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WILF Banishing the Workout Blues

Amongst all the gadgets, gizmos and new crazes, Tony Lewis, Director of sportsbehaviour, points to four things that can make your workout more enjoyable and productive. The great news is that they’re free and within your control. There’s no best way – just your way, as sportsbehaviour have found from their assessments of athletes. Doing activities, in the way that suits your mind and body best, make for a more enjoyable experience. This is food for thought and based on the system we have developed, sportsbehaviour:

Utilising your Genetic gifts

You’re either ‘natural’ (easily able to apply what you’ve got) or ‘masterful’ (you have to work at applying yourself). Some people, me included, are disappointed that we’re masterful as we’d all like to think we’re a natural - but results from our assessment of athletes shows us that around 80% of the population are masterful. The good news is that World and Olympic champions equally made up by natural and masterful athletes (we haven’t assessed them all so you’ll have to believe our judgement on this one).

If you’re a natural then choose agility and co-ordination activities in a relaxed, non structured environment where you can go about applying your given talents.

If you’re masterful then environments where you can include a wide range of activities in your workout will suit the grafter that you are. You’ll like your workout to be planned and considered with enough time and range to match your work ethic.

Knowing about your Physical response

Your body will respond fast or slow to conditions of training. You’ll be somewhere on the scale of either getting results quickly or needing a good run of sessions to produce results. Quirky indicators of your physical function from our assessments is fast responding athletes can get sore quickly from training and slow responding athletes will have lots of energy.

If you’re a fast responder then you will respond positively to short periods of focused training. You’ll like shorter sets and training sessions and fast work where you can go all out as well as the opportunity for competition.

Slower responder generally recover quicker so you’re free to plan those sessions for whenever you like - and this works well as repeat activities so you can compare your performance is a great motivator for you. A range of activities and a high work load sets you apart from the rest. Longer term goals will also keep you motivated.

Physiological considerations

Your body will have a preference for how it carries out physical functions. It’s not a choice; it’s just how you’re made. At one end of the scale we have finesse and at the other we have power.

The more finesse you are the more you’re going to enjoy the complexity or co-ordination, endurance and rhythm and your workout should reflect this. Activities where you can maintain control, technique and posture and where you can work into your ‘sweet spot’ will suit. Longer sets and distances will be cathartic.

If you’re more power then it’s all about fast tempos, explosiveness and acceleration. Choose activities that give you the desired intensity and where you can build to max without worrying too much about style and technique.

Psychosocial attributes

This is a complex area but boiled down to wanting to challenge others or challenge yourself.

If you have a tendency to want to challenge others then you quite often dislike or avoid routine and seek varied and challenging activities which are results oriented. You like stretching targets and competition against worthy competitor. You like interaction and social contact with variety and flexibility. Performance reward is a real motivator and your emotions are important to you. Communications should be direct, well structured and to the point.

If you are more happy to challenge yourself then you will also want to understand what the activity is all about and will like all the technical aspects. You’ll probably be happier if you have prepared adequately and the environment is ordered and non-pressurised and there aren’t too many disruptions, interruptions or social frivolity. Communications need to be clear and logical with the facts stated and you need to be left to get on with it.

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