Making Gains vs. Preventing Losses

I started working out in the gym when I was in my late teens.  Over that the last 20 years, physical fitness for me was all about increasing numbers.  Lift more weight, gain more muscle, lose more fat.  Make measurable gains.

As I saw middle age approaching I became aware that fitness shifts from making gains to preventing losses.  Don’t lose strength, don’t lose mobility.  Don’t become a weak, immobile, old turd.

About a year ago I really started to focus on mobility.  I’ll cut through the shit and say that compared to seeing progress in weight lifting, it’s less than satisfying.  I’ve never been a stretcher, and going through a stretching program gave me minimal satisfaction, all it really did was remind me how inflexible I am.  I struggled to work it into my daily routine, and despite KNOWING it was important, I would ditch it for days in a row.  Gains, if any, are slow and measured in millimetres.

Over the last year I have gotten better about doing my daily stretch.  It took time to embed it into my routine.  I had to keep telling myself that it was important, despite how unsatisfying it was.  The other day I sprained my ankle skateboarding and took four days off my daily stretching.  I just got back to it this morning and I could feel the regression.  It was a surprising reminder that the goal here is to just hold the line.  Father time is a son of a bitch, and if you put it in neutral, there’s no coasting forward, you just get pushed back.

Here’s the daily routine I follow.  It’s free, easy to follow long, and only 20 minutes.