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  • Writer's pictureLisa Magnuson

A Different Kind of Bucket List

We can use "buckets" for all sorts of analogies and idioms. There is the tried and true "bucket list', where your bucket is filled with all the things you hope to do or see or conquer prior to leaving this earth. Another kind of bucket is the one I learned about at Elin's preschool. Everyone has an "emotional bucket' and you can fill people's buckets OR you can take away from their buckets. Of course, in preschool the kids were focusing on learning ways to fill each other's buckets and avoiding behaviors or words that could take away from a friend's bucket. And let's not forget the final one that we all hope to avoid, which of course is "kick the bucket".

Today we will be using buckets to discuss our training philosophy and how each and every one of you should take this analogy and apply it to your personal training regime.

There are so many ways to workout/exercise/move/etc., one would think there were an endless array of ways to approach our fitness. However, humans are creatures of habit and we like to do the same things that are predictable and safe. When it comes to exercise however, mixing it up is the key to seeing results and continuing to improve.

Here is where the buckets come in. Let's say you have a cardio bucket, a strength bucket and a mobility bucket. Which one of these buckets is full? Which one could you shift some of your attention to that may end up resulting in improvement across the board?

For example, fictitious client Peter rides his bike 4 days a week and lifts one day. He used to do yoga but then he couldn't get as many bike rides in so he let that go. He loves to cycle and feels like he gets the most "bang for his buck" as far as caloric burn when he spends his time riding.

Peter's cardio bucket is full, his strength bucket is low and his mobility bucket is empty. As Peter's trainer I would approach him and say; "would it be possible for you to allocate more time for strength/resistance training and add in some mobility work? It could really improve your cycling if you balanced your buckets!"

This is similar to the idea of cross training but even more basic than that. You need to support your body in multiple modalities to stay healthy and strong and not end up breaking yourself down with repetitive activities. Cardio, strength and mobility are all intertwined and having too much of one and not enough (or none) of another will create an imbalance in your health and impede your progress.

There is also a recovery bucket that is equally important to include in this discussion. If you go full throttle 24/7 but don't take the time to recover, you will crash and burn. It could be as simple as feeling fatigued at the beginning of your workout or losing energy during your run, or as drastic as injuring yourself in some more dramatic fashion. Your recovery bucket includes things like nutrition, sleep, recovery training, massage, body work, hot/cold therapy, foam rolling, and many others.

Take this information and review your current workout schedule. Which bucket is full and which ones could use some more TLC? Spread the love around to make your body (and your trainer) happy!

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