Stop Working Out and Start Practicing
I hate the term "working out".
It literally means you're just trying to "work yourself out", to make yourself tired.
Doing something with the sole goal of getting tired never made sense to me.
I much prefer training to working out.
When you're training, there's an implication that you're working towards something - the inherent goal of what you're doing is to improve something.
But an even better way to look at your training is through the lens of practice.
Strength is a Skill
Just like juggling, playing the guitar or hitting a golf ball, strength is a skill that can be learned through practice.
Through being mindful while you train, practicing perfect reps and paying attention to the details of the movement, you are teaching your body how to move and be strong.
A kettlebell swing is more than just a way to get your heart rate up and burn calories, it teaches you how to move explosively from your hips and link your upper and lower body together to generate power.
A squat is no longer just a way to make your legs sore, it develops the strength and coordination of you lower body while teaching you how to use your core properly.
When you approach your training as a practice, and use your training time to hone the skill of strength, you get so much more out of it.
And the "work out" happens as a side effect of you practicing strength.
You wouldn't randomly bang on a drum set for a few hours like a madman and expect to become a musician would you?
Well, you can't spend your training time rushing through a "workout" just trying to make yourself tired and expect to get stronger either.
The same way you practice any skill in life; shooting a free throw, learning a language, writing a book or hitting a golf ball, you should approach your training with the idea of practicing strength.
Try setting a clock for 30 minutes and practicing your get ups and swings.
Not working until exhaustion or worrying about how many reps you're doing, but paying attention to the movements and trying to make each rep better.
When you shift your mindset from trying to make yourself tired to trying to practice the skill of strength, you'll become leaner, stronger and more athletic.
And all the bumps, bruises, aches and pains that you normally get from training will go away.
Stop "working out" and stop trying to just make yourself tired when you train.
Instead, start honing your lifting technique and train to improve your body and mind.
Strength is a skill, practice it.
In Strength and Health,