Stuck in an exercise rut?

“I am exercising as hard as I can so why am I not getting stronger, faster, better?”

This is a common one. A new client starts with us and joins the group classes. Let’s call them Jill. We have 3 very distinct levels, with the Intro class teaching correct technique and alignment. Jill is desperate to feel the benefits and doesn’t want to waste time with those ‘beginner level’ classes. She wants to work hard and feel the benefits.

Only problem is, Jill has no idea where her body is in space. Her co-ordination is poor and when we talk about correct joint placement she thinks I’m referring to wacky tobacky because she has never learnt the language that would have been taught to her in the foundation classes.

Jill is lost, her body isn’t responding to the work she is putting in and she’s losing motivation. 3 months later Jill comes to class and complains that nothing has changed in her body. She’s stronger but her back still hurts, she’s getting lost in class and she feels like the repertoire is boring and repetitive.

Problem was, Jill never made time to learn the essence of what we are trying to teach her so she has missed the point. She was looking for the medal but she didn’t play the game. If you want to play tennis in the Wimbledon Pro, you wouldn’t go buying a one way ticket to London on the same day you purchase your first tennis racket. You spend time learning how to bounce a ball, how to hold the racket and then you hit the ball against the wall over and over and over again. And when you think you have perfected it, you do it all over again, knowing that you are getting better, faster and stronger simply by keeping it simple.

After time and commitment (and more time), you realise that you are serving aces against the Williams sisters and you’re rubbing shoulders with the best of them. Where did the time go? How did you get to be so good? It seems like only yesterday you were purchasing a racket and dreaming of grass courts.

There is no fast track to success with any movement practice. You gotta start at the beginning, learn the language, delve into the foundations and then progress slowly as you master every intricacy of every exercise.

There is also no shortcut to the advanced class. You gotta start at the bottom, understand every single detail, know how to get the most out of the most basic exercise and then move on to the next level. There is longevity and great success at taking your time. The wins will be consistent and memorable, the benefits far greater to those who honour themselves time to learn.

Personally I have been teaching and practising the same discipline for over 10 years and I still go back to the foundations and check in on myself, slow things down, remember where I have progressed from.

Practice makes progress and progress takes practice. I can challenge my body with the most simple exercise because I have learnt how to connect with every fibre of every muscle of my being. My strength is deep and supportive and forgiving, the relationship with my body respectful and intuitive.

Want to know how you can progress with intention? Check out our Facebook page for inspiration on exercising with intention.