The Pro's And Con's Of Using Sports To Get Into Shape

Some people love going to the gym. They live and breathe it. But what happens if you find the gym boring? Does that mean you can never get into the shape you want? In this newsletter, I want to touch on the Pro's and Con's of using sport to get you into shape. 

The problem with just using the gym

  • Can get very boring on your own
  • 1-1 training is a little bit better but depends on your relationship with your trainer. If your trainer has no chat then it could be an "awkwaaaaaard" hour!
  • The small group training is the best as you get the technical focus of 1-1, but energy and banter of group class, but gyms that specialise in delivering this service are very hard to find. 
  • Group class has lots of energy and loud music but misses the technical details most people need. These places can also be quite intimidating for newcomers. 


What is the alternative?

So what do you do if you just want to play sport? 

Here are a few examples

  • 5 a side football- Great for building fitness levels with fast-paced play, quick changes in direction, acceleration, deceleration, the occasional bit of diving and most likely kicking someone else's shins. Football can be very harsh on the knees, though.
  • Tennis and squash- Chasing a ball around a court trying to outsmart your opponent is great for fitness levels. A lot of agility and core stability needed to return the ball with power and accuracy. As with 5-a side football can be very harsh on the knees and ankles. 
  • Martial Arts- Depending on the martial art it can be excellent for mental toughness, endurance, power and overall body awareness. Probably the best of most sports in terms of health for the body, but that is mainly due to the nature of the training. 


Bringing it all together

. Sport alone can get you into reasonable shape, improve your coordination, give you a great social life, build character and boost confidence. What it lacks is the structure of physical training to take your body to the next level through strength and conditioning work. 

The gym alone can be great as it gives you a structured routine to help develop your body and most likely improve your nutrition to compliment your work in the weights room. The problem with the gym is that you don't get to fully express yourself as you do on a sports field, use the strength you have developed in a skilful way and the gym existence can be a lonely one. 

In an ideal world, the hybrid of organised training and a sport for pleasure would be the best mix. For example training at the gym 2 or 3 days and playing a sport you enjoy 1-2 times a week would be great. 

Training with a structured functional program during the week will help you develop a body that you like to look at in the mirror and the sport will allow you to express what you have created physically.

I don't think you can get yourself into phenomenal shape doing sport alone. There are exceptions such as climbing, rowing and some water sports. But by and large, sport at a recreational level lacks the focus required. 

I believe a combination of structured training and recreational sport is a recipe for a healthier, happier soul and most importantly something we can do for a lifetime. 

Yours In Health

Patrick Fallis

Founder of Leaner