Exhausting One Thing
In Crossfit (and many other workout programs) there’s this idea of stringing together certain exercises in quantities that are meant to push the body in different ways.
I think we often look at exercise as: “Let me build [x] muscle group a lot”. I at least did. This by no means is wrong but I’ve found an interesting success in striving together different movements and repetitions.
Here’s what I mean:
I could maybe do 30 deadlifts at 75% of my max. It’d be a good workout.
But could I do 3 sets of the following in the same amount of time?
I literally just the reps of deadlifts that I might do in half, but I replaced that with an intense string of exercises. Its easy to do something -> rest -> do something again. However, what happens when you have to work those muscles out in a different way the impacts your whole body?
Don’t get me wrong. Both of these workouts are going to leave you exhausted in some way. However, I’ve found that doing less of one thing and more over others has helped me build my strength overall.
The reality is: I’m not going to revisit a workout that uses my “deadlift muscles” until at least a few days. I want to give my body time to recover. But what about the other workout. Sure, I really emphasized a workload on my back and lower body (with the running and deadlifts). But I pushed myself just enough to grow in other areas as well.
A Full Stack Workout
My version of deadlifts in our proposed workout is Ruby. Its the majority of my heavy lifting and I’m aiming to become better at it. I want to get better with Ruby so I can lift heavier problems.
However, I’m becoming more convinced that exercising skills outside of Ruby helps me become a stronger Ruby developer, when paired right. A lot of this theory ties into our hype around “Full Stack Developers”.
The phrase literally doesn’t mean much these days. If anything, it means: “Down to do stuff outside of [x] language”. A lot of companies these days are more concerned about using “the right tools for the job” rather than just a concrete stack.
Adjusting Your Expectations
Incorporating new things into your programming regimen isn’t going to be easy at first. You might find yourself flailing around in new concepts or ideas. This is completely normal.
Sometimes I think we become /really/ good at something just so we don’t have to revisit the growing pains of first learning something. Its like a defense mechanism. We often associate the hardships of learning something new as failure. Yet, when we start to incorporate healthy Full Stack Workouts, things change. Failure is subsisted with learning. Is learning difficult sometimes? You bet.
As the world of tech begins to expand even more, who knows what will be required of developers in five or ten years. I firmly believe that if we’re living healthy lives and are studying the things around us, we’ll be ready to dominate whatever comes next.