Activities you enjoy and progress you can see become especially satisfying when they are actually aligned to things you care about.
If you really want to lose weight but are just getting stronger than you're going to get frustrated.
Likewise, the person who wants to be strong and is actually just adding muscle mass or getting leaner.
Our first challenge is actually knowing what we want. True self-knowledge can be surprisingly difficult. We are often the easiest person for ourselves to trick.
And once we do know, we must ensure our approach will lead to our desired outcome.
Adaption is specific. The law of specificity is the single most powerful principal in training. You must provide the appropriate stimulus for whatever change you want to create.
Learning about how different approaches stress and transform your body in different ways is critical to gaining full ownership of your training.
Let's assume your goal is to run farther. Creating alignment for you might involve:
Perhaps you can run one mile but wish you could run five. You can currently complete the mile in 7 minute and 45 seconds. So you slow way down and try to run 3 miles at 9 minute pace. Despite it feeling slow initially you keep crashing and feel miserable.
The problem is you actually need to go way way slower. Your heart rate is quickly exceeding your capacity to sustain. So you’re training your peak aerobic capacity (VO2 max) not your distance (lactate threshold). You start wearing a heart rate monitor and are careful to not led it exceed 135 beats per minute. You discover that you need to run slower than 11 minute pace to do this.
Within days, you’re running 3 miles with ease and within weeks you knock off a 5 mile run without pain. The second half of the run has become easier than the first. You now won’t stop telling your coworkers about this crazy runners high
The same type of intentional alignment exists within most forms of training. Ask yourself, am I acctually training the mechanism required to achieve the outcome that I want most?