Monday, February 11, 2008

Training Principles

Key Training Principles

• Quality over quantity: exercise is not so much about how much you do but more related to the quality of the movement. In this instance as in many more is not always better. For example, doing 5 extra repetitions poorly does not serve a purpose other than to increase your risk of injury. So, focus on doing your movements with the highest degree of quality and therefore effectiveness.
• Rest and recovery (includes nutrition and sleep) are essential to progress. These factors are an equally important piece of the pie for living a fit and healthy lifestyle. For instance, lack of nutrition you will negatively effect the positive (good) hormones of your body such as growth hormone, testosterone, etc., which will in turn minimize the positive aspects of your workout thereby limiting your progress. Moreover, lack of sleep will have similar effects on the hormonal structure and function of your body further minimizing your bodies ability to repair and progress. To take this one step further inadequacy in both these areas will hamper not only the positive effects of exercise but will carryover into your everyday life and contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle and therefore overall well being.
• Do the things that make you better. When choosing exercise, food, etc. choose the things that you know make you better. These should seem obvious and indeed may be, however more often than not people do the opposite. Thus, pay attention to what makes you better and be mindful in the process of choosing.
• Avoid training to failure (it is better to under train and go at it again rather than over do it and either hurt yourself or have to rest for a few days). The key to performance is to be able to do your best and do it day in and day out. Therefore, if you over do it, putting your body in conditions it is not ready for you will likely end up with a negative result. So, train smart and follow a plan and do not try to be a hero or do something you have no business doing especially if you know the risk outweighs the reward.
• Listen to your body. Our body is often much more aware and mindful than we are. So, if you are doing something and your body says its not so sure about what your doing, listen and you will thank yourself. All things being equal you will have many more chances to do this and much more in your life. . Do not be afraid to rest if that is what your body is telling you. Live to fight another day, being the best you can be.
• Technique, not reps, sets, and/or weight is the key. Leave the ego at the door this is key. Learn how to do (from someone qualified) what it is you wish and then do it right. All too often do I see people setting themselves up for or at least putting themselves in harms way for the purpose of ego and/or just not knowing better. That is not a viable excuse when you are sidelined with an injury. There are knowledgable people throughout any area of life who can teach you the how to.
• If you train/move poorly you will develop bad habits and be in poor condition. Think posture and think the number of people who have back pain, over 80%. Daily life is not designed to maximize the human body natural movements. We are meant to live in extension but we live in a flexion (sitting, round shoulders, head forward staring into the screen, etc.). These positions and the ones often used in exercise do not enhance our bodies natural function. Therefore, as related to the prior principle of technique, learn how to move and train with proper form and function. Learn to identify what it is your body needs and train/move with good habits.
• Strength is a skill, learned skill. Practice, practice and do so with know how and if you want to get better at a particular exercise, sport, etc. you will. If you want to bench press more weight do not spend your time on a bicycle. Strength as with any skill takes focused, mindful and dedicated/committed action. Take the time, get on the train and enjoy the ride you will truly reap the benefits and come one step closer to your goal and mastering the skill.
• Progression is key. You want to move forward in training as you do in life, therefore progression is key. That means having a strong program design, listening to your body and following this program. Training, being fit, living a healthy lifestyle, life in general is truly a journey. You need to know when to push, when to back off, when to rest, when to test yourself, when to challenge yourself and when to make changes. Set a goal, define and design a program to meet said goal, and then follow through with practice and mindfulness. In doing so, you will progress and put yourself closer to achieving said goal(s).
• Clarify your intentions. What is it you want? Clearly defining what it is you want, having a goal leads too much greater reward. However, there is risk involved especially if you set your goal(s) way beyond your means. Your intentions must be clear and so should your understanding of what it takes to achieve these intended concepts. Setting reasonable goals with a bigger picture in mind will lead to greater success.


Wildcard said...

Good post Joe, and you have a lot of sound wisdom/ advices right there. A simple program, performed with detailed attention to proper skill & technique along with a dedication and perseverence will far outstripe any "high-tech" solution if the participant is lacking in the fundamental qualities of success. I recently re-read george Hackenshmidt's book and these guys knew this stuff a hundred years ago. It's nice to see guys like yourself carrying that torch into a new century.

Wildcard said...

Oh, BTW, best wishes with the "Beast Challenge", I wish i was going to be there to see you crush it!

Joe Sarti said...

Thanks wildcard. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Thanks for reading and your time