What Works

Atualizado: 28 de set.

Formulas come from tried and tested experiments. Life is much the same in that we try something out. If it works, then great! Perhaps we make small adjustments to improve it as time elapses. If it doesn’t work, then we try until we get it right, right?

Not necessarily! In exercise, and trying to stay fit we tend to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Just because your friend can run marathon in slightly over two hours, doesn’t mean to say that with appropriate training you’ll be able to keep up. Everyone has their limitations!


The world records for marathon times are 2:01:39 for men and 2:15:25 for women. Elite men tend to average about 2:05:00 and elite women tend to score around 2:22:00. However, unless you're a very serious runner indeed, these scores will be out of reach for most.


Just because the average marathon runner finishes a mile every 10 minutes. The average mile time for men is between 9 and 11 minutes. Women average a mile every 10 to 12 minutes. Training to get better helps, but like a car, if you are a 1.0 then it doesn’t matter how hard you train. A 1.0 can only reach a certain speed.


One thing I’ve come to learn is we have to do things in accordance with our body type and conditioning. If we don’t, then injury can occur which in my case occurred again the third time I let a personal trainer encourage me using their wise attitude towards training.

The first time was in the mid-2000s whilst living in London and a member of the exclusive Chelsea Health Club & Spa at Stamford Bridge. I had the fortune to get a private class from Syed, a Malaysian bodybuilding champ. After getting some tips from him and training alongside under his guidance, a hernia appeared in my groin region.


Then ten years later in São Paulo, an instructor put me on an intensive exercise routine. It worked well for a few months until I was doing lateral bench flies with dumbbells, and he said go lower on each rep. I told him my elbows were almost locked out, and he insisted.

From what I have subsequently learned the condition is called triceps tendinopathy which is characterized by pain and discomfort in the back of the elbow. It’s usually localized to where the triceps tendon attaches to the olecranon process of an elbow. As a consequence, I had tendon ache on both elbows for almost a year afterwards.


Recently, I got a bi-set (Not recommended) training routine from a personal trainer (PT) which differentiated from my usual training style developed by myself over the years. The fast-training split set training which is nothing new put over-exerted pressure on my stomach while desperate to get oxygen into my body to cope, and as a result I felt very uncomfortable later on.


I thought it was linked to bronchitis because of the symptoms that I’ve had before, however, after a week and going to the hospital the general practitioner (GP) carried out some manual exams with the conclusion that I had an abdominal hernia. After taking a tomography and waiting an hour, Doctor Luiz told me it was a build up of acid which caused a problem with my esophagus.


The bottom line then is not to change abruptly ever, but rather to make gradual changes in order to fine tune, as if tuning up a racing car to beat all adversaries. What works for some, doesn’t work for others, so my advice is follow your own instinct from tried and tested formulas you have developed during your life where your body is concerned.

After my first negative PT experience I thought twice about taking a second PTs opinion though in the end I opted to my peril. Now doing it again, after vowing that I would work only by my own plight didn’t make any sense. However, to give the benefit of the doubt I opted one final time.


Never again, even if I was offered a payment to do it!


Take care!

Prof. Carl Boniface


Vocabulary builder:

Olecranon (n) = is a large, thick, curved bony eminence of the ulna, a long bone in the forearm that projects behind the elbow. It forms the most pointed portion of the elbow and is opposite to the cubital fossa or elbow pit. The olecranon serves as a lever for the extensor muscles that straighten the elbow joint.

Esophagus (n) = the part of the alimentary canal that connects the throat to the stomach; the gullet. In humans and other vertebrates, it is a muscular tube lined with mucous membrane.

By my own plight (idiom) = plight is a countable noun. If you refer to someone's plight, you mean that they are in a difficult or distressing situation that is full of problems.

Plight sentence example

1. You don't know what a plight he had to endure

2. I'm so sorry to hear of your dogs' plight.

3. Many thought this illness had changed him from a slightly arrogant young man into one who was sympathetic to the plight of others.

4. For too long the world ignored the plight of the Iraqi people.

Benefit of the doubt (idiom) = the state of accepting something/someone as honest or deserving of trust even though there are doubts. “He might be lying, but we have to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept what he says for now.”

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