In 2010 I re-committed my overweight, injured body to a regular fitness regimen.
My transformation helped me to create a Fitness Philosophy I can share with you.
I've participated in a lot of sports and activities over the years, mostly injuring myself in the process. When I began my fitness transformation, I became involved in yet two more injury-prone activities: Krav Maga and Crossfit. The first is in the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and the second is bootcamp-style training with an intense mix of strength, endurance, and gymnastic skills. I can say that in over 6 years of doing both, I've managed to never injure myself.
My collection of injuries and limitations made not further injuring myself have great importance - and so for the first time in my life, I was cautious. But I also have an athletic background which has taught me to truly listen to my body. That's one of the gifts of getting a little older too - knowing our bodies a little better. So I have strictly held to a couple policies that have allowed me to get in the best condition of my life - without injuring myself.
These 2 rules are: Scaling & Low Impact.
- Scaling is lowering weight and/or intensity used in an exercise so that good form can be achieved consistently. Practically, it means "use less weight and slow down". By using less weight and pacing your workout a little slower, you will build the form and technique that will help you increase your form and your performance steadily, without injury. When you can lift a smaller weight repeatedly with perfect form, or complete a repetitive cardio movement at a slower pace without stopping, you are building your true fitness. Once you've mastered the basics of form and pacing, you'll be able to slowly increase your weight or speed without injury.
- Low Impact is performing the movements of a workout without excessive impact, whether on the ground or to your joints and tendons. This will help you avoid (further) injury, and care for the health of your joints and tendons over future decades. For me, this means I use the rowing machine instead of running, or instead of box jumps, I step up and down, when jumping rope, I do single-unders instead of double-unders. This keeps my joint and tendon impact low and reduces joint pain and swelling.
Using both of these techniques I've been able to achieve top-level health without injury. Yes, there are extremists who may look at you funny or discount your performance or level of fitness - but don't worry, those types are seldom around the gym very long before they are forced to stay home with injuries...