Workout of the Day

Duty Cycles


Imagine the surprise you would feel if your one-year-old car broke down some fateful day and, after a visit to the local mechanic, you were told that you had worn a hole in the engine block. “The car is practically brand new! It only has 19,000 miles on it!” you would protest. You would be quite certain, in this case, that the manufacturer was at fault -- a defect. After all, cars today are built to last for a few hundred thousand miles, not a few thousand.

In general, I would agree -- there must be some mechanical and structural defect if the engine failed with so few miles on it. But what if you had neglected to ever check, much less change, the engine oil? What if you had repeatedly run the car at high RPMs with no warm-up and had done no accompanying maintenance to care for the vehicle that you drove like you stole it? The likelihood of a manufacturer defect seems diminished now, and I’m rather inclined to say that this one’s on you.

In the same way that our modern cars are built to go through quite a few duty cycles and stay on the road for hundreds of thousands of miles before they face the risk of serious mechanical wear and failure, our bodies generally have internal components that are built to last for countless duty cycles. So when, at the age of 35, you are in need of a new knee and have trouble putting your arms overhead without audible crunching and excruciating pain, we’re left with the question: manufacturer defect, or driver neglect? Manufacturer defect, is, of course, a possibility. Some folks are born with bone defects or catastrophically weak joints, and thus must face the diminished duty cycles or movement capacities associated. But the more common and more likely case is that many of us are rather neglectful vehicle owners. Your 2013 Toyota Camry probably isn’t a faulty piece of junk, you’re probably just bad at taking care of it.

The simple lesson is this: your body needs maintenance the same as your car. And as a responsible owner, you ought to take on the small investment of time and energy involved in maintaining your body to allow it to run effectively for the number of duty cycles it’s capable of. Move well, mobilize regularly, hydrate, warm-up and cool down, and pay attention when the check-engine light goes on.
After all, when you run your body into the ground, you can’t just go out and buy a new one.

- PS


  • Power clean + power jerk - (1+1), (1+1), (1+1), (1+1), (1+1)

  • 8 min AMRAP

    • 200m run

    • 15 wallballs (20/14)