Friday, October 31, 2014

Questioning Your Workout

It may surprise you the number of people that begin a fitness regimen or training program for a specific goal such as a marathon or triathlon and have no idea what they are doing why they are doing it.  While exercise is good, understanding why you are doing something will greatly improve the results.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of any exercise program, understanding a simple concept in learning is important. While the traditional model of learning in the education system has predominately utilized a “push” method of learning – a one way dissemination of information, to really facilitate learning and maximize the time and effort you are putting in to training, I recommend adopting a “pull” focused learning strategy.

What do I mean by a “pull” learning strategy? That is a good question, literally. A pull strategy is where a facilitator or independent learning uses good open ended questions to facilitate learning. Instead of trying to simply remember everything, and then apply it, you use a series of questions to dig deeper into the information to gain a better grasp of learning. 

For example, if I am learning about how the body utilizes food for fuel during exercise, instead of simply reading the information, I will ask myself and others “open-ended” questions (questions without a yes or no answer) to help me research the material to have a better understanding of the concept and how to apply that knowledge to my particular situation.

Using open ended questions in your exercise program can help you gain more from your efforts and have more rewarding experience. Here are some examples to get you started.

Ask WHAT are you going to do?  If your goal is to run a marathon, question why you want to do it and write in detail what it means to you to accomplish this goal. What training plan will you use? What equipment do you need?

Ask HOW…How are you  going to train.  How much time do I have to train?  How are you going to tackle your training plan? How are you going to measure the results of your training to make sure you meet your goal? How are you going to deal with the mental aspects of rigorous training and racing?  How will you continue to learn and grow towards your goals?

Ask WHERE…..Where is the race going to be that you want to do?  Where will you conduct your training so you train on a course similar to the race course? Where will you do your strength training? Where will you work out when the weather is bad and you can’t be outside?

Ask Who….who will be your support team for moral encouragement? Who will be your trainer? Who will be your medical support?

While these are a few examples, effective questioning, especially when using who, what, when and how together for most topics, will stimulate the thought process that will ultimately lead to research, growth and personal development.


Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.  

No comments:

Post a Comment