EYC Podcast #6 Text Breakdown
This episode touches on two areas that are important for beginning practitioners to consider. The first part will discuss a few training guidelines that may be useful in optimizing your approach to training, and the second will discuss the training environment.
How to Approach Training
It is very important to consider where you are before you participate in a program, and this is often where having a trainer comes in. They establish a baseline based on your goals and work from there. If you are unable to establish a baseline, it’s difficult to understand how to optimize your routine. This is why it can be difficult to adhere to many popular fitness programs. They can be way outside of your current skill level which in turn makes it really hard to keep consistent. We’ve all done it, you are excited to start a new program, you follow it for a week, then feel absolutely wrecked, you can barely walk, extremely sore, and you wonder what the heck you are doing. Furthermore, they may involve activities you just don’t enjoy doing. The key is to enjoy the process, don’t make it a chore, and make it a part of your lifestyle
It’s a good idea to not only understand your short-term goals, but long-term as well. How can I ensure my approach to this will nurture a long-term commitment that I enjoy? Have a vision for what you want, and an underlying purpose, whether it’s feeling more vital, performing better at work, or play, having more energy to spend quality time with your kids, looking better, or confidence. Whatever is most compelling for you. Then, either do the research yourself, or hire a trainer that can help build a program based on your goals. This fits in really nicely because people often say that they don’t feel they have enough time to be active. We spend time on the things that we perceive are valuable, worth our time, so make being active valuable to you, and you will spend time doing it.
Understand what challenges will occur. Write them down, and figure out how you will deal with them in advance. How am I going to deal with being really tired after work? How am I going to work out around my significant other’s schedule? How am I going to deal with social pressures i.e. diet, avoiding workouts to meet up with people. This is important, especially if you are making a big change. Based on your rituals i.e. weekly meet ups, is your significant other active, you may get resistance from other people, or resistance within yourself. You will have to make an active lifestyle more compelling than the challenges you will face
When considering your approach to training, if you are a beginner, focus on developing your muscular endurance, higher rep, lower resistance exercises. Maybe you are capable of pulling off 3-4 regular pushups, but it’s a good idea to regress, or even just include regressions, and perform 12-15 reps to improve endurance, structural integrity in the tendons and joints, and adjust your body to physical activity. With a strong foundation, you can explore programs that shift the focus to muscular hypertrophy or increasing size in a rep range of 8-12 with increased resistance, or raw strength and power, with the highest levels of resistance and fewest reps
It’s important to not push too hard at the beginning. Use exercises that challenge you, but ensure you aren’t sacrificing technique. If you aren’t able to perform the exercise, regress, it will help prevent injuries, but it will also keep you engaged, and avoid setting yourself up for failure. The psychological aspect is important, don’t expect to be pulling off exercises that someone else has spent months or years working toward, then be upset with yourself when you have difficulties. Similarly, don’t compare yourself to those people either. Understand where you are, and enjoy the process, results come with time. At the beginning, your body needs to adjust to physical activity, especially if you haven’t been active in a long period of time Push yourself intelligently.
Training Environment and Mindset
When you think of exercise, is there a certain environment that you think of? I know in the past I pretty much just considered the gym the only place to be active, and it served me well, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who simply don’t like the gym. I was never really big on sports, I was more strength training martial arts and endurance running, so the gym was where I spent most of my time outside of that. If you aren’t active currently, I think it’s important to ask yourself, is not wanting to go to a gym part of the reason? I think this is where calisthenics can really benefit people. It opens up a totally new arena to have effective workouts whether at home, or even the local park. More importantly, is understanding what type of environment you like best when it comes to being active, indoors, outdoors, sports, climbing. Some people can’t workout at home because of distractions, they need to be in a place where other people are training, or that is built for that specific purpose. Knowing these types of things will not only engage you at a higher level, but make it a better experience overall, and easier to stick with it over time.
The final question that I think is important to ask yourself is, what do I currently associate to actually getting up and going to train? Do you make it an option, or is it a must? And of course it varies for everyone because of family, commitments, work, however just going can be made out to be a lot worse than it really is. That time can also be productive in many other ways as well, whether it is reflecting on all of the great things you have in your life, or thinking about what you want.