It's ok I play a sport, I don't need to go to the Gym.
Does this sound like you?
If so then read on.
We're all the same, anatomically from the way we function and move.
If I extend my arm so can you. If I can do the splits so can you. If I can run 10k so can you.
Our bodies are soo intelligent and soo complex that if it's not functional or looked after from a physical standpoint then the wake up call is going to be just around the corner.
I wanted to write this blog because of 2 reasons. I believe that there are 2 types of people that fall under this category: 1. People that think that playing a sport will get them fit and healthy. (to somewhat degree it will)
2. People that are too lazy or unmotivated to go to the gym so they pick up a sport to play.
If you're looking to get into a sport for the easy way out you'll quickly find that -
You'll either want to excel at it and have to train to become better or you may get injured so you'll end up having to heel the injury, train to become stronger and more conditioned. Both of which will probably require you to go to the gym or do the external work.
Playing a sport is fantastic and have huge all round benefits, physically and socially (if you a part of a team sport that is) however, no one tells you that being a sportsman comes with huge consequences. The main consequence being muscle imbalance. This includes: 1. Overdeveloped/underdeveloped muscles in a particular area due to the sports nature.
2. Muscle development of one specific area/side due to repetition, form and/or technique.
This then has a knock on effect on our bodies and body structure, don't get me wrong there is no such thing as a perfect posture but when doing anything with repetition over time to somewhat degree structurally you will change, your stance and even to the way you move every day. It will be in your subconscious.
Structural changes and muscle imbalances will jeopardise body functionality and this is where injuries occur. Performance and improvement in any sport (to become the best in your field) will require our bodies to have optimal health, fitness and movement for any sportsman and athlete wanting to excel!
These small muscle or structural imbalances will overtime increase the risk of injury.
Then, when that injury does occur, guess what? You'll need to train, work on it, get it stronger, move better, move well and commit yourself to healing it. That means, you'll probably end up in the gym.
By this point you're probably thinking 'I hate this place'. But ask yourselves this, is it because you have associated the gym with a negative thought. i.e 'Oh I'm here again doing the stupid exercises that the physio has asked me to do, it's soo boring' or 'Training is hard, it's painful and I can't do the exercises well, I feel to weak to do them'.
And before you know it, you've given up. 'Maybe I'll try another sport? Perhaps that won't get me injured'. You then think that the previous sport you played was bad.
And here you are, back to square 1.
Before I move on, if you're reading this and feel that's you, I want to say that It's not your fault. Everyone hates hitting the gym when they first start, it seems as a chore to all of us. However with the correct coaching and guidance and learning the beauty behind training the body you'll learn to love it. For me body function and movement is an art in itself, whether that's lifting weights or rolling around on the floor.
Now on the other hand you might be the type that really want's to excel in the activity you are participating in but you are not quite sure how to get better.
Now don't get me wrong, practicing a sport will result in you getting better. But to reach optimal athleticism, strength, body composition (If your sport requires it) movement and flexibility it will require you to go to the gym and have a program to follow.
This might mean you have to get a personal trainer (most defiantly one that has participated or played your sport) or get an online coach and follow the plan yourself, either is fine.
There is nothing more attractive than someone grafting and putting in the effort to become better at what they want to do.
Of course we are not all high level athletes, nor are we all crazy about training, nor do we all have endless time on our hands to train. However even a few hours a week spend conditioning or in the gym will make a huge difference, you'll learn soo much about your body that you didn't already know and it is soo rewarding when you start seeing the results and what you can accomplish.
Just to summerise:
- Playing and participating in a sport is excellent on so many levels.
- If you only go to the gym and have some spare time on your hands you should definitely try out a new sport/activity that tests your abilities.
- You will see progress when participating in a sport over time.
- You should compliment any activity sport with a training plan in the gym.
- You should take an active roll into further understanding your body and how it works in order to improve.