One of the best sayings I every heard can from an instructor I had early in my military career, he said, ” Your hardest thing is my hardest thing.” I’ll be honest I had to think about it for a minute.
All he was saying, though, is that difficulty is on a scale, if I do something that is really hard for me, it’s really hard, period. Some people may be able to less or more but that feeling of it being really hard feels the same to everybody, our capacity just may be different.
So, how hard should your training be? Well, I think that depends on the person, but all workouts should be hard, I really think, in all workouts, at some point you should start second guessing yourself a little bit, or be wondering if you are going to be able to finish. This has just become a normal process in my brain now when I train, I always end up finishing and getting through whatever it is, but if it don’t hurt I don’t feel like I gave enough for the day.
I don’t know if everybody should train this way, especially starting out. This could burn some people out and make it so unenjoyable that they dread working out and this can stall training. However, I still think everybody’s workouts still need to be difficult in order to induce change.
I don’t want to bore everybody with an exercise physiology lecture( if you are reading this you probably already know enough about that stuff, and that’s not what I’m here for), but adaptation is key and in order to up your capacity you have to push your body hard enough that your body can adapt to harder workouts and as you get better your body will continue to try and adapt to harder and harder things as long as you continue to push hard.
For me personally, I am also addicted to the struggle of going through these hard things. If I push really hard and get through something I previously had doubts about it gives me confidence, it makes my day better. I find this confidence bleeds into other areas of my life. Something may come up at work, I’ve never done it and I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know it’s attainable, and I know I can get through it one step at a time and all this confidence comes from doing other hard things. It’s truly a compounding effect in all areas of life.
Push yourself, I promise you will never regret it when it’s over. There is something you learn in doing difficult tasks that can’t really be taught, so go find that.
Train hard, make less excuses