No it’s not.
When I started out as a personal trainer in 1999, I didn’t have a clue to what I was doing.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew biomechanics, what exercises worked which muscles etc etc.
I also knew that I needed personal training clients and dishing out a big can of pain was the easiest way to get clients and attention. This was 15 years ago. Sadly, the fitness industry hasn’t changed much with that mindset. Here’s what I know now that I didn’t know then – programming and periodisation (another way of saying having a plan so that you can improve performance).
You can’t go all-out 365 days a year
Your body can’t take it. It’s as simple as that. Yes, we push ourselves during training, to be better than we were before, but that comes with a structured plan and program. Not by working yourself to exhaustion every single time.
“Bootcamps” are popping up everywhere. Some whose goals are just to exhaust the participants with a variety of exercises and no real programming. But is our only option to put our body through large amounts of stress to improve? Or wouldn’t it make more sense to plan your training program so that you do improve?
You’ll definitely make your training more sustainable and you’ll be able to train for longer and increase your ability to attain your goals faster, and safer.
Some of you might be thinking – the PIT has METCON classes too.
Yes, But our students also have their own strength program in place and we make sure that our exercise selections during METCONS do not promote an imbalance, giving you an all rounded “sprint day” and keeping it safe and productive. THAT is the difference.
I read this in an article somewhere recently –
“Being chronically exhausted is not the key to success. Its a race toward disease and dysfunction. And in most cases, it causes suffering that is 100% preventable”
This statement is so true but either unknown or ignored by many in the industry today. Why? Because everyone wants to be a badass.
More is always better? Again, it’s not.
Less is sometimes more
Many years ago, I got to know Juan ( Now one of our PITMasters and personal trainers) who was at that time already training for his fights in MMA, Muay Thai and Sanshou. We looked at his training schedule and program and we realised what he was doing then (High intensity training), was not fully unleashing his potential.
“Too much conditioning. You can definitely last the rounds. But you will have trouble finishing it.”
Together, we did a major overhaul to his program and focused on strength training when he wasn’t attending a fight camp. We kept the volume low (Yes. as little as 2 reps per set on some days) and did not overdo Metcons (Surprise Surprise). And guess what? He is more stable, produces power more efficiently and STILL lasts all his rounds. Juan is also currently undefeated in his weight class in MMA (3-0). That’s also because he has good Martial Arts training as well of course. To think that he does well solely because of his fitness regime is ridiculous.
In the 8 weeks leading up to fight night, gym work and metabolic conditioning were cut down to once a week and fight training was increased during his fight camp with the focus on a “gameplan” and not to exhaust himself before his fight. We also did a deload week and worked on his mobility a week before the fight. Would going all out just before fight night and going into the ring or cage depleted have done him any good? The fight is on fight night. Not in the gym while you train.
Juan is a believer through and through in this process and uses this methodology with all his students and trainees.
It doesn’t just apply to fighters.
Would you run 42km just before you do a marathon? No.
Do a 1 rep max test a few days before your powerlifting meet? No.
The goal of training is to put in the work. So that you can excel when the need arises.
Pain is weakness entering the body
When you put your body through excessive stress, you suffer from pain. When you suffer from pain, you inhibit your movement. When your movement is inhibited, you cannot train properly and when you can’t train properly, you become weak. You with me?
Yes, life IS a constant battle. But just like in any battle, you need a proper plan to come out of it alive.
Stay pain free, plan your workouts right and be destined for greatness.
See you in the PIT.