What is the purpose of training?

By | May 19, 2017

I started exercising in 1994. Perhaps that was the age where my level of activity reduced enough where some external stimulus was needed? Who knows, but there is some fundamental truth to that: for most of us, exercise is something we need to offset an otherwise sedentary, non-physical life.

That is not the main purpose of exercise for me. It is not the most motivating thing in the world either. We don’t typically behave just because we know we ought, at least certainly not across the wide board of behavioral interactions. So there must be some more compelling reason to train.

For me that reason is capability. Real-world, practical strength feels amazing—and is very useful. I think of dad things like picking up kid, carrying bags of salt or heavy groceries, cutting down a tree or what have you.

Of course, there is the matter of feeling good. And this, I know, expands the scope of training somewhat. But let’s think about training in terms of self-discipline. This comes up in a variety of ways. One part of training self-discipline is to make sure you train. Another part is to make sure you don’t overdo it. Yet another part is to make sure you do the supportive things required to make training successful:

  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Keep your emotions in check – poise

So, through training you can develop the self-discipline to live a healthier life, giving your more energy and helping you to become more productive.

The type of training I recommend is to follow movement patterns and work with a tried and true protocol like 5×5. If you’re discipline about your time, you could spend only 90 minutes per week and be in phenomenal shape. The caveat here is that you must consider activity, such as walking, outside of this time frame. So, live an active life and in addition to that, train 60-90 minutes per week.

This came from a conversation with one of my older friends who is contemplating why he trains. Capability was my first answer to him for why I trained and this is an expanded answer for anyone to read. One last thought about self-discipline…ah, forget it. If you’re interested, just read about it here.