What do I mean?
Pick any exercise you do every time you go the gym. Is it the bench press, chest press, leg curl, leg extension, arm curl, squat, etc? How many reps and sets do you do? Where did you come up with that number? How much rest and weight do you use? Why?
John (45 years old) goes to the gym every morning at 5 and heads right for the chest press machine and does his circuit. He has been doing 12 reps and 3 sets since high school and has been doing pretty much the same workout since he can remember. Another variable is that he stops and talks to his friends for minutes at a time between exercises which is one of the reason why he still goes to the gym...to be social.
I am NOT saying that he is an idiot at all...I'm simply sharing the TOP reason why most exercises are chosen and why most people are doing 12 reps and 3 sets. Most of the time its because they either did it back in college or high school or a magazine, website, iphone or android app said so.
I explained why we need to switch up or exercise selection and variables such as reps, sets, weight, rest and tempo. The body adapts and will do everything it can to conserve energy and it does this very well!!
As far as his goal is concerned, I told him that in order to be better at throwing the ball with his kids and being cardiovascularly strong enough to not get winded...he needs to throw the ball around and run with his kids to get stronger at it. Sitting in a machine and moving weight in flexion and extension is NOT a functional transfer over to the world where rotations, bend to extends, lunges, squats, presses and pulls are EVERYWHERE!!!
Here is your homework, do an assessment of your strength or endurance. Try walking, jogging or running a mile as fast as you can and try to increase your speed every week or two. Maybe do as many push ups, squats, lunges, pull ups, curls or dips as you can in a minute. Then check to see if you improved 2 weeks from now. You will be shocked how doing something small like this can AMP up your energy to work harder during your workouts and maybe change your routine.
If you want a specific assessment for your specific goal, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to find one or a few for you!
Have a blessed day!!