Just Do It
Posted October 06, 2023 by Matthew Romans
I am a Nike guy; I love most of the designs of their shoes and apparel. Founder Phil Knight's memoir "Shoe Dog" is a captivating read that I would recommend to anyone, even if they aren't a fan of the brand. One of the most enduring ad campaigns that Nike has ever produced was the "Just Do It" slogan that was created in 1988. The reason that it still resonates today is that you can come up with all kinds of excuses not to pursue certain endeavors. Don't give yourself an out; just do it, even when other forces are pulling at you, and even when you don't feel that you're at your best.
Total Results exercise is hard. It is supposed to be hard because making physical improvements requires the body to divert resources that are metabolically expensive. The human body is quite resistant to change, so it needs a significant reason to adapt. High intensity weight training is interpreted as an existential threat to its safety (even though it is perfectly safe if performed properly), and when the body is faced with this threat it will make the desired improvements if requirements are met in the form of nutrition, sleep, hydration, stress management, and time. Pushing to and beyond muscular failure and moving quickly to the next exercise is uncomfortable, unpleasant, and not fun, but it is a biological necessity to achieve optimal results. While we regularly talk about this with clients, it's natural that there are some days when one might not be particularly enthusiastic about going through this process for 20 minutes. This is when you need to tell yourself to just do it.
There are always pressures and stressors in life; that is part of being a responsible and productive adult. The vast majority of work in this world is performed by people who don't feel 100 percent. I tell my football players the same thing when they tell me they're tired or have a minor nick from a drill at practice or in a game. There is a difference between being hurt (experiencing some minor discomfort) and being injured (severe pain). From a workout perspective, there are lots of reasons for not being perfectly recovered - less than optimal sleep, poor diet, feeling stressed, etc. It's important to push through even on those days when your energy level isn't sky high; once you make one excuse for missing a workout it becomes easier to do it again. Even if your strength performance isn't the greatest, you will still reap significant metabolic and cardiovascular benefits if you push to failure and move quickly between exercises. Physiologically, there is really no optimal time of day to workout; you just have to do it.
I will admit that early morning workouts are typically not ideal for me. When I arrive at the office I do a number of things to prepare for my day: look at my schedule, go over clients' charts, and get the office up and running. My preference is to workout in the afternoon on Tuesdays, but I have had to shift my workout days and times around due to a condensed schedule from coaching football. I understand the importance of keeping up with my weekly workouts, and I push myself to complete my sessions (even if it's at 6 AM) because I am aware of the repercussions if I allow myself to skip. It's also important that I set an example; if I slack off, how can I possibly admonish clients that do the same thing? Having a sense of urgency is a positive thing.
Too many people float through life without any real purpose; don't be one of those people. I encourage you to take your health seriously and control your own destiny. Do everything that you can to avoid the medical bureaucracy, and that starts with establishing and maintaining good habits. Yes, you want to do the little things every day to ensure success in your workouts, but even when you don't feel you're at your best, just do it anyway. You will be proud of yourself for overcoming adversity. Embrace the challenge that you can achieve something meaningful even when you're tired, stressed, or just plain don't feel like it. Don't be content with mediocrity. You have complete control over what happens to you, and it only takes less than one hour per week. Just do it!