Once upon a time…my training consisted of going absolutely as hard as I could every single session. I was pretty strong and conditioned, (or so I thought) I was the guy that every person in the gym was impressed with. I always got compliments on my work ethic and my “hardcore” workouts.  Looking back, I was a fool! I constantly was burned out and made little “progress”. Plus I cheated movements and quality was the last thing on my mind.

I’ve learned a lot since those days.  First of all,  no one can keep up that type of intensity over the long haul.  Working out like that will completely destroy your body. There may be some of you that will argue with me on this point.  All I have to say is, if you think you can get away with constantly beating yourself, take a look at your health. Do you get sick often or easy?  Do you have injuries that won’t heal?  Are there moves that you cannot master?  Are you getting stronger? If you honestly answered yes to any of these questions then, you need to learn how to “train” and not just “workout”.

Training is probably a lot different from what you  think.  First and foremost training has a goal in mind, a goal that could be to get stronger in a movement such as the deadlift.  Or to perform a thousand kettlebell swings, and so on. Well then, I want you to know that training is the path to it. So then when planing your program, ask yourself, “what steps and progressions will I take to get to that goal as fresh as possible?” This is where a lot of people miss it.  They try to force things, burn out, and never get to their goal.  So, have a plan for your next step, but also for rest and de-load days (when you take off or go lighter).  Three days off, every three weeks works very well for me to help keep me fresh and strong. Working towards your goals also requires that you stay committed to the program, not jumping around from program to program as a flea jumps around to various animals, “Keep the goal the Goal!”

                                                      (commitment sounds good)

Training also means we need stick to the 80% rule; which simply means that we know our hundred percent effort and work at 80% of it. By following this rule we make our 100% better and have less of a chance of burning out. Training also takes care of the “small” details by realizing that there is no such thing and that the “gaps”  in training will cost us the most in the long run. Training takes care of proper movement assessing and doing correctives, which are going to make it better in the long run. Training will regress movements in order to own a movement to get stronger in the next step. Hopefully by now you see “training” vs. “working out” is like comparing the Jetsons to the Flintstones (life is better in the future)! It’s light years ahead of working out!  That type of program should look something like this:-

Deadlift p.r. goal 405

Present one rep max: 325

Starting training load (80%) 260

Day one: Heavy – 1st set 190/3 2nd. 210/3 3rd. 230/2 4th. 260/2

Renegade rows/Janda sit up (for abdominal strength) 5/2 sets

Day two: Hit other movements the next day and or walk.

Day three: off (mobility and walk)

Day four: either do the same weights and take it down to 1 rep each set and groove your pattern or wave the loads to lighter.

This is just a sample program, but you would want to do a P.R. (Personal Record) once a month until you get to your goal. This can be done with any movement such as a bench press, squat, or body weight exercises. Following these simple principles will  get you to your goals.

This post was fun to write and it even caused me to think about my own programming. I do pay a lot of attention to mine and my clients programs.  However, it is good to take an audit and fill any gaps that might exist. I’m going to assess my training every couple weeks to ensure progress, what about you?  Will you grab the bull by it’s horns and make some real progress with your training? It is up to you friend. I hope that you choose to train instead of just working out mindlessly. Then when you get to your goals, you will be able to help others also!

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