Exercise physiologist Elizabeth Quinn defines the principle of specificity thusly:

Specificity is the principle of training that states that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.

She goes on to add that according to this principle, if you want to run you should train by running and if you want to swim, you should train by swimming.

So here’s the question I pose to you:

What are you training for?

It’s possible that a sliver of you are professional athletes and you have a clearly defined reply.  However, my hunch is that most folks reading this blog would answer by saying either that they hadn’t ever considered the question or that they are training, i.e., “working out,” so that they can be healthy and live long and productive lives.

I recognize some of you may, in fact, be training for a certain event – a 5K, a marathon, a triathlon.  If that is the case, I ask you to take a few steps back for a moment and consider your lifelong activities and not the next race or event.

What are you training for?

Now that you’ve considered that question, here’s another:

Is your training relevant and appropriate to the “sport” for which you are training?

If we continue the assumption I laid out above about what your goals are, the question becomes:

Are the activities you are using as training tools specific to your goal of living a healthy, long and productive life?

Over the next few weeks, I want to explore this question.  Are the activities that we do in the name of “fitness” or “wellness” or “health” or “longevity” relevant and appropriate to that goal?  Or, are they in fact counterproductive?  Are our activities making us less well, more stressed, tired, sore and cranky?

I look forward to covering this territory with you.

(If you want to delve in already, I recommend Craig Valency’s six-part series “How Functional is Functional Training?”  Craig did an excellent job analyzing the issue in a readily accessible way.)



4 Responses to “What Are You Training For?”

  1. on 19 Oct 2012 at 11:25 pmMonica

    This is a fascinating topic for me right now. I recently realized that between my new schedule (and therefore inability to participate regularly in the workout group you know I love) and my mental block with a health issue, I need to take a step back and truly evaluate what will make *ME* healthy. I do know that I am training to feel stronger, in more ways than one. Figuring out how that translates into a weekly workout plan is the hard part.

  2. on 20 Oct 2012 at 9:26 amKristine Rudolph

    Well, then I can’t wait to continue the conversation!

  3. on 21 Oct 2012 at 10:11 pmKatie

    Very interesting! I have a marathon in two weeks and i have no answer for the **what next?!?** that I know will hit right after. I can’t wait to read more!

  4. […] 1: www.Restorativeextercise.com Footnote 2: http://kristinerudolph.com/what-are-you-training-for-2/ Footnote […]

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply