The name says it all. Your body is pretty smart. It knows what it needs to run smoothly. When we feel pain it’s our body saying “heads up!” It’s meant to make us stop what we are doing and stay safe. In the gym we repeatedly ignore our pain threshold and push our limits in order to achieve muscle growth and density. It’s what’s know as “good pain”. It goes against every instinct in our body. We have been programmed by nature for flight or fight in response to pain. It’s meant to keep us from real harm. We would never stick our hand in a fire ten times (bad pain in case you were wondering lol). Yet we will push through those last reps even though our muscles are burning and screaming for a break.
This inherently teaches us to ignore our body and its message. this is definitely a double edged sword. We have to remain ever vigilant that we do not tune out our body’s voice entirely. If anything we must listen even closer. Take a moment to be silent and really FEEL the message being sent. Then use a combination of brain and gut to make the right decision. They balance each other beautifully.
On a related note our food intake, which is so very important to our success in our chosen sport is at risk of becoming skewed as well. Especially in the sport of fitness competitions. There are far too many one or two time winners or runner ups that feel they have to knowledge to give out diets to amateurs coming into the sport. Unfortunately a lot of times these new people trust in these people far too much and stop listening to their bodies. If your trainer/coach has you on a permanent diet, too restrictive of a diet, one that has minimal good fats or far too few calories for months on end, you need to find a new one. If they do not listen to your needs and don’t constantly reevaluate you based on your gains or losses and how you feel, then you need to find a new one. If they put you on a three or four month cut cycle, you need to find a new one.
Don’t get me wrong. There are excellent coaches out there and they can help you get amazing results. But in the end no one FEELS what you feel. No one but you… When your body speaks, listen.