Exercise is super important, especially if you want to be healthy. It isn’t the only way to be healthy, but it plays a large part. I think exercise is different from training, and training for performance versus aesthetics is vastly different. You can definitely benefit both ways, but your priority will lead to different outcomes. If you casually exercise it may be because your pants are a little snug or your doctor wants you to lower your blood pressure, if you train for aesthetics (which I guess we all do-really) you are into symmetry, poise, definition, and if you train for performance you train to accomplish something for weight, time, or both.
I enjoy exercising, and my enthusiasm for exercise evolved sometimes wanting a certain look, and then wanting to be challenged. My own “exercise evolution” started when I was pretty young- middle school age, I was playing basketball, and I was basically the midget of the group. My dad, the great guy he is, started helping me lift weights in the basement- to help my performance. And it did. I was a relatively good player but became a great player, I made for a much better defender than lay-up artist, but my coaches appreciated that, and I played a lot, and I started a lot. After high school I was working out for aesthetic reasons. Met some people who were into bodybuilding, and my workouts became about symmetry, a look, an attempt at low body fat, basically being cut. Not to say I wasn’t strong, I was, I could leg press like 400 pounds (that is a lot I think), but when cutting down I ended up loosing a lot of strength (I hated that part). Then I got into running, and just trying to be fit. This lasted several years, a few bachelors degrees, stuff like that, it was just nice to fit in my clothes and be happy. After a while, and becoming a nurse, I gained a few pounds, my husband was over seas, so I needed something new. I started taking old school boxing classes. I remember 10 pushups being a lot! I became super involved, started sparring, did some super amateur fighting-kinda, and then started lifting bells. I have come to realize that I enjoy training for performance more than anything. I don’t look like I can do what I can do, but those who know me know that I work p-r-e-t-t-y hard. But now that I am at a performance level of training, I do want to have a certain look. It is hard to achieve a certain look while not sacrificing performance. I don’t see the platform to often, but when I do it is so on! And I love it. I am not a super competitive person, but being up there makes all your hard work worth it. So right now I am trying to figure out how to do both. I don’t really care that I am not proportional, that is not why I do this. I train to get numbers, and even though I would like a rounder ass, it is not so high on my list that I sacrifice performance for that.
Since I train for performance my workouts often include longer sets, generally one arm long cycle (sometimes doubles, sometimes snatch), followed by some GPP and/or cardio. I actually hate/dread long sets, but I know that I have goals to crush! I love strength training to assist in me getting stronger to crush my goals! I only can hope that I do. Here is one of my strength workouts (this is after a warm-up, and some long cycle work):
Cleans: 28kg 10 reps per arm, rest 30seconds to a minute then 26kg cleans 12 reps per arm, rest, then 32kg cleans 8 reps per arm. Chair press (similar to a dumbbell press) 14kg 12 reps per arm, 12kg 14 reps per arm, and 10kg 16 reps per arm, resting 30 seconds to a minute between sets. Straight leg dead lifts, barbell only 15 reps, barbell plus 20 pounds, 12 reps, barbell plus 30 pounds 10 reps. Bent over barbell rows- using the same weights as the dead lifts- 15 reps, 12 reps, then 8 reps. I always finish with a stretch, and sometimes some abs. After I’m done I always get my protein in!
Have a great weekend