This question is closely linked to goal setting. What do we want to achieve through our training? That is probably different for every individual. The biggest difference however might be between professional or high level athletes and the rest of the population. For the first group the goals are pretty clear while for the second group it might be harder to pinpoint. Lets start with the first then.
The professional athlete
For the small group of high level athletes this question is quickly answered. A sprinter wants to run faster, a weightlifter wants to lift more, the footballplayer wants to play better and the professional bodybuilder wants to grow muscles. All their trainig is therefore aimed to maximize their performance in the respective discipline in a certain moment of time, namely their competition.
That being said, most of us don’t fall in that category and will have a totally different answer to that question.
“Fitness” is a common answer for maybe the majority of people who work out or want to work out. However, the term fitness is in my personal opinion vastly overused nowadays. Several Fitness magazines print the 4158th version of the best way to get a sixpack and a whole industry is selling an enormous amount of products from nutritional supplements to all kinds of more or less useful training devices and programs.
Fitness can cover a lot of aspects and everyone has his or her very own definition. That can vary from good looks (six-pack, biceps..) to a blend of endurance, strength and sometimes flexibility which is of course different for everyone.
Man Lifting Weights
So what is my take on why we train?
I’d say for personal Freedom!
………..What do I mean?
First of all, I will include everything people might relate to Fitness.
I think it’s Freedom… to be able to lift and carry heavier stuff whenever needed, to be able to sprint, run and bike for a while or climbing the stairs over several stories without being completely out of breath.
And the looks? Of course! Or is it not freedom to walk confidently on the beach without feeling the urge to hide?
Also moving without pain and injuries. This is probably the most obvious one because everyone of us has surely experienced pain or an injury and knows how these things can limit ones personal freedom.
And what about having the body doing exactly what we want it to do? How about learning new movements more quickly? Maybe someone invites us to a dancing class, we want to try a martial art, learn a cartwheel or anything else.
But no… “I’m just clumsy, have always been.. I’ll just make a fool out of myself, I’ll never be able to do THAT”.
Yes, some people pick new stuff up quicker than others, some people started gymnastics when they were 4 and others were born in a circus family.
Will we reach that level? Probably not but for sure we can train to get better in learning new stuff.. and in moving more smoothly, more efficiently, more beautifully, more safely and so on.
All of this is freedom! It means we can actually DO more whenever we need to or just feel like it.
And that is what we train for!
What it actually means for our training will be discussed in one of our coming blogs.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.
As respect to the creators of the used copyright-free pictures, the links:
Man with dumbbell