7 Semi-Random Truths of Training

intensityJust because it’s Thursday…

Learn to love intensity, not duration.

It is not a badge of honor to spend 2 hours in the gym. Get in, work hard, get out, start the recovery process. 20 minutes of hard work trumps an hour of lollygagging every time. And if you tell me you can work at max capacity for 45 minutes to an hour, come on in and prove it to me. The goal is to elicit the desired training effect in the shortest amount of time. Minimum effective dose. One aspirin is good so 10 must be better, right? No. Take 10 for an extended period of time and it could kill you.

Training with intensity requires the ability to do so.

In other words, if you have a movement dysfunction, or an injury, that is the “big rock” that needs to be addressed first. Trying to push through or ignore these things leads to bigger problems. Do the work necessary to clean these issues up and you will be able to up your intensity in the future. If you injure yourself further, then you are really not going to get anywhere.

You earn the right to up your intensity.

In other words, you earn your exercise. Master the sequence of exercise progressions. You must to learn to crawl, then walk, then run. In the same way you must master the basics, lay a good foundation, and then when appropriate progress the exercise. Doing 1 footed hang cleans while balancing on a dumbbell with your finger up your nose might look cool, but why?

Everything is training.

The moment you step on the floor you are training. Soft tissue quality improvement, activation, movement prep, reactive and power development, strength training, metabolic conditioning, flexibility and recovery. It is ALL training. The variables change. Length of the set, rest periods, total work duration – these may change. Your goal should be to work as hard as you can, all the time.

You have control of how intense the training is.

See above. Sometimes you just have to look inside. You can dog it if you want to, but that really has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the plan, does it?

Your level of fatigue has nothing to do with how effective the training is.

Tired does not mean better. Better means better. Should there be fatigue after training? Yes. Should you be crawling out the door every day? No. If you want to get trashed every time you walk through the door you are in the wrong place. We are physical preparation coaches, not executioners. You are in this for the long haul, your whole life. Our job is to help you get better, day after day, year after year.

Working at high intensity all the time usually has more negative consequences than positive.

Most of us have a hard enough time getting enough sleep, keeping up with the family, dealing with stress, working, etc. Remember Minimum Effective Dose? We want to do enough to get the positive effects out of our training program without adding one too many bricks on the pile. Who wants to be sore and tired ALL the time? If you are, it’s time to take a look at some other stuff going on. (Good nutrition anyone?)

’nuff said! 🙂

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