Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Update and Giving 100%

Picture courtesy of

Last week, Julie and I joined a gym. We chose In-Shape Health Club due to the fact that they have a ton of group fitness classes, a pool, and child care that is included in the monthly fee. The child care is especially cool as it allows us to attend classes together on occasion. Needless to say, so far we are both very pleased with our decision. In fact, a shared fitness class experience led me to the content of this post. In a nutshell, I had two experiences this week where I know I was giving more than the others in my fitness class.  My musings this week have to do with giving 100%, but first, a disclaimer: I am not an elite athlete; in fact, I am far from it, but I do push myself, especially when asked. Without further ado, here I present my case.

  • Exhibit A: during a “total body fitness class” the instructor wanted us to attempt to jump from one side of the studio to the other in three standing broad jumps. Of course, she was only trying to make us push ourselves, but I promise you that I damn near jumped through the wall on the other side of the studio.  As for the others, they did not appear to be trying nearly as hard.
  • Exhibit B: During spin class, the instructor split the room in half and we did a dueling race, with each side sprinting and the other side sprinting to catch up and pass. Now I’m not saying the others weren’t trying, but I was damn near moving my stationary bike across the room in order to “catch and pass” the other team.

Now, how often have you heard that you have to give 100% or even 110% in everything you do? Hell, how often have you told others to give 100%?  While it’s an admirable thought, is giving 100% each and every day even possible? Now hang on before you drum me out of the circle and let me explain.  Let’s assume that when you run a race that you are giving 100%. I think that’s a fair assumption.  After all, you normally don’t train for months at a time to finally get on the course and give anything less than your best effort right? So if you give 100% on race day then what do you give during training? 90%? 75% 50%? Where do you draw the line? Which run gets what percentage of effort? Is it like the image above with all runs in a week equaling 100% effort? You can’t run at 100% effort everyday can you? Wouldn't you break down if you tried? I mean running is a daily activity, not something only done a couple times a year.  To get good at running, you have to run. 

How about other athletes? Take football players for example, they play once a week, so we can assume that they give 100% every Saturday (NCAA) and Sunday (NFL), right? I mean we know they don’t give 100% in practice or else they would never make it to game day.  Baseball and Basketball are more akin to running since they play multiple times per week with 160+ and 82 games respectively per year. So when do you give 100%? Divisional games? Playoff games?

If you agree with my hastily oversimplified and generalized argument, then my question is how often can you truly give 100% in everything you do every time you do it? If not, then how often should you give 100%? Will excessively giving 100% lead to injury? I’m very excited to hear your thoughts on this. Perhaps your comments will lead to a JALR Facebook poll.

Anyway, here’s the weekly recap. Overall, it was a pretty good week with very little pain. I have my first physical therapy appointment Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say. I’ll keep you posted.

Swim – 2x - 1000m (week) - 2000m (year)
Bike - 3 x spin class - 65 miles (week)  - 107 miles (year)
Run - 1 x run - 3 miles (week)  -  1253 miles (year)
Workouts – 2 - 1 x RIPPED class, 1 x 25/50/100/200 (pull-ups, pushups, overheard lifts, crunches) 

Hope you guys have a great week. Stay tuned to this site as I’ve got some good stuff coming up, like a “7 random things” post, a review of the Go Sport ID, and a review of the Tommie Copper compression shirt.