*This post contains affiliate links
Success comes right down to one’s mindset. And often we hold ourselves back from achieving success by believing in myths about how one must go about it.
A big difference between a seasoned athlete and the average person is being able to differentiate between silly training myths and tried and true aspects that create better health and performance.
Here a few common training myths and how you can overcome them.
- One must always stretch thoroughly and do a proper warm up and cool down.
This is actually false for several athletes. Most athletes are high achievers and are crunched for time for they maximize the hours in their day. This means they have a set amount of time to utilize for physical fitness/training and will likely be pushing the limits for most of this pre-allotted block of time. They simply don’t waste time on things that bring zero to little gain.
In addition, over time the athlete’s body becomes accustomed to their current fitness level, that is – the warm up and cool downs are not usually needed for the body quickly adjusts into ‘Let’s go’ mode and can just as quickly return to ‘normal’ mode.
If you are about to do a workout with a much higher intensity level than normal or are doing a fitness activity very different than what your body is used to – then utilize stretching with an appropriate warm up and cool down.
Training in extreme weather conditions (extreme heat/cold) also requires additional care of the body before, during and after the workout.
- Injuries are often result of not stretching, warming up, cooling down or when an athlete pushes the body too hard for too long.
The bottom line in the majority of injuries – lack of thinking, good decision making and common sense.
The mind is the starting block for everything we do.
This myth of not preparing enough or doing too much all stems from your mindset first.
Freak injuries – the slip, the forced twisting of a joint, the tears and freakish breaks, they will happen regardless of how much you stretch, warm up and cool down. And if one looked very closely – you’d likely pinpoint a few poor decisions that led up to said freak injury.
Read more Tips for Injury Prevention
- Pain is bad.
This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of sports, fitness and life in general that holds so many people back. And this myth is that pain is bad. People fear pain so highly they do anything to avoid it. And this is why they never achieve much.
There are two types of pain:
The first is actually discomfort – most people just don’t require enough out of their bodies to experience what real pain is. Discomfort pain indeed may be unpleasant, but it is also a big indicator that you required more out of your body and it is learning how to step up to the request.
Sore muscles, tightness, slight fatigue, these are all signs that you pushed the body in a good way.
In fact, real athletes seek out this first type of pain, the ‘Good kind of pain’ in almost every workout. It means they gently pushed the limits of their body and are training the body to be able to endure more and create greater output and ability.
This first type of pain is temporary and goes away within a day or so and can often be associated with a certain type of exercise/activity.
Ex: Lifting upper body will cause the upper body to be sore and stiff the next day. Running your long run for the week will leave your legs fatigued and sore for a few days.
The second type of pain is real pain.
This type of pain, if not directly resulting from a freak fall/injury, is typically a sudden and sharp pain and/or involves swelling and will continue to hurt when the body is at complete rest.
It tends to be locational in a specific joint or muscle group.
You will know the difference.
If you are just being lazy, whiny and weak, you likely are dealing with the first type of pain.
If you can’t walk or perform normal basic tasks and are considering whether or not to visit the doctor – you are experiencing real pain and likely injured something.
The first type of pain is physically easy to manage and the difficulty lies in the mental aspect of it.
The second type of pain creates real disruption in your physical ability to move and the pain level is preventing your mind from doing anything but thinking about going to the doctor.
*I want to mention a key aspect for achieving success. Success requires you to step up and out of your normal comfort zone. You must get through discomfort and sometimes things that are painful in order to grow and get stronger and better. If you avidly avoid pain in life you will never amount to much. You must learn to face pain for what it is – a clear signal that you have lots of work to do and huge growth potential.
- Your coach/trainer knows what they are doing.
Yes, I said it. And this is a real issue in the sports and fitness world today. There are thousands of people with ‘certifications’ who haven’t the slightest idea of what it means to be and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. There are multitudes of coaches/trainers who go about their day with little training (or real life application and personal experience) and those under them just follow along without questioning.
Results speak for themselves. If your coach/trainer is overweight, out of shape, exhibits weak character – they have yet to truly figure out the components for success and what it means to be a leader (coach/trainer).
Great coaches and trainers also exhibit solid character and decision making. They know how to be mature and professional.
They value BEING a good example for others to follow.
So how do you know if you’ve got a good coach or trainer?
1. For starters ask questions. About who they are, their experience (not their list of accomplishments), how do they apply what they teach in their own lives?
Do they value you enough to listen and respectfully answer your questions? Great leaders will not be intimidated or offended by others wanting to get to know them better and learn about the methods they teach.
2. Listen. Listen to what your instincts tell you about them. What do others say about them and just who are those people you are listening to? (Is their opinion solid?) What kind of reputation to they have and why?
3. How does this coach/trainer interact around the old and the young? Good leaders know how to interact with those whose bodies move slower and those whose minds are eager and untested. If older people respect this coach/trainer and the kids literally respect them (as in they behave, listen and pay attention) – you’ve likely found a good professional to work with.
4. Get ornery. Yep. Cause a ruckus, be lazy, be stubborn, be wild and independent. On purpose. Intentionally be a bit challenging but only as a brief test! This will allow you to see how this coach/trainer handles challenging people and situations.
Now that you have a new take on a few common training myths, it is up to you to utilize these new approaches in your training regimen.
You might also enjoy reading: You vs the Elements (Learn to make Mother Nature your training pal)
Are you ready to raise the bar and live life at a higher level?
Ready my book The Point of the Marathon available on Amazon Kindle.