Work on your weaknesses. Not everyone likes to and most don’t. And to be clear by weakness I mean the one thing that you are not very good at with respect to exercise. This could be very general, like cardio or rather specific like upper body pulling strength, in the form of pull ups.
It’s relative to you and where you are on your Fitness Journey
What is your weakness? Do you work on it? If so, what is your approach?
For me, it’s swimming. I sink like a rock. So staying afloat and traversing through the water takes a ton of energy. I haven’t done much swimming lately, but last year and the first half of this year I had a fantastic habit of swimming once a week at a local pool. I would even ask a few swim coaches I know about improving my technique and would learn several drills and workouts to try. Eventually I settled into rotating technique swims (working on specific elements of my stroke, kick, flip turns, etc.), with metabolic conditioning swims (working the three major energy systems) and after those 4 workouts testing a time trial distance. Hitting those workouts consistently as you can imagine really improved my conditioning to the best it has ever been in my life. I also have a heck of a lot more respect for competitive swimmers. I’m by no means a great swimmer, far improved with plenty of room to continue but it has impacted my endurance and stamina far more than I could have done with out it.
It will always take more time than you think it should
Additionally, my psychological fitness has improved. Meaning I am more confident in swim workouts and I am starting to believe I am capable of doing well. For anyone that excels in any sport or profession they will tell you that believing you will do well is what leads you to being successful more than anything else. I started the process of improving my swimming 5 years ago! For the first 3 years I swam 15 to 20 times a year. It wasn’t until I consistently exposed myself to the water that I really improved. Nearly 50 swim workouts last year and close to 30 this year. All that means is that you need to put in the time, work and practice required to really grow and develop to get to the point where you believe you have earned the right to think you are good at something before you believe you are good at it.
Consider another form of fitness that takes a strong commitment. Weightlifting. It will take hours and hours of practice and training just to get confident with the technique, let alone moving heavy weights through that movement pattern. You must maintain the right mindset and focus for each day. That means staying in the moment and keeping your focus in the training session for that day. Delayed gratification knowing this session will build upon the next and lead you towards what your instinctive instant gratification wants. Being able to lift heavier weights. Which is ultimately a representation of confidence in yourself that you are a strong person. Which takes strength of the mind and will. Being able to be patient and commit to a training plan and following it through. The physical ability is merely a reflection of the strength of your character and determination.
Your Highest Returns on Your Efforts
Exposing yourself to what challenges you the most is what will yield the highest returns. If you are already established in your weightlifting and conditioning, meaning you are maximizing your cababilities in those areas, that means there is little room to grow and improve. Enhancing your overall fitness will be found in the workouts and exercies you hide and shy away from. Those are the sessions you should then seek out and put forth your best efforts. They are your best opportunities at improving. If this is you, a well conditioned weightlifter, then doing those conditioning and weightlifting workouts will only yield a small return if any or at best help you maintain your ability in those areas. Your targets may be in upper body gymnastics where substantial improved can be earned.
Don’t Stay in Your Lane
Consistently practicing those upper body strength and gymnastics movements that are in your realm of ability is where you will need to spend most of your time but also consistently try just a few reps of something slightly above your ability to teach your body what is next. For most this can be a scary thing. But it comes back to building a more robust understanding and practice in the basics. Want that 1st pull up? Lots and lots of intentional work on rows, push ups, chin up holds and negatives. But don’t be afraig to try a pull up now and again. It’s in trying that you give yourself the opportunity to achieve.
If you ever need a push in the right direction or someone to tell you that you have earned the right to try what is next, you know where to find us.