When approaching an exercise program we all come across problems of our own creation, often these are due to urban myths, bro science or simply a misunderstanding of how the body works and responds to exercise.
Think back to the last time you planned a new exercise regime, it may have been the first time back at it after a long period off or it could have been a plan to take the next step up in your training. I bet you went through and planned out each and every days exercise... Am I right?
Yesterday I went back into my old workout diaries... this is a genuine week of exercise that I planned for myself during Lacrosse season:
As you can clearly see it is a rammed schedule, not a single day of rest!
On top of the planned exercise program, I would have to train and play for my club twice a week and then head down to Wales for an eight hour training camp with the National team I played for, before heading home and hitting a sprint routine the next morning.
Im not saying this is an impossible schedule, after all i did successfully do this for three weeks.
But what happened after 3 weeks?
I was burnt out, i had picked up a few choice injuries including a pretty serious tweak in my lower back that put me out for 6 weeks.
So what had I achieved in my three weeks of intense exercise?
The answer is NOTHING, as any progress I made was cancelled out completely by the following six weeks sitting around rehabbing my injuries and resting up.
We often over train like this because of our own fears:
> Fear that we might not be doing enough
> Fear that if we train less, we may never achieve our goals
When we ignore logic and go without rest, we risk serious injury. Your body only builds muscle tissue when in rest, NOT whilst weight training or performing any other type of training.
Not allowing adequate time between training sessions and not getting enough sleep can result in injuries occurring, loss of energy and make it nearly impossible to grow muscle tissue. When we exercise we are essentially damaging the muscles, causing microtears in the muscle tissue. In order to build muscle we need to allow these tears to heal.
Sleep is a major and often overlooked factor in the growth of muscle tissue and without adequate sleep it can become nearly impossible to build muscle.
So how do I ensure I'm doing enough to achieve my goal but still allowing enough time for recovery?
Don’t get carried away, keep the faith and resist the urge to add exercise after exercise and session after session to your program.
On the majority of our programs we train a MAXIMUM of 3 days per week, which is more than enough to build strength, muscle and increase cardiovascular fitness, and with the right exercises we can kick-start the fat-burning process and ensure we burn fat ROUND THE CLOCK, not only around our workouts.
Only with a well-written program designed completely around an individual do we recommend up to 6 days of training, as we can control the training volume, rehab and recovery working closely with a Physio. By using our unique High Frequency Training Matrix™ created by Head Coach Anthony for our Movie Star Transformation clients, we can determine with the client whether a muscle group is ok to train and the intensity in which we can train that day.
if you need to step up, then add to the volume and intensity of your current program. I.E. Do more reps at the same weight or slowly increase the weight at the same number of reps, so your overall weekly volume increases.
Don't Train on consecutive days, allow a full day's rest between intense lifting sessions to allow your muscles to recover and grow.
Carrying an injury? Take a step back and remind yourself how much time you will lose if you become seriously injured. Even with the slightest of injury or muscle tightness always stretch, perform soft tissue release with a foam roller or ball and recover. It's better to lose one session today than multiple sessions in the future from continuing to push an injury!
Sleep like a pro! Make sure you get an minimum of 8 hours sleep. Try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. A consistent sleep schedule will help you get into a good sleep pattern and ensures maximum muscle growth and recovery.
Be consistent! 12 weeks on consistent effort 3 x per week is better than 6 x per week for 4 weeks before you burn out, or worse, get injured!
If you are unsure about your current program volume, and would like some advice, reply to this email and we'll be more than happy to help you out!
Stay strong and consistent and the results will come.