People have this belief in the fitness world that they need to torture themselves in their workouts in order to get into shape. They do the 30 minutes of Cardio and the hour of weights and some don't last that long at all. There's a fine line between good torture and bad torture n your training.
Good Torture means in your mind you're training to the best of your abilities and you love what you do and you also find it fun and creative. Its never a bad thing to love your workouts the rule of thumb however is to not love it so much that you forget what you're trying to accomplish. A lot of people fall into this trap at times because they push so hard and just don't want to stop that at some point injuries will occur and they might never realize it till its too late. Taking the time to put your heart and soul into what you do and feel like a million bucks afterwards puts you on good terms of how torture means to you.
A perfect example of Good Torture is my friend Bud Jeffries, he is one of the strongest men on the planet but also one of the fittest men as a super-heavyweight at 270 lbs. He often does High Rep workouts while combining strength training at the same time lifting weights that range from 53-1500+ lbs. and has been known to do reps as high as the 3000 range. For most people that's just ridiculous and is doing far too much work but infact that type of training has not only made him lose well over 100 lb. but has given him vitality and endurance that can be used for long-term effects for other things in life. Is this the type of training for you, most likely not as you don't need to be this extreme but you can put yourself through workouts that your body will thank you for and can take them to extremes on a safe and productive basis.
Bad Torture means you're training hard just for the sake of training or it could mean you don't know how to use certain form and just go through the motions when really that can lead to injuries and you torture yourself far too often and your mind isn't in the right place. Even more people fall for this trap because this type of torture is disguised as some programs in the fitness magazines and this more frequently has more people quitting the gym and training all together. This has more short-term effects and not in a positive manner as you find certain workouts you want to try but your body can't handle the stress therefor if you keep it up you will get hurt and hurt bad physically, mentally and emotionally. Trying a program that you're not ready for and pushing through it anyway is never a good idea.
An example of this is the modern bodybuilding and some strength workouts from the muscle magazines where steroids and supplements run rampant. This is not productive and long-term training and 99.9% of the time it isn't safe as well. Torture workouts like these are for those who have been training for years and never is this at a beginning level as the Cowardly Lion would say "Not no way, not no how." It is this type of torture that brings long-term problems to bad backs, hernias, joint pain, neck spurs and who knows what else. It isn't just the magazines but also those infomercials as well as they have you do hard training you're in no shape to perform and some of the exercises are just ridiculous and can do more harm to the joints then anything else. They don't give you well rounded structures so you're physically and mentally ready for the challenge. Torture like this won't get you anywhere and won't let you live a productive and healthy life.
I have been through torture myself good, bad and just downright ugly and have had a plethora of problems when I went through my weight lifting days to the point where when I woke up in the morning every inch of my body felt like bone rubbing on bone and it hurt like a motherf*cker and that's something nobody should experience ever. When I became smart and used torture from a different angle I went through workouts that would've kept me out of training for days on end but instead only went to extremes on a few occasions during weekly training. Never under any circumstances torture yourself daily no matter how tough you are. Putting together programs that help recovery is just as important as your extreme workouts.
Some hate going through tough hard workouts and feel if they don't do it they're not going to reach a goal. This should never be a type of mindset. What you should be doing instead is on your extreme days, set your mind to loving the workout and make it fun to the point where yes its hard work but your mind is saying "This is fun I'm loving this." Using that type of mental training can you surpass goals and achieve results more then you bargained for on a positive basis. If you're training at a park and having a tough workout, most would call it torture and run away but to you its just another training session. This is where mental training is critical and should be as important if not more then physical training.
Taking control of a torturous workout is very difficult to do. Your mind needs to be focused, your body needs to handle the stress and you must know what you're getting yourself into. Its not easy to jump into hard and tough work when you don't have the right preperation. Taking the easy road by just going for it and not giving your body a chance to learn to handle certain things can get you in trouble big time. Controlling Torture takes practice and a lot of mental strength so learn what you can and work your way up going through progressive phases at your own pace. Study your workouts from how your mind and body work together and trust your progressions. Learn how torture can turn into a powerful experience with the right mind set and the right & safe progressions.