It wasn’t very long ago when we still used to rely on old-fashioned paper to write our memo’s and training schedules on, but the new era of technology has arrived.
It certainly hasn’t been very long since people used to motivate themselves to go to the gym without wearable technology. Nowadays measurements are used as an excuse for progress, and that whenever we measure a successful run or a workout, we feel like we’ve done a job well done (as long as a specific amount of calories or kilometers is reached).
Wearable technology at the gym has been a bit of a double-edged sword, even though most don’t realize. On one hand, it’s incredibly essential due to its automaticity and efficiency. Those who own wearable technologies like Fit Bit, Apple Watch or the Aria will argue that without their watch, a workout would never be recorded and measured properly. And maybe even the argument for motivation to train is stemmed from the same mindset, that without being able to measure a workout effectively, it simply wouldn’t feel like progress in the same way. After all who goes for a morning run wearing a Fit Bit and doesn’t record the km? But the backlash here is the lack of humanity in training, and the man-made determination to train that is formed in the first place.
Much like in the argumentation of Wim Hof, The Ice Man, and his philosophy of stepping out of the warm comfort-zone and literally into the cold. Is that people tend to get too comfortable too quickly, and like with wearable technology it starts to take over the essential mindset of going to the gym. If you’re an avid athlete and you like to train at the gym, how would you honestly feel if I told you that for the next 3 months you can go to the gym but not record a single workout? My guess would that after the first month, a sudden shift of dissimulation would occur and that the need for progress would vanish, and with it, the need to go to the gym. So how can we make sure that inspiration to go to the gym doesn’t stem from the ability to measure its progress? Well, the answer is simply said, but a lot harder to completely understand: inspiration to go to the gym should stem from how it feels to reach a goal and not by the numbers on a screen.
Take this example: imagine two scenarios, 1) You run 5 km’s one morning, you had a good 10-hour sleep the night before and you ran your fastest time yet. 2) You ran 5 km’s but you only had 6 hours of sleep, the rain is pouring harder than ever and the wind is against you. You ran your slowest time yet. Which workout was more effective? If you think you have the answer, you’re already wrong. Despite what was measured between both runs, only the feeling of the run can tell you if you’ve had a good workout or not. And the single most determinant way of knowing if you’ve had a good workout is if you gave it 200% regardless of the reps and kilos. So always question yourself after a workout that you measure, how did this workout feel despite what the numbers are telling me? Because sometimes a workout is even more effective when the stacks are set against you, and your normal routine feels like climbing a mountain.
Training together with your online you eventually affects your physical gains. This is known as plateau growth versus incremental adverse effects on your health. Simply said, when you set a training goal based on your smartwatch, you quickly reach a stagnant plateau. When you train based on your feelings and determination, you are more likely to train with incremental growth. People think wearables are helping them attain goals which in part is true (because it makes you create health goals), but it also prevents you from seeing the bigger picture behind getting fit. If you rely heavily on the numbers you generate during training, you’re slowly in the process of turning yourself into a robot. The first rule of training should always be: because I enjoy it. Habits show that people who form them around the things the genuinely enjoy create far greater beneficial gain, compared to someone who is fighting for their lives for fitness and hating it. The right attitude towards better health starts with creating a long-lasting craving (but happy-about-it-attitude) for discipline.
Get health coaches, someone who can monitor your physical and mental wellbeing. The fault of relying on wearables with an online workout routine is, they can’t measure weather conditions when ur running for example. If your bike, the wind isn’t registered as a proper factor. And honestly, biking or jogging in the winter with freezing cold wind… no measurement from a wearable could give that workout its justice. Personal trainer, however, can identify the difference and will adjust the workout to your direct needs. Try and aim your fitness goal to a tangible goal, like training to run 10k or a marathon (or for the go-getters: ultramarathons? [50km]). And with this comes forming the habit to reach a memorable goal, whatever it may be. When you train for a goal you’re asking your body to react. Adjust your training towards how your body reacts, not to what the numbers on your smartwatch are telling you. Your body knows you better, so listen to it. So don’t be satisfied with a recorded workout that shows you’ve reached a new goal. Only be satisfied when you’re finished with your workout because you physically couldn’t lift anymore. When you feel the strain in your muscles developing as you’re walking back to the changing room, only then do you truly know you’ve had a successful training session.
Challenge yourself at the gym every time without exception. And think of attainable goals you want to achieve (a marathon is attainable to more people than they may think) and ask the people around you for directions. And if there’s no one in your direct environment to help you, ask someone at the gym who looks like they know what they’re doing. You’ll find that a gym is a place for being vulnerable in learning. And that the people who are in a gym are more helpful than in most other situations. Plus it’s another good reason to step out of a real ‘human’ comfort-zone and talk to strangers. Like when measuring your workouts, people tend to revolve around comfortable numbers. But the trick is in being able to step out of your normal routine and to do something different than what you’re used to. Prevent yourself from training around numbers that essentially don’t mean anything. Run for the human accomplishment of training for a goal and aim, with full intent, at a tangible sporting achievement. The beauty of sports is that this achievement can literally be anything you want it, as long as it forces a challenge out of you.