Stress is Good

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ok, Ok, Ok, don’t beat me up about this.  Hear me out first.  I’m not talking about emotional stress.  I’m referring to the type of stress that makes you better.  You see, you can’t get better without stressing your body.  You have to push yourself to the point of being comfortable before you will see improvement.

If you want to be strong, you have to lift heavy weights.  Heavy is a relative term.  Heavy for me may not be heavy for the next person or unliftable for another.  Same thing goes for running.  You have to run fast to get faster.  You can’t go out and hit the streets for a leisurely run and expect to set some PRs.  You need train near your personal limits in order to get better and see improvements.  But you have to work up to them.  It is ignorant to think that you are going to go set a personal record in any activity (besides TV watching) without training for that moment.  Why workout or train unless you are trying to improve. Are you going out to just tread water?  That’s stupid.  Go out there with a goal of getting better than the last time.  Will it happen every time? No.  The fun is in the journey of seeing where you come from.  Being able to see your progress is great.

The thing is, in our society today, people don’t want to do be uncomfortable.  Stress on the body, whether through resistance training, running, sprinting, or sun exposure, our bodies are designed to adapt.  Lift heavy things in a linear plan and controlled way and you’ll get stronger.  And as you get stronger you’ll have to progressively add more and more weight as your body adapts to these heavier loads.  Same goes for running.  You can’t expect to get faster if you go out and run 9′ miles every time you train.  Don’t expect to run 8′ miles on race day.  It is not going to happen.  The same thing holds true for the sun.  Step out into the sun after a long winter without building up a resistance (tan) and you are going to get burned.

Think of the story of Milo.  He lifted his calf every day.  Even as the calf grew, Milo would lift the calf.  Milo became very strong from doing this everyday.  He lifted the calf as it progressively got bigger.  He didn’t just try to lift the cow once it was fully grown.  He built up to it.

I guess the moral of this story is: Do something today that stresses you.  You’ll be better for it.  And don’t go out and try to lift some crazy poundage.  Work up to it.  Don’t be an idiot.

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