Exercise is a stress to the body. It is disrupting the equilibrium of your body, which your body interprets as stress. This means exercise will spike cortisol.
Chronically elevated cortisol will result in problems in your body, as I discussed earlier. However, studies show that regular exercise can improve your stress response, even though it acutely spikes cortisol acutely or right away.
So the answer is not to stop exercising all together. The answer is to figure out how to dose exercise so that your body responds favorably.
A common thing I've been told from my Evlo members is that they work out less frequently and intensely with my program, and yet they see more desirable changes in their bodies.
This change happens partly because of the exercise selection we are choosing - we are intentionally choosing exercises that load the muscles in the most effective ways with minimal joint stress. That results in better muscle adaptation with less painful joints. But it...
2021 can be your year to exercise without pain. 2020 was mine.
This year, I exercised for fewer hours than I have in years. This year, I am physically stronger than I’ve ever been. This year is the first year I haven’t had to skip a single workout because of an injury. This year, I’ve finally been able to move past my daily chronic back pain.
There have been many technical things I’ve changed about my workouts. I’ve learned more about exercise mechanics and force distribution, which has led me to prioritize certain exercises more frequently than others. I’ve chosen to leave some common exercises out of my routine completely. I’ve learned to program my workouts, so I challenge my muscles sufficiently for change without overusing them and causing inflammation. Although these technical changes have made a huge difference, I think the biggest differences come from the changes in my mindset.
Your warm-ups are particularly important to your workout's success because you are priming your body to tolerate resistance. It's all about creating an environment where your nervous system feels safe to be mobile and effectively contract muscles.
If you take the time to do this correctly, you can see results much faster and reduce your injury risk.
So what is the best way to warm-up? Stretching, jogging, jumping jacks?
I believe the best way to warm-up is to implement a series of mobility drills throughout most, if not all, of your joints.
These repetitive movement drills fluidly move the joint (usually in circular motions) throughout the entire range of motion that joint was designed to move. These mobility drills are important for this reason:
They provide feedback to your nervous system to activate muscles and generate strength via a phenomenon called the arthokinematic reflex (1).
Your bones are...