“Building up or Wearing out?”

By Jim Bryan

This is a question I find myself thinking about often. My friends and colleagues talk about this in ongoing conversations. All of us have at least 20 years invested in exercise, not just weight training. For me, I’m going on 50 years of pretty much continuous training for strength, conditioning, or physical skill improvement. I do believe the statement that you have only so many beats in your heart. BUT I feel exercise (at least in early to advanced stages) adds some beats. Studies prove that exercise does help you live longer and adds more “life improvement.” But what about us hard heads that have approached exercise with the “Take no prisoners attitude?”

In the long run this could be bad. Anything in exercise taken to the extreme could wind up being harmful sooner or later. In my case I feel it has become later and I am very aware of how I do things now. I no longer try to squeeze every darn drop of sweat out of me during training. I’m not saying I’m ready for the rocking chair (but you can find me there sometimes. J) What I’m saying is this, When you have been training for several years, you should be smart enough to look at what you have learned and ask the question “Does it still work for me?” If you can HONESTLY answer yes, then good on ya! If you have to justify or BS yourself, then you are headed for a breakdown.

I know the big question will be, “Are you still training HIT?”

I train the way I have learned from many that took the time to teach me. Arthur Jones was one and he had a great impact on my training but I don’t think of myself as this “Great HIT Guru” like some of the Internet HIT types. Others have shown me much that I am able to use. Bill Lemacks, Al Christensen, Tom Bowman, Craig Whitehead, Harry Smith all had massive input early into my Strength Training and Bodybuilding. I was curious and sought out people with more experience than me.

Today at 65, I look at this situation differently. I don’t like being hurt or sore all the time. I don’t always train to failure. I use many different methods to train. I try to keep in mind “Is this helpful or will I pay with pain?” I do have chronic problems brought on by, the best way I can describe it is, “stupidity.” Long answer made short is this. You can train hard when you are young but keep it safe. You can speed the “wearing out” process if you don’t use good sense.

You will pay daily later on if you don’t. Don’t neglect one over the other (strength———Conditioning) Spend time in the Gym, but don’t forget to get outside and “Move” regularly too!

Keep in mind that training is supposed to make you better, not cripple you.

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