I hear a lot of people described their workouts as "insane." Like, I hear this term used a lot.
Now, I get what people "mean" when they use that term. However, when I hear something over and over again it kind of gets stuck in my mind; and then I begin pondering it.
Now, my work in helping people develop more meaningful programming often veers into their psychological and spiritual well-being. After all, the majority of obstacles people face are self-created; products of the mind or deficits of their emotional well-being. And because I am so often discussing people's mental states in this coaching process, you can see why the repetitive use of the word "insane" would sort of ring a bell in my mind.
Now, most of us will agree with the layman's definition of the word "insane": repeating over and over an action that causes us deficit yet each time believing we will get a different result. That repeating of the same negative behavior is what is considered "insanity" in most circles. And that is the definition I think of whenever I hear that word.
So, now go back to the original use; people describing their workouts as amazing, incredible, and challenging. Their workouts are "insane." Or so they say. Yet the first thing that pops into my mind is "So, then that work out you just had was a bad thing that you can't stop doing?"
By nature, "insane workouts" are the good ones. Our "total insanity gym time" is the most helpful, and not at all to be considered deficit.
But then I go and see what people are doing during these "insane workouts." They are so driven with the idea of being hard-core, bad ass and super intense that they often are acting quite insane. They are leaving themselves open for injury, acting like a douche bags, and doing ridiculous work that really doesn't contribute to any greater progress. And they are doing these deficit things mainly so that they can come back and report to anyone who's interested that they just, indeed, had an "insane workout."
People who want to brag about their insanity in the gym seem most often to me only interested in the bragging, which thus actually does seem insane. To keep doing stupid shit over and over and expect it to give you a good result is exactly the definition most people agree is "insane."
So, while I would prefer to be involved with work that return us to a sane version of living our lives, I actually cannot argue with the use of the term "insane" to describe workouts most of the time. So, while they may be deficit, they are at least accurately described: insane.
As for me, I'm going to stick with self challenge as a means of learning, but not as a means of bragging. I doubt anyone will be impressed when I describe my next set of deadlifts as "the most sane shit you ever saw go down in a gym," but I don't think I will mind very much.
Enter those continuing to have "insane workouts," carry-on. Nothing to contribute here.