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This week Mandee and I got some concrete replaced and asked the crew to leave the old pieces so that we could use it to help with some erosion control in the backyard.

They were kind enough to leave it in a pile, but of course it was still in large slabs that needed to be broken up and hauled to the right area. Needless to say, if you've never done that before, swinging a sledgehammer and wheelbarrow full of concrete is a LOT of work!

Occasionally I get asked if such types of projects can substitute for workouts (either cardio or lifting). The answer can be yes but requires to ask yourself a couple other questions.

First, is the intensity there? If the activity in question is going to stress your body in the same manner (either elevated heart rate and/or muscle fatigue), then you could likely substitute it. Note that cardio substitutions are more common than lifting substitutions.

Second, will recovery be hindered? In other words, would doing the activity either make it hard to recover from a training session or make it difficult to perform one the following day? Keep in mind, it's not just about performing at your best but it's also to avoid an injury.

Doing hard physical work is "fun" but also taxes the body. Take a good look at it, analyze and determine if it actually could be your training session or just a way to get 'points' for checking projects off your list.


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