just starting physical exercise. Either for the first time or after a long layoff.
Recently i've got myself a part time job promoting Buzz gym. Basically the world's greatest job for a gobshite like me who loves to talk about his hobbies.
I find it thrilling to encourage people into making a positive change in lifestyle and hopefully experience the joys of a stronger and fitter body.
Buzz are also helping me get my personal training qualifications!!
I've spent the last few weeks talking to a ton of very different people about their lifestyle's.
Iv'e encountered scores of very different people who yoyo diet and exercise. Guy's and girl's still looking for some sort of secret.
I want to voice my opinion why a lot of these people give up on their fitness and diet goals.
Like most of us I love the Rocky montages. The pain and intensity. Putting it all on the line and working toward that one incredible life changing moment. Four weeks to go from hopeless nobody to smashing the feck out of a world domineering boxing champion. Even worst, compressed into a five min montage.
The idea of the karate kid discovering some amazing secret that changes him from the bullied underdog into a utter Badass in five short minutes.
We are in a quick fix society where we believe success in only achievable if we push through hell and fight like a animal for a couple of weeks!
When progress is slow. We blame ourselves then quickly lose intrest."we didn't work hard enough!"
Disappointed often turns to self loaving.
Only twos weeks apart?
So what is "beast mode?"
A state of mind a very advanced trainer's will put themselves into for maximum performance. They have spent years building up a physical and mental tolerance for very intense exercise.
Also.... A lot of twisty face, noisey BS, as drama queens like myself pretend they are training a lot harder than they actually are.
The problem is when we are new to or returning to exercise after a long lay off our body is unable to cope. It easily enters "fight or flight response" mode.
"Fight or flight response mode" is our body's emergency reaction to danger. Essentially our state of red alert. Fight or flight.
Our body realise's huge amounts of adrenaline and cortisol to allow us to run or fight.... for our lives!
I need to add, as well as peeing ourself we have a good chance of puking or pooping! Only because i'm childish and wanted to use the word "POOP!"
The problem is, this is an emergency response. Recovering from this sort of experience is ridiculously hard. Injury chances become scary!
Too many people start their fitness journey thinking it's all about killing yourself. It's about agonising workouts leaving you barely able to breathe..let alone think! About DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) so severe, getting off the crapper becomes a major issue!
IMO, exercise needs to be progressive. Starting easy and slowly building up intensity.
Adrenaline high vs Serotonin high?
Our endocrine system (The body's hormones and hormone producing glands.) is a monstrously complicated system.
A really cool simple view of some of the brain's chemicals.
Due to my need of more formal education and lack of intelligence.
🤤🤤🤤. (Don't we all need a little more education?)
I'm going to make things simple with a bit of bro science.🤣🤣🤣
Most people I've talked to failed to achieve their fitness goals because they believe exercise had to be unpleasant! No pain no gain and all that bollocks💪💪
People piling into gyms and fitness centers hell bent on enduring torturous workouts.
Session after session full of self berating and desperation.
They push too hard. Shortly into a session they are trembling, feeling nauseous and light headed🤢🤮
This is often mistaken this for the NATURAL high of exercise.
It's Fight or flight mode!
Your adrenal gland has just dumped a ton of adrenaline (among other brain chemicals) into your system.
This is so we can get out of the way of life threatening danger. Everything goes into hypermode. Blood supplies to unessential systems is several restricted. This is the reason you feel sick and light headed. The more adrenaline the more severe the reaction.
Sounds pretty cool? Your body is in a state to do something extraordinary?
Problem is this is emergency mode. The injury risk is unreal as the safety inhibitors are turned right down. Then there is the recovery time. Depending on how much damage you do it can take weeks or even months (if injured) to fully recover.
The high you are feeling is a panic state. Tons of cortisol is released (The stress hormone) and will leave you physically and emotionally drained.
Every session gets harder and harder until your subconscious mind simply says "Enough!" drains you of all motivation. Then your conscious mind says "Bollocks to this!"
Exercise needs to start slow and easy. Progressing carefully, at least until we have built up a solid foundation.
Exercise should be fun! You should come away feeling rejuvenated!
The reason why so many of us exercise is because it can be so rewarding....in so many ways.
Regular exercise leads to an increase in our natural Serotonin levels. High Serotonin levels decrease anxiety and depression! This is the brain's natural happy pill!!! SMILE MODE!!!
Moderate exercise releases large amounts of serotonin (The runner's high!)
So stop before you need to! Smashing out a bootcamp circuit and started feeling a little dizzy?
STOP... take a few deep breaths and start again a little slower! Aim to last a little longer every few sessions.
Same for running. Don't run to exhaustion. Run for a minute or two walk for a minute. Build up the running time slowly. Have a look at couch to five K programmes (CT5K).
This way you will avoid all the sickening feelings and hopefully develop a love for exercise and the many huge benefits it brings.
Holding back and starting slow can be the hardest part of training. We are so concerned with other people judging or trying to keep up. It doesn't matter where you start. It only matters that you do start....and don't give in.
Approach every session with positivity. Try to find the joy in each exercise.
With progressive, sensible work where you will be in six months could be truly unbelievable. Just take it slow to start and don't forget to smile!