Active, Driven Adults Love the Concept of "Hard Work". We all want to Feel like as though we tackle Life with a Can't Stop/Won't Stop Mentality. The Country embraces and praises the Image of Strenuous, Exhausted Workers, Work Ethic and even Workouts. The Fitness Industry and Field of Health and Wellness is not immune to the suggestion that Hard=Good. Crossfit, a company with equal amounts of detractors and supporters, has done an incredible job of raising Public Consciousness and Intensity of "Workouts". Leaving the merits their Philosophy and Program Design for another day, they are now Synonymous with Hard, Tough, Grueling Sessions.
At IPF, we have a Hard-Working Group of Clients. We have always Believed that Focused Effort, in an Energetic Atmosphere, with High Character (You Have to Coach Character/Character=Culture) Clients creates an Environment that produces Improvement. It may sound Simple, but often the Application is not. What is Easy: Running Clients/Athletes into the Ground, Making every Workout Hard, and then Blaming the Clients/Athletes for not being Tough when they become Injured. That is a common recipe, one that one won't go out of style anytime soon for your "Type A" Personalities. They Love to "Go Hard or Go Home" right up until they are Physically and Mentally Beat, and cannot continue to Train Effectively. What is Difficult: Helping Clients/Athletes use varied Training Intensity Days, use Technology to Monitor Recovery-and then listen to the Data, and "Buy-In" to the Concept that Recovery is Part of Training.
It's not just hard to Grasp, its Hard to Sell. It's not Sexy, Stylish or even Fun. It is however, a huge part of the Process and one of the main distinctions between Training and Working Out. Training involves a Short, Medium and Long-Term Plan. It involves Evaluation, Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Adjusting, and more Evaluation. It is Science-Based and focuses on What You Need, not What You Want. It is more difficult to Train based on your HRV, or a Hard-Medium-Easy Variable Template, or even just allowing for Maximum Recovery between each Workout. Training Decisions are not easy: Go to Bed Earlier, Spend more Time on Meal Prep, Learn to Cook instead of Eating Out, Refrain/Limit Alcohol, etc. This may not qualify as "Hard Work", but these Choices that shape your Behaviors are Essential to Success. Vital. Critical. Important.
If you want to Work-Out, then Science really doesn't matter. Seal Training one day, Bootcamps the next. P-90X one week, Functional Training soon after. It's just "Muscle Confusion" we are after anyway, right? (If you are not sure, that is a joke aimed at Buzzword Marketing) You can do whatever to your Body, and the "Why" never factors in. Go Hard, Get Tired, Repeat. But one day you may get Frustrated that you are always sore, not really Improving, or are hurt for the 8th time and have little to show for it. The Hard Choice is to be Smart. To Plan, Periodize, Recover and become accommodated to Steady Incremental Improvements. Consistency, Patience and the Ability to see the "Big Picture" may be the Hardest Work of all...