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    Sitting down workouts

    My Grandad on my Mum’s side had a quick wit. Known as Jack he was a bit of a legend to me, he had some old war tales which as a kid growing up in New Zealand had a lot of adventure and mystery about them.

    We would sometimes watch football together and he’d make some fairly accurate and usually not very complimentary comments about the players abilities. By all accounts (usually his) he was a pretty decent left winger and played at a high amateur level in the south of England. So he had every right to be judging them!

    One of the best sports quips he ever made and one that has remained with me for life was during an Olympic Games or possibly a Commonwealth Games while cousins and me and my brother were watching New Zealand win a gold medal in rowing and he said, “New Zealand only wins events where you sit down”.

    New Zealand Rowing Eight – GOLD medal, Tokyo Olympics 2022 (2021?)

    We were so disappointed in realising he had a point! Over the years New Zealand has won many medals in rowing and canoeing, cycling, equestrian and sailing and not many other sports. Ok so we have had some runners, our hockey teams go ok (famously beating Australia at the Montreal Olympics to win gold) and swimmers (but maybe they’re worse, they’re lying down!) but generally my old Grandad’s candid and slightly barbed point was fairly accurate.

    The reason I am talking about this is due to what these athletes need to do to prepare for their events. They need to condition themselves physically for a sitting event. It would of course require some sitting stuff but also a lot of exercises where they don’t actually sit. Training for their event would mean over time and as the event nears, more specific training around the actual activity would occur. You may be familiar with the term periodisation and this applies to all sports preparation and generally the exact type of training work done in the event increases as the event gets closer.

    Now recently I have noticed more people using sitting equipment in their workouts. In fact I have witnessed it for years and was probably guilty of doing it myself. I guess “working out” sitting on your arse is a whole lot easier than working out standing up, right?

    So why really would we (do we) sit down to train? Is there any benefit? Ok so on a spin bike or better, an Assault Air/Erg type bike sure, I can understand that but the recumbant bike – the true lazy-arse style of training. I am going to sit back, stretch out and………..exercise? Really? Hahaha. And yes the rower, the Concept 2 sure. In small doses as far as I am concerned is ok, unless you are really prepping for a rowing event.

    But seated back rows, seated overhead presses, seated bicep curls (that’s a beauty!), lat pulldowns, pec-dec etc etc what is the point of doing these? Yes you can absolutely isolate a muscle but so?

    Once again I arrive at purpose. What is the purpose of your training? If it is function (fixing an old injury or being better at your sport), or if you want to get leaner, fitter and stronger there are far more functional ways of doing this than sitting down to train.

    Sitting negatively affects posture by switching off core muscles that we would prefer to be switched on while training. We really want our body to work as a single unit, recruiting maximal muscle tissue (this increases calorie expenditure as well) and joints means our body learns to work as a single unit, something that has direct transfer to most sports and athletic events.

    If you’re going to sit down while you exercise or train, go all the way and get a gold medal for it otherwise stand up, it’ll work a whole lot better for you!

    darren@3TRUTHSFitness.com
    www.3TRUTHSFitness.com

    #Building Better Humans

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