Because exercise is based on the muscular and joint functions of the human body, functions we all share, we can surmise that the general principles and application of exercise are universal and the same for all humans on the planet.

However, all exercise is not created equal. A proper exercise program challenges the body over and beyond what is experiences with everyday tasks and activities.

The basic concept with physical exercise is that we are attempting to cause the body to adapt to an imposed stimulus. Low intensity, comfortable “fun” activities do not challenge the body beyond its already existing abilities. When the body is engaged within its normal capabilities, there is nothing it needs to adapt to, nothing extra that requires the body to change.

If we are exercising properly, we should see continuous improvement to the following six factors of physical fitness. If we do not see improvement, then exercise is either partial or non-existent.

The six factors of physical fitness are:

  • Muscular size, strength and endurance
  • Bone strength
  • Cardiovascular – heart and lung efficiency
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • A contribution to body leanness
  • Increases resistance to injury

Without a doubt, all exercise and recreational type activities are important and contribute to our overall strength and fitness and help us to create a healthy lifestyle but recreational activities fall more in the category of recreational “fun” and are not really in place to challenge us. However, they do play a valid and important role in our mental and emotional strength and fitness (think happy hormones), but do little to improve our muscle strength.

The body must have a good reason to adapt or rather, it must be forced to adapt because exercise that does not produce enough muscular fatigue will not simulate muscular strength. 

The truth is, muscles are smart, and once challenged to their limit, they understand the need to rebuilt themselves even stronger so when faced with a similar challenge, they are able to perform at a higher capacity.

Lifting the same weight every time you perform or going against the same resistance level, simply maintains, but it does not gain!

There is nothing complicated about it, we must challenges our muscles to increase their strength, so be sure you find yourself slightly challenged by your strength training program.

And, since strength training is 80 percent brainpower and 20 percent physical work, technique matters. You must perform your repetitions slowly and without the aid of momentum – your thoughts must be directed/focused on the center of the muscle being worked.

It’s also important to avoid boredom and over-kill. Muscles get bored and when they do, they stop responding, so, don’t be afraid of change. Once you’ve mastered the basics or variations of the basics in your strength training program, be sure and have some fun creating your own “specific to you” variations.

In the end, receiving maximum physical benefits should be the goal and result of your exercise program while maximum fun can and should be achieved through your chosen recreational activities.

Check out my quick and easy

Project Me Finally Fit program

At just 10 minutes in length, if you cannot find a way to squeeze this kind of effective workout into your schedule every other day, it’s likely there’s not another one in all existence that could take it’s place.

After all, most things can only be made so simple before they just cannot be made to work at all!

– Carolyn “The 10-Minute Sandbag Workout” Hansen

P.S. I even created a FREE mobile app for you to keep track of your sandbag workouts. With 4 built-in workouts of 7 distinct sandbag movements, you have 28 different exercises to choose from should you decide to create your own custom sandbag works.