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Why do we train? 

Why do we train? 

With only a few days left of this year, I would like to take the opportunity to invite some contemplation. My work is largely about helping people, specifically to change and more specifically sustainable change. This can mean that we either start doing something, do more of something, or do less of something or maybe stop doing something altogether.  

Achieving sustainable change is based on constantly asking questions and questioning what and why we do what we do. Without first knowing what the desired change will lead to, it is impossible to know whether it will lead to something better.  

The questions we should ask ourselves can often be perceived as harsh and provocative, which is also the purpose. Only when we touch a sore spot do we become aware of it. If our feelings are not aroused, we will just continue as before.  

I would not do my job by saying that something is good if it is not. If a person can't answer why they need my help, I won't be able to help them either. The last thing I want to do is spend a lot of energy on something that won't make a difference anyway, and for me it's also about understanding how it will make a difference.  

In these holidays when everyday life is broken and we may have a little extra time off, it may be time for reflection. Something that we should actually do regularly and that in many cases is as important as conducting follow-up tests of our training. Without them, we don't know if what we do leads to what we want. The advice I always give to my athletes before a new start is to stop and think about why we are actually training? For many, this question can be more challenging than the absolute hardest workout imaginable. 

There are no right or wrong answers here and the first thing we should perhaps ask ourselves is what purpose we have with training or if we even have a purpose? Is the reason we exercise because it makes us feel good or is it about trying to achieve some specific goal? Whatever our answer, it is the follow-up questions that raise the intensity.  

For example, if the answer is that we exercise to feel good, what is it that makes us feel good? Is it because the release of endorphins makes us feel more positive about life or is it because we feel proud that we have done the exercise? If I am exercising to lose weight, the question is why should I lose weight? What would be better if I reach my desired weight? Do we exercise just to be able to compare ourselves with others? Do we value ourselves as better because we exercise more or as worse because we don't? 

If training is instead for a specific goal, what do we hope to gain from achieving that goal? Have we thought about why we actually put so much time and energy into achieving this particular goal? Do I have a realistic picture of what the goal will actually mean? 

The more specific answers we can give ourselves, the more we will see the value of our work and training. A common realization is that we only exercise out of habit or to get attention from others.  None of this is inherently wrong and the sooner we understand that this is the case, the sooner we can make a change. However, there can be much more serious reasons why we exercise. Some can be purely destructive, but if we just become aware of why, we can also get help to find better ways.  

As you can imagine, we all have our personal reasons for exercising and some forms of exercise are more effective than others. So is there something universal to strive for when it comes to exercise and physical activity? My experience tells me that there is. What all exercise should include and aim for is that it develops us as individuals. That it contributes to making us stronger in our everyday lives. 

Understanding also plays a role here, i.e. that we not only understand that what we do will lead to improvement, but also how. Increased understanding is also development. So it doesn't matter whether the development takes place on an intellectual or physical level. The only important thing is that we do it purely because we want to.  

The purpose of this post was not to spoil the nice Christmas mood we may have been in, but to make us think a little deeper. What gives us the most energy and motivation is when we can both see where we are going and why, then there is usually no problem with seeing how to get there! 

There's so much more I could add to this extremely important topic, but that's for another time! If you have any questions about what we have discussed here, you can also contact me via support@kona-sports.com or call me at +46 (0)141 21 70 70.  

Go out and enjoy your development, wherever you are! Happy hollidays! 

/Magnus R Lindstedt 

Magnus 25/01/2024 11:06

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