5 Things I’m Doing To Improve My Training

by tffitness on November 16, 2016

weight-trainingI’ve always thought of myself as being not so much open-minded, but rather “active-minded,” and this especially pertains to my exploration of training and nutrition. While it’s important to have a certain level of stability in your habits and practices, it’s equally vital to have the flexibility to alter your trajectory in the face of new or better evidence.

Such is the case with my own training. It might surprise you that after decades of training, I’m still looking for uncovered “secrets” to better training, but if I’m being honest, I have more questions (and less certainty) about training now than at any previous point in my career. So it’s always an evolving journey, and these are 5 paths that I’m exploring currently:

I’m Increasing My Frequency

Given my strength levels and training age, my SRA curves (or “anabolic windows”) are likely fairly short. In other words, the time-span between stimulus and completed adaptation is probably about 2 days for most of my workouts, even though I’m using relatively heavy weights in some of them. Additional evidence for this presumption lies in the fact that I rarely ever get sore, even after hard workouts.

So with that premise in mind (combined with some insights from science, including the so-called “Norwegian frequency experiment”  ) I’ve decided it’s probably in my best interest to train each bodypart more frequently than I have in the past. In my current training cycle, I’m training triceps, quads, and hams 4 times a week, lats and biceps 3-4 times a week, and delts and calves twice a week.

Despite this increased frequency, I’m only increasing total training volume just a bit — in other words, my workouts are a bit shorter than they were previously. And one surprising benefit to these shorter sessions is that I seem to be able to apply a higher level of energy than I normally can during longer workouts. This means I’m not only training more often, I’m also training with greater intensity.

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I’m using Slower Eccentric Tempos

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services_personal_trainingWhile it’s true that most of us pursue our chosen fitness path because we (rightly) assume that doing so will make us healthier, happier, and (as coach Mark Rippetoe once famously quipped) “harder to kill,” I’ve got news for you:

You can live a very long, healthy, and happy life (and many people have done so, trust me) without ever stepping foot into a gym.

Crazy, huh? Who wudda thought?

Now, in contrast to fitness, most markers of health have “rules:” your temperature should be 98.6, your blood pressure should be 120 over 80, give or take. In other words, no one brags about having set a “new PR” temperature of 105, because when it comes to body temperature, more isn’t better, and less isn’t better either.

In this respect, fitness isn’t like your vital stats — there isn’t a “perfect” level of strength that you should strive to attain, or an ideal amount of mobility, or endurance, or agility, or an optimal level of any fitness characteristic that you should be shooting for.

Instead, when it comes to fitness, it’s up to you to make your own rules.

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