A STRENGTH TRAINING SECRET
Physical strength isn’t just about muscle mass. It also isn’t just all about pure exercise.
To prove that, what happens right after we exercise? Do we feel more empowered and charged up at the end of a marathon, running ever faster compared to the beginning? The average person may feel a momentary high at the end comes the crash. Tests have shown that right after a long workout we are weaker.
THE YANG AND YIN OF EXERCISE/REST
It is not just through exercise that we gain strength but rather through a more equal pursuit of intense workouts and complete rest and recovery. When the two are combined, I would almost say recovery is of greater importance! Why?
Think of a wave that ebbs and flows along a seashore. It comes out of the ocean and then returns back to it. The ocean here represents the confluence of countless separate elements coming together as one – mostly rivers, groundwater and drops of rain. The return to the ocean is symbolic of a pulling-back-to-oneness of separate flows of life energy. With this metaphor in mind, we know that with any intense workout we expend energy. We burn calories and stimulate a breakdown of tissues, including fat. This, in turn, stimulates the opposite during rest and recovery, namely a building up and re-connective process. Healing, wholeness and strength are all about being connected and energetically solid and strong within. That is the source of our power. We can say about a strong person that he or she really “has it together.”
This is why whenever I pursue training runs, each time I try to stress and challenge my body more and then allow for one or two days rest. If I am really sore, I might even rest for three days. If you are marathon runner, you may want to do short runs everyday as a baseline, but the intense long runs are best accomplished once a week.
Ultimately the secret to optimizing your strength training is spaced apart, intense workouts with a greater emphasis on rest and recovery in between.