You’ve probably seen various “workouts from hell” that are basically meant to DESTROY your body for top-notch results and bragging rights. Many of them aren’t nearly as bad (or as tough) as they’re marketed to be because, let’s face it, we’ve gone pretty soft in the 21st century. On the other hand, many of these so-called “workouts from hell” are downright dangerous and border on insanity.
But what about a workout from Heaven that’s meant to build you up, improve your vitality, and make you feel GOOD?
What would that look like? Would it involve a ton of sets and reps? Extremely heavy weights? Dizziness, nausea, or puking? Of course not! It would likely be the exact opposite of that. It would be…heavenly.
Introducing The 7-Phase Workout From Heaven
There are many ways that a heavenly workout could go. And below, you’ll find one way it might go. You can think of these as components of an all-around good workout/training/play session. So, you can add just one or two elements to your existing program. Or, you could combine several or even ALL of them into one glorious session. Up to you, chief.
1) Spend a few minutes in quiet meditation – focusing on your breathing and visualizing a successful workout.
There’s a reason that so many successful people swear by things like meditation, visualization, positive thinking, and other mental training strategies. It’s because they WORK, and they help to improve you as a total human being – not just mentally, but physically, and spiritually, too. It’s not woo-woo. Successful people have known this stuff for a long time, and science is finally starting to unravel and explain how it works.
So, select a technique that suits you. If you’re not sure where to start, you can begin simply by sitting quietly and being mindful of your breathing while imagining yourself performing a perfect workout. Or, you can visualize yourself having already achieved your goals with as much vivid detail as you can muster.
2) Bathe all of your joints and connective tissues with some joint mobility exercises – from head to toe.
I get it. Nobody likes warmups. And joint mobility training isn’t sexy. But it’s a critical aspect of health-first fitness and movement training. All successful athletes make it a priority. And those who don’t suffer for it. Apart from the long list of health, fitness, and performance benefits, you’ll feel so good afterward, and you’ll be glad you did it. In my opinion, everyone should make this a priority.
3) Practice some fun and challenging movement skills like calisthenics, weight lifting, or natural movement – anything that will challenge your body and mind.
What would a heavenly workout be without some work? Many activities can fit within this category. The key is that it’s fun, vigorous, and challenging. I might steer you towards body weight training, gymnastics, MovNat, weight swinging (e.g. Kettlebells or Clubbells), or weight lifting. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy practicing. And feel free to throw in some moderate to high intensity conditioning work at the end of your sessions, if it’s important for your goals.
4) Play a sport or game that will lift your spirits, keep you sweaty, and get you smiling or laughing.
One of the best things about sports, games, and physical play, in general, is that on top of having a lot of fun, you get plenty of exercise, too. And it doesn’t even feel like exercise. So, whatever you enjoy doing – something you would do “just because – as long as it gets your heart rate up, make time for that.
Not sure what that may be? Here are 100 “exercise” ideas to get you started.
5) Go for a nice long walk, an easy run, a bike ride, or a hike, and instead of thinking of it as exercise, just enjoy the experience.
Sure. You could call this “cardio,” but it’s so much more than that. This is something you’re doing outdoors to get some fresh air, soak up the sunshine, de-stress yourself, calm and reset your mind, connect with nature, lift your spirits, boost your creativity, enhance your recovery, AND get some cardiovascular and conditioning benefits as well (among many other things!).
I’ve shared before about how I’m a big fan of walking. And there are many things that I love about running. And it’s probably no secret that, for me, hiking is practically ecstasy. And it’s not because these activities help keep my cholesterol under control. It’s because I just love doing them. They restore, rejuvenate, and invigorate me – and not just physically.
6) Cooldown with some vibration drills & compensatory movement.
When you’re finished with your training, regardless of what it entailed, do yourself a BIG favor and take some time to mindfully cool down to kick-start the recovery process and help you transition back to the rest of your life. These vibration training drills will be a great asset toward that end. As would compensatory movement, which is a unique practice that requires a little bit of education to pull off properly. Here is a primer I put together on compensatory yoga for people who sit too much. Apart from that, I recommend looking into Progressive Yoga, and eventually, Prasara Yoga, to learn and master this skill.
Note: here are 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Yoga.
7) Finish with some deep breathing in corpse pose, being grateful for the body you have.
Gratitude is an integral part of any heavenly workout. And one of the easiest ways to practice it is when you’re flat on your back pretending to be a dead guy. But seriously, finish your cooldown with some square breathing (aka “box breathing”) in corpse pose for deep relaxation, giving thanks for your current state of health, your fitness, the opportunity to train, and anything else you feel grateful for. This is the perfect end to any training session.
Slowing down, emphasizing recovery, getting out into nature, practicing mindfulness, challenging yourself, expressing gratitude, and playing. These are some of the key components of a heavenly workout. And together, they make a darn-near ideal physical training regime.
There’s a time and a place for hard physical training – even extreme challenges. But most of the time, you’ll be better off training to feel good and perform well than to just “take the pain” and punish/submit/destroy your body.
You’ll notice from the list above that there’s a good balance of hard and soft training – both high intensity and low intensity activities. And it’s a good idea to analyze your own training to see where you fall on the spectrum (i.e. if you do more of one type than the other).
If you deviate too far in one direction, you’ll eventually pay the price. So, those who are interested in health, longevity, optimal results, and peak performance should strive for balance among these areas.
So, why not incorporate some of them into YOUR next workout? It’ll do your body, mind, and spirit good.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends:
Health-First Fitness Coach