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How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

by Tania Tetrault Vrga
I met one of the readers of my column at a holiday party recently. 

He commented on how he had been injured at the gym, and speculated that someone his age should never train with heavy weights. He asked me to write some fitness tips for older adults. Since I’ve written about this before, I’ve chosen to explore the myth that certain populations need to avoid some types of physical activity altogether. 

Sure, an older person can get hurt doing silly things in the gym, but so can a youngster.

Injuries usually occur because of how we do things, not because of what we do. Save for the occasional freak accident, I’ve never seen anyone get hurt lifting weights mindfully, with solid technique. Many people generally assume that heavy weights are more likely to cause pain or injury. I often hear clients and even trainers say that to avoid injury or pain, you should simply use lighter weights. There is a grain of truth to this in the sense that technique is more likely to falter as we get closer to maximal loads. But the reality is that it is your shoddy technique that is hurting you, not the weight. It doesn’t matter how heavy the load, if it’s done properly, with a trainer who knows what they are doing, you can get results without getting hurt. 

I think this applies to many other physical endeavours that are often thought to be dangerous, from gymnastics to martial arts. The rewards you reap from any physical endeavour is directly related to the work you put in, not necessarily the quantity of work, but the quality of the work.  Simply put, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. How you approach a workout in the gym says a lot about you and how you approach life in general. 

What better way to start the fall season than with a commitment to quality in everything you do, including movement and health.

When I first became a CrossFit coach, I heard a quote that stuck with me: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” Often, those who take shortcuts in the gym take shortcuts in other aspects of their lives. Avoiding the gym, or avoiding a type of training you love, just because you are older is just a cop-out.  Whether you are young or old, big or small, fit or sedentary, being mindful about how you move is one of the best things you can do to prevent pain and get the results you want.

Want to learn to lift weights properly and safely?

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