Path of most resistance

The above theme is obviously the opposite of the usual term describing the way we, as humans, naturally choose to get things done through the “path of least resistance”.  And I’m not saying that it is wrong to choose the easier path.  It is a great skill to have as a project manager for instance, in enabling one to avoid unnecessary hold ups in getting a project done – both with respect to time and cost effeciency.

Unfortunately, when it comes to conditioning our bodies in the gym, this is also the way most people try to achieve fitness – by sticking to exercises that come easy.  People tend to stick to the same exercises, performing them at the same speed, with the same amount of repetitions and at the same weights as they always do.  They stick to the exercises that they are good at and avoid the exercises that they are weak in; actuality is that they are avoiding the very thing they should be doing – working on the weaknesses to restore the balance.  I know that it is more enjoyable and easier to perform an exercise that you’re good at, and that it’s hard to work doing something that you’re not good at.  But you’ll learn to love that exercise you hate most as you get stronger and better at it.

There is definitely value in repeating a certain “benchmark” workout in order to monitor progress.  As the saying goes, one has to “compare apples with apples” when making an assessment of progress.  But in order to achieve fitness inclusive of all 10 components of physical fitness, one has to vary the way one trains all the time.  For truly effective physical conditioning, routine becomes the enemy!

As “creatures of habit” we don’t always enjoy change.  I’ve experienced this often with clients and students in the gym.  But very soon the attitude changes as they experience the thrill of mastering and achieving something they haven’t been able to do before.

So my encouragement to everyone for this last term is to choose the path of most resistance when it comes to one’s physical training.  The goal is to be better and stronger than we are today come the December holidays!


Jan Fourie