In the field of exercise science there are some universally science based principles that exercise physiologists and other fitness professionals work with to deliver an individual the best training program based on their needs, current training and goals.
One of those principles I brushed up against last week was the “Principle of Specificity”, that is to become better at an exercise or a skill you need to place some focus on the practice and development of that skill. It’s well known that training for pure strength and power does not mesh well with training for endurance, due to the different muscle fibre types used and whilst it’s nice to be fit in the general sense, to improve in any given sport you must train for it specifically.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know I’m a real mixed bag when it comes to my fitness program – I cycle, I run, I lift heavy weights once or twice a week and teach four pilates classes – I’m a ‘sweaty generalist’ as Lululemon likes to say – hence when it came to redoing my 1RM testing, my results, although I had improved somewhat, weren’t spectacular.
My deadlift had gone from 76kg to 82.5kg (and Lisa and I both thought I could have gone higher) and I think my squat (from memory) went from 46kg to 52.5kg – and as for the upper body I was still banging out the same number of pull ups (one, but it was from the dead hang position) and overhead press (31kg).
Being the competitive little bear I am, I had secretly hoped for more improvement – after all, I got four chin ups in a row from the standing position at Toowong the next day with no push off and for the first time ever, I nailed a wide grip pull up from standing on the floor!
At the same time, every time I go for a ride, I’m having a continuous conversation with myself about pushing harder and getting better – yes, I’m improving but what fantastic things would happen if I gave it my full attention?
Hence I’m at the point now where I’m considering my fitness options – one of which is to maintain my sweaty generalist lifestyle and focus more on enjoying the journey than getting too worked up about the improvements I should or should not be making.
Are you a sweaty generalist like me and love dipping your toes into many different fitness pursuits – or do you just like to stick to the one thing?