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Work Hard, Play Hard

by Dino Angelopoulos

Why should I go to the gym?

This is an interesting question that is asked quite frequently. It is a misconception to believe that you have adequate strength as a result of being active, e.g. running, biking, skiing, etc. You may be fit for a specific sport because of the volume of time spent doing it, but your muscles may not be as balanced in strength as you think they are. The muscles that go unused actually may get weaker from mass volumes of repetition without variation.

General fitness has a handful of different components, and we all need all of them. Cardiovascular fitness, muscle endurance, flexibility/ mobility (a topic for a different conversation), and muscular strength - these all make up the general categories of fitness.

There is another aspect called performance fitness, that is more sport-related; agility, speed, and power - these rely on a good base of general fitness to be contributing factors.

Now when you train one aspect of general fitness, the others decrease. The more cardiovascular work you do (e.g. running), the weaker your muscles actually get in producing power. So there is a need to do both strength and fitness work as they co-benefit each other.

Strong muscles are also efficient muscles. The more efficient your muscles are, the better you can do your chosen activities. And this is why you should go to the gym, to keep your strength up inside, so you can continue to recreate in true fitness outside.

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