Training Versus Exercising, or How To Exercise Sustainably


This is going to be true for most of us. If it does not pertain to you, then Pain Free Lifestyle is not for you. Here we go: If you are not a professional athlete, then don’t train like one.

There is a difference between exercising and training. Most of us want to exercise, but most of us feel like we should be training.

The Pain free Lifestyle program is a sustainable, easy on the body exercise and nutrition program designed by myself. I am a muscle doctor who specializes in trigger point therapy and I have a Master’s degree in Nutrition. The Pain Free Lifestyle program is not a hardcore training program. It is an exercise program. In my opinion, you don’t have to exercise hard, just consistently, and you will see results.

Don’t get me wrong, if viewed in a certain light, exercise can be considered training to deal with the rigors and stresses of life. But it is not necessary to flip 100 pound tires to train your body to sit at a desk all day.

If you are an aspiring athlete, an amateur athlete, a professional athlete, a wanna be professional athlete, or fit any other type of person who needs to train their body for a certain, specific activity, then you do need to train.

Some people will only exercise if they are training for a goal. It’s not enough motivation to stay in shape, feel good, reduce pain and injury from exercise. They need to have another reason to motivate themselves to exercise. Like running a 10 k. Or hiking down to the bottom of the grand canyon.

I like to race mountain bikes. I am not going to win any mountain bike races, but I enjoy racing in them and seeing how I stack up against the pros. Usually the races are a reminder that I shouldn’t quit my day job. I compete in 50 to 100 mile mountain bike races. Just like a marathon I have to train for them. I like to keep myself in shape to do a 10 hour, 100 mile mountain bike race. But it takes a lot of training to do it.

For most of us, exercising with the goal of staying in shape is the priority. Most of us want to be able to exercise moderately without hurting themselves. Most people want to just be able to exercise. For most people, hard core training will only cause injury.

Through my clinical experience over the years I have learned which muscles contribute the most to pain and injury, and get injured the most. And which muscles to strengthen up to prevent injury, increase stability, improve activity levels, and reduce pain.

If you haven’t exercised in years and you try to start “training”, you will only injure yourself. You will not be in shape to do the hard core exercises. Your body and muscles will not be used to the new motions and you will make yourself really sore, possibly to the point of being injured for weeks.

Those extreme exercise and training systems are good for those of you who are already in shape and want to get into better shape. They are not designed for someone who is out of shape or in pain.

We are inundated by our celebrity obsessed media with images of people who are impossibly thin and in impossibly good shape. We are made to feel that we should look that way. We are made to feel badly and guilty if we don’t look that way.

The celebrities don’t look that way all of the time. The models don’t look that way all of the time. They are paid to look that way, and paid well. If we had a staff of people helping us to eat right and exercise, it would be much easier to get into shape and stay that way.

Most of us don’t have the genetic disposition to look that way even if we had all of the advantages the celebrities do. Some of us are tall, and some are short. Some of us are thin, while some are thick. In nature there are variances.

Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they are healthy. Just because a celebrity looks good or an athlete looks like they are in great shape, doesn’t mean that they are in great shape or that they are devoid of pain.

People who are heavy and exercising properly are going to be healthier than someone who is of normal weight and not exercising properly. Exercise makes more of a difference in our overall health than whether we are heavy or thin.

I am 5’8”, maybe 5’9” on a good day. No matter how hard I try, I am not going to be able to grow to 6 feet. I am 40 years old. No matter how hard I train, I won’t be able to bench press as much as a 20 year old power lifter.

If you are thick boned, of a larger frame, of a larger build, it will be extremely difficult to become ripped, lean and get 6 pack abs.  If you can achieve being lean and ripped, you will have to go through such extreme measures to achieve those 6 pack abs you will make yourself miserable. You won’t be able to sustain the extreme changes that got you ripped, and eventually you will gain the weight back that you lost, and usually a little more. Not to mention the fact that those extreme changes to your diet and lifestyle that will get you ripped will be very unhealthy, age you prematurely, and affect your health in many other unsavory ways.

Most people would be better off using a moderate exercise routine. Leave your ego at the door. You don’t have to lift more than the person next to you. You don’t know the person next to you. They might not be in the pain that you are in. They might not have the history of injuries that you do. Don’t try to keep up with them.

Exercise is a competition, with yourself and against time. The more you exercise the less time will affect you. It is the only miracle pill we have. It is the best way to slow down the aging process.

Most people will feel better short term and long term on a moderate exercise routine that is sustainable. This means that they can still do the same exercises on potentially 10 to 20 years that they are doing now. The exercises are easy on their bodies and do not promote injury. Actually the right exercises will reduce injury by stabilizing commonly overused joints.

Use light weights, do more repetitions. Don’t go hard. Go moderate. You want to feel the exercise, but you don’t want to injure yourself. Especially at the beginning, when you are just starting into a new exercise routine after not exercising for a while- go easy. You have to get yourself in shape to exercise.

If you train hard, then there is only so long that your body will be able to sustain those exercises before something gives and an injury occurs. Tight and irritated muscles will make you susceptible to injuring your ankle, knee or low back when you trip while walking down the street. They will make an accident into an injury.

Train your muscles for life. Train your muscles to sustain you throughout the rigors of everyday life. If you are not an athlete,  then don’t train like one.

Exercise moderately, be easy on your body. Exercise smarter, not harder. Exercise sustainably. It is the Pain Free way.



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