Summer Strengthening

In the world of gymnastics it is the start of summer training and this has to be my favorite time of the gymnastics year.  It is the time for new tricks, extra flexibility, but my favorite part is pushing the girls past their threshold and make them sore so that we they are stronger for the next competitive season.

Having my background in Kinesiology, I love the human anatomy and also love that I can transfer my knowledge from my first degree into my athletes.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than having my gymnasts come to the gym and tell me how sore they are.  It means I did my job as a coach helping them pass their threshold and help increase their strength.

For athletes, a regimented resistance training has been shown to promote considerable increases in skeletal muscle mass. With traditional resistance training methods, I was taught that an intensity of greater than ~60 % of an athlete’s maximum threshold is necessary to stimulate significant increases in muscular size, and I base my program around this threshold.

I started testing once a week, their personal best in all the different areas, and now reward a Freeze for those who can better their personal best score by more than 5.  We all need a little motivation, and it is incredible what a Freeze can do.  It’s great watching them push themselves to their maximum and also hear the feedback the next training day of how they can barely move.  Then I know I hit their 60% max.

This is much the same as strengthening ourselves on a personal level.  We have to be pushed to what feels like our maximum before we grow as individual.  We are meant to go through some straining times, just like athletes have to strain their muscles to become stronger.  Straining your muscles actually give your muscles micro tears, but once these tears heal, you are stronger than you were before.

The same goes with us in our life.  Something in our life gets us down and we don’t think we can handle what we are going through.  Maybe your children are off course and it is killing you watching them ruin their lives.  Or could it be your marriage is on the rocks and you don’t think you can make it another week in your relationship.  Perhaps it is a financial loss that has you devastated and stressed out.  Did you lose a loved one and your life is upside down without them?

Joshua 1:9 reminds us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Whatever it is that is pushing you to your threshold, hold on tight.  You can do it.  You can make it.  It might feel absolutely horrible right now, but remember God is with you through it all.  Ask God for strength and he will give it to you.  Ask God to help with the pain and he will.  Ask God to protect you and your heart and he will.

Not only is he always with you, and he will help heal the micro tears in your heart, mind and soul, he will help strengthen you and you will learn that what you were put through helped strengthen you as a person and made you into the person you are today!

The old saying, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger” is very true, but the process is much easier if you realize God is with you while you are being push to the brink of your breaking point!  Reach out and take advantage of what he can do to help!  You’ll be amazed just how much you can put up with when he is coaching you!

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