by Helgrit Howard and Tad Howard
The other day my husband Tad, my sister-in-law Jen, and I were hanging out when my husband came across an article on Hugh Jackman in which Hugh Jackman mentioned that he did not work out when he was not feeling up for it.
Now both my husband and my sister-in-law are workout fanatics and what was interesting about the situation was how differently they both reacted to Jackman’s statement. Jen felt that not pushing yourself regardless how you feel is one of the biggest mistakes you can make especially when it comes to sculpting your body. And she has the physique to prove her point. Through diligent workouts and persistence she has achieved a beautiful body and improved her health.
My husband however was more inclined go along with Hugh Jackman’s opinion as he considers rest an important part of the workout routine. Tad has spent many years sculpting his body with amazing results in both appearance, strength and endurance.
The question I couldn’t get out of my head was: How can such different approaches both lead to successful results? Fortunately my life’s experience allowed me to relate to both points of view. Like my sister-in-law Jen, I used to work in an office for many years and I remembered that even though often I felt tired at the end of the day, if I got out and about, started working out, riding my mountain bike, or went for a hike I felt a lot better. The situation is a little different now and I am a busy Kinesiossage massage therapist and my work is very physical in itself. I had many situations when I tried to push myself too hard after my work in my workouts and ended up injuring myself. So I’ve learned to better listen to my body and take rests when I need to. My husband Tad, who is also a Kinessiosage massage therapist and an Intrinsacore trainer is in the same situation. He found that if he finds the right balance between his busy work schedule and his workouts he can achieve more strength and better bodybuilding with fewer days at the gym.
So is this proof that Hugh Jackman what right in saying that you shouldn’t work out when you are not feeling up to it? The answer is yes and no. Which approach to your workout is right for you depends not only on your fitness goals but also on the activities you do outside the gym. The body needs a certain level of activity to grow and to maintain its strength and endurance, but it also needs rest in order to build and maintain healthy tissue. A person who has a more sedentary job may have to supplement with more exercises in order to activate the growth and development of healthy tissue and to burn excess calories. In contrast, a person with a physically active job may have to make sure that the body gets enough rest to allow for the repair, maintenance and growth of the tissue in the body.
This means, that if you have a high output, physical job or hobbies, you are receiving already a great deal of exercise during your activities outside the gym and your exercise routine should be more of a fine tuning and improving of your already active body.
If you have a sedentary job and lifestyle, you need a different exercise strategy, one more in line with you mostly sitting all day. When you do go to exercise, it becomes very important that you give the body all the movements and all of the training necessary to replace what a normal physical output lifestyle would require, something really more in line with what an ancient lifestyle like farming or building or hunting and gathering would give you.
In brief, if you are super active use exercise to balance you and if you’re super inactive use exercise to bring about the growth of your activeness.
To sum it all up, the equation is quite simple. If what you do works for you continue doing it and if it doesn’t work change your approach. And always listen to your body!