Article Contents

  • 1. Training hard vs. training better
  • 2. The importance of proper recovery
  • 3. The elements of recovery
    • 3.1. Sleep
    • 3.2. Active recovery
    • 3.3. Nutrition
    • 3.4. Other modalities of recovery
  • 4. Balancing bowling and exercise
  • 5. References

In the last few years, there has been significant growth in the number of fitness trends from new apps to new diets as well as programs like CrossFit, P90x, Insanity, and BeachBody. It has been great to see a boom in the fitness industry and Americans doing something about obesity. It is especially rewarding to see bowlers take the initiative to be healthy and change the image of our sport. As a professional in the fitness industry, however, I often see the opposite side of the spectrum as well—bowlers and individuals taking their fitness to the extreme.

I love seeing motivated, ambitious, and dedicated individuals hitting the gym hard and chasing their goals, whether it is an athlete training for their sport or someone trying to lose weight and change their lifestyle. As with anything, too much of a good thing doesn’t make it all that good anymore. More commonly now I see people missing the bigger picture of health. Exercise is just one factor of health. Many people who exercise every day still are not “healthy.”

Training hard vs. training better

A motto we live by at the facility in which I train is “It’s not about how hard you train, but how well you recover.” We preach this to our clients every day. It surprises them at first because when people initially think of a trainer, they think of someone who is going to push them to their limit EVERY workout and tell them things like “no pain, no gain.”

When clients first start working with me. they may say things like, “You should be so proud of me. I barely slept last night and feel awful today but I still came in to work out. I told you I’m committed!” When I tell them to go home and rest and come back the following day, they are pretty confused. Training “hard” doesn’t necessarily mean you are training better. True dedication happens when you see the bigger picture.

Take these two fictional bowlers, for ...

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Heather Sterner

About Heather Sterner

Heather is an NSCA-certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Functional Strength Coach, and a Licensed Massage Therapist. She has a Master's in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). Heather is a former collegiate bowler for Robert Morris University and assistant coach for the University of Central Missouri. She currently works with athletes of all sports and has recently launched BowlFIT, a website with training programs for bowlers. Heather is also the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for SUNY Brockport.