When I was about 8 years old, I watched a live television broadcast of a yogi bending a spoon using nothing but his powers of concentration. This was prime-time television in the 70s and if you missed out on it, I feel sorry for you.
Tuning out my obscenely annoying little brothers, I tried to bend a spoon using nothing but my mind. I was certain it would work. When the spoon stayed rigid, I focused instead on making the overhead light in my bedroom dance. The fact that I was not successful did nothing to dim my absolute belief that if I concentrated hard enough, I could bend anything to my will.
Years passed and life brought many joys and hardships. Still, there were times I would find myself staring into the belly of a spoon, bend, bend, bend. On bad first dates, while bankers and lawyers regaled me with tales of skiing heroics or the deal they just closed, I would turn my eyes to my coffee spoon and tune them out. Bend. You know you want to.
Thirty-eight years after I first began my quest to bend a spoon with my powers of concentration, it dawned on me: If I really wanted to bend a spoon, I could probably do it with my hands.
It’s human to get stuck in a notion and one place where lots of us seem to do it is with exercise. This is the time of year when we scoot to the gym like a line of lemmings to do more of the same thing that is no longer working for us. Why do we persist in believing that somehow, this January 1 will be different? Why did I spend four decades trying to bend a spoon with my brain?
Your body will respond to the training you give it, something fitness folks call Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. This is why, after some period of time spent in any unchanged workout, you will come to a plateau. That’s when it’s time to mix it up. Try something new and challenge your body in a new way to see continued progress and change.
It sounds simple, but old habits are hard to break. Instead of a resolution to do more of what’s no longer working, add variation to your routine. Think about your long-term goals. I’m not saying that you want to hopscotch from one work-out to the next or blindly follow the latest trend. Instead, set goals. Be consistent. And when you feel like you’ve hit a wall with your workout, add a new element. If you’re a devoted Pilates fan, add swimming or cycling. If you’re a runner, cross-train and watch your body change.
Our first-time clients are always shocked at CoreMotion’s intensity. It doesn’t matter whether they are Ironman triathletes or returning to exercise after recovering from surgery or childbirth, they always leave shaking, sweating, cursing under their breath and humbled. And then, about four classes later, we are pushing that same client to change up their spring load, slow down their pace, perfect their form. Because the body quickly adapts to what we demand from it.
In January, we are going to be rolling out our HardCore classes. These ultra-efficient workouts are forty minutes long, with every move keyed to firing up almost 600 muscles in your body at once. Are they actually more difficult than a CoreMotion class? That’s hard to quantify. But certainly they will be different. And that’s what our clients need to keep improving and challenging themselves.
Take it from a woman who still, every once in awhile, looks at a spoon and thinks maybe, just maybe, this time will be different.
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