When I was younger and my testosterone levels were higher, I kamikazed my way through gym
workouts, writes Jim Gerard.|
Come pulled muscles, fatigue, or flu, I stuck to my split-routine regimen, methodically
cranking out each set, mindless of any distress signals my body was desperately flashing.
The results, of course, were overtraining, injury, and - often - disenchantment.
From The Body Sculpting Bible For Men
Hatherleigh Press February 2002. Order details
|These days, I might walk into the gym, climb onto a recumbent bike and, after a few seconds,
sense that the revolutions are over and that I should eschew cardio. Or when doing a military
press, I'll feel a slight twinge in my war-weary deltoids and adjust my form to something less
orthodox. Once in a while, I'll even wake up and just feel that the day would be better
spent curled up with a good book instead of a set of dumbbells.
My new training philosophy keeps me injury free, and it's boosted my energy without sacrificing
size, tone, or conditioning. It's based on one key concept: Listening to my intuition.
Web 10 defines intuition as "quick and ready insight," the power to secure knowledge directly,
without rational thought.Dr. Mona Lisa Schultz, physician, medical intuitive, and author of
Awakening Intuition (Three Rivers Press), says, "Intuition is a product of our brains, bodies,
and dreams -- the capacity to make correct decisions with insufficient information."
In the sporting arena, intuition can manifest as a near-mystical awareness of the positioning
of teammates and opponents. (Think: David Beckham making a no-look pass.) Or, Schultz claims,
it can be an intensified perception that borders on the clairvoyant. "For example, Hockey player
Wayne Gretzky sees in his mind's eye what's going to happen before the game even starts. He's always in the
right place at the right time. Many world-class athletes are like this, as are great doctors
and other notable people."
Lynn Robinson, a motivational speaker and author of Divine Intuition: Your Guide to Creating a
Life You Love (DK Publishing), says, "If you're human, you have intuition," but adds that each
of us gets it in a predominantly different way. We just have to discover how it's wired in our
brain. "It could be a gut feeling, bodily sensation, emotion, sound, fleeting symbolic image,
or dream. It can also come through words. Your body may tell you, 'This exercise is not good
for you,' or 'Stop your workout now.'" (Tip: That voice that urges you to "Take the class with
that blonde guy who's got pecs to die for" is not your intuition.)
Although intuition is often relegated to the New Age bin with the rune-throwing alien-contactors,
Schultz insists it has a scientific basis: "It's a product of our brain's connection to our body.
The brain's orbital frontal area and temporal lobe combine all the senses to give us that sense
of inner knowing." And it has a historical pedigree, adds Schultz: It was part of the curriculum
of ancient Greek medical schools.
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Most people acknowledge the existence of intuition, but not everyone knows how to tap its
wisdom or put it into practice. Douglas Brooks, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer
based in northern California, claims that "Intuition has to do with common sense and listening
to your body, yet it's the hardest message to communicate to clients."
All too often, intuition only comes with age and experience. When you're young or beginning an
exercise program, you may not be attuned to your intuitive wavelength. Michael Bahrkey, an
acquisitions editor in the scientific division of Human Kinetics Publishing, says, "I don't
think people listen to their bodies on a formal basis, especially when they first start
exercising." And yet, Bahrkey says, studies of marathon runners showed that those who did
pay attention to bodily hints (such as changes in breathing) performed better than those
who tried to talk away (or otherwise ignore) pain and fatigue.
MORE OUTUK OUTFIT: EXERCISE AND SEX
MORE OUTUK OUTFIT: I WANT MUSCLES
MORE OUTUK OUTFIT: DEVELOPING INTUITION