When it comes to training our main focus is to improve over time and work towards certain goals we have set. I see a lot of people focusing on the wrong things or asking the wrong questions, so I wanted to provide you with a little series of posts that goes through what to focus on when it comes to training and building a plan that will help you work towards your goals.
Consistency & Adherence
My favourite saying is “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin. What I see too frequently is people spinning their wheels, going too hard or too fast and either falling off their plan, because it’s too much to keep up with or they get injured; either way it’s not getting them very far towards their goals.
Training is a journey and those who are consistent are those that are successful, even more so is even if you are on the greatest training plan, if you can’t stick to it, then it’s not great at all and I would have more faith in the person who is on the lesser plan that is adherent to it for years to come. Our goal is to have a great program that you can follow, enjoy & can stick too and ultimately progress over time.
I would suggest setting goals that are realistic to achieve, if you are a 100lb female, a 300lb squat (which may be achievable) is not realistic for most.
We always need to have a time frame when it comes to reaching goals, it keeps us motivated and honest. If you are a physique or performance athlete, you like have a date set (competition), even if you are getting ready for a holiday or beach season, you still need to plan this. All I can say on this is try not to rush your training to fit into your goals.
All training needs to fit into your schedule, either on a weekly or daily basis. If you try and follow a plan of a full time athlete, chances are you won’t be able to keep up with the training or even make it work into your schedule. Always think about what you can do, not what you should do; it’s essential to think about what you can do long-term. Everyone always asks me if I train 6-7 days per week or double days and the truth is only 4-5 days, why? Because I can do it all the time.
Enjoying your training plan and the exercises involved, will result in adherence and seeing greater results. I am constantly telling my clients about the big picture, most ask me so specific questions that I feel they are missing the boat. I tend to ask them their favourite exercise are for certain systems (squat based, pressing etc.) as I know they will come back to this movement time and time again.
If you structure your training around good principles and personal enjoyment, this will help create a positive cycle which is motivating.
Enjoyment – Harder Training – Results (motivation & repeat)
My mantra when it comes to life, diet and even training is being flexible and knowing what to do in certain situations. You are in this game for the long haul, but what if you have a holiday planned or a family emergency come up, what do you do then? You obviously want to still progress and not miss sessions. If you need to miss a day or two I would look at moving your training days around to still fit in all the movements, but for a family vacation, I would still try to find a gym and just modify your workouts to get the needed stimulus, a little less work may actually be refreshing and help push your forward faster.
Stress is a part of life and comes from work, training, injuries etc. If stress is high, hard training isn’t the answer (I see this too much), learn to reduce intensity or volume. It’s better to do a little less work and still recover, than to get injured or miss weeks from falling off your plan. Plus, a flexible approach to training has been shown to produce superior results.
I don’t think training should be rocket science (although people get a kick out of this). I think we should look at the overall deciding factors of results, build something that is enjoyable into your lifestyle and reap the long-term benefits! Closing thoughts from the great Aristotle.
Next time we focus on some more specific training variables!