Acute Versus Chronic Training Mistakes

by tffitness on September 7, 2016

c640x360_25Today I’d like to discuss a couple of different training errors that don’t seem like errors because they don’t negatively impact the workout where they occur. In fact, you could make all 3 of these mistakes during the same workout, and you could still have a great session.

Instead, the mistakes I’m about to mention won’t really affect exercisers (people who are only focused on the workout they’re doing at the moment) — they only pertain to athletes — people who have goals and who are focused on the process needed to achieve them.

Let’s get right to it and you’ll see what I mean…

Mistake #1: Different Exercises Every Workout.

So let’s say that you don’t use any planning whatsoever — instead, every time you go to the gym, you simply just do whatever strikes you as being fun at the moment. I’ll be the first to say that finding ways to enjoy your training is super important, but not having a plan isn’t the best way to accomplish that objective, and here’s why:

First, you’ll be quite likely do only or mostly what you’re already good at, and ignore your weak points that are holding up your overall progress. Maybe you’ll only train upper body, or whatever else seems enjoyable. This is a big reason why you often see guys with very lopsided development at the gym

Second, you’ll be quite likely to use either excessive or insufficient training frequency for one of more muscle groups. For example, you might train chest 4-5 days a week and legs only once every 10 days or so. The result is that some muscles will be overtrained, and others undertrained.

Third (and this might be the most obvious, yet important point), you won’t have a basis for training progression. If you always do something different every session, you’ll never know if you’re getting stronger (which, is kind the whole point of lifting after all).

Mistake #2: No Record-Keeping

Failure to keep a training journal is the surest sign that you’re an exerciser as opposed to an athlete. And that’s OK by the way — not everyone is super-serious about their training. But if you are serious, here’s why record-keeping is critical.

First and most importantly, you cannot ensure progressive overload if you don’t know what numbers are required to better your last performance. And let me make something very clear — if you don’t literally force the issue when it comes to progressive overload, it’s just not gonna happen. Which means, you’re not going to make progress.

Secondly and perhaps less obviously, your training journal can provide valuable clues about what types of warmups work best for you, your injury history, your consistency, and all sorts of other valuable datapoints.

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Mistake #3: Manual Assistance

So despite how stupid I think it is to use forced reps (either as a deliberate strategy, or due to the fact that your trainer habitually helps you every time you do a set), you can in fact generate a super-high level of metabolic stress when you use manual assistance. In other words, you can get a great workout.

The problem of course, just like the first mistake I outlined above, is that you don’t have any idea how much weight you’re actually lifting, versus how much your training partner or trainer is lifting. Which in turn means, you’re not applying the most important training principle — progressive overload.

(And by the way, most people vastly under-estimate how much help they’re giving, even when they’re simply spotting — I can easily lift a 45-pound bar with my pinkies, so how much weight is your spotter unknowingly lifting off of you as he screams “it’s all you bro!”?)

Focus On Process Orientation

I hope I’ve made the point here that success is the result of having an effective long-term process — no single session, no matter how grueling it may be, is particularly meaningful. Like anything else in life, it doesn’t matter how well you did once — what matters what you do consistently.

The lynchpin of lifting success is progressive overload — ignore it at your peril.

This Week’s Training

Highlights:

• Low Bar Squat 380×1

• High Bar Squat 315×1

Well aside from a 380 squat that I felt pretty good about, this was a week to just get some solid work in — lots of heavy, low-rep sets on the competition lifts. No PR’s to brag about ;-(

My left shoulder continues to improve as well, so I’m very happy about that also.

So that’s about it for this week, thanks for stopping by, and as always, if you have questions or comments about this week’s article, please share them in the comments below!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bodyweight: 198.6 Pounds

Low Bar Squat

Set 1: 45 lb × 8

Set 2: 95 lb × 6

Set 3: 135 lb × 5

Set 4: 185 lb × 3

Set 5: 225 lb × 3

Set 6: 275 lb × 2

Set 7: 315 lb × 1

Set 8: 355 lb × 1

Set 9: 380 lb × 1 (Video Below)

Set 10: 335 lb × 2

Set 11: 315 lb × 3

Smith Squat

Set 1: 95 lb × 5

Set 2: 135 lb × 5

Set 3: 185 lb × 5

Set 4: 225 lb × 5

Set 5: 275 lb × 5

Deadlift

Set 1: 135 lb × 5

Set 2: 225 lb × 5

Set 3: 315 lb × 3

Set 4: 315 lb × 3

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bodyweight: 197.4 Pounds

Paused Competition Bench Press

Set 1: 45 lb × 8

Set 2: 95 lb × 8

Set 3: 135 lb × 6

Set 4: 165 lb × 4

Set 5: 185 lb × 3

Set 6: 205 lb × 2

Set 7: 225 lb × 2

Set 8: 230 lb × 2

Set 9: 230 lb × 2

Set 10: 225 lb × 2

Set 11: 225 lb × 2

Set 12: 225 lb × 2

Set 13: 230 lb × 1

Set 14: 225 lb × 2

Set 15: 205 lb × 4

Rusin Shoulder Warm Up

Set 1: 1 lb × 10

Set 2: 1 lb × 10

Set 3: 1 lb × 10

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Set 1: 70 lb × 8

EZ Bar Curl

Set 1: 45 lb × 8

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bodyweight: 196.4 Pounds

Deadlift

Set 1: 135 lb × 5

Set 2: 185 lb × 5

Set 3: 225 lb × 5

Set 4: 275 lb × 3

Set 5: 315 lb × 3

Set 6: 365 lb × 1

Set 7: 405 lb × 3

Set 8: 405 lb × 3

Set 9: 405 lb × 3

Set 10: 405 lb × 3

Set 11: 405 lb × 3

High Bar Squat

Set 1: 45 lb × 8

Set 2: 95 lb × 8

Set 3: 135 lb × 6

Set 4: 185 lb × 3

Set 5: 225 lb × 3

Set 6: 275 lb × 1

Set 7: 315 lb × 1

Friday, September 2, 2016

Bodyweight: 197.4 Pounds

Close Grip Bench Press

Set 1: 45 lb × 10

Set 2: 95 lb × 8

Set 3: 135 lb × 6

Set 4: 165 lb × 4

Set 5: 185 lb × 3

Set 6: 185 lb × 3

Set 7: 185 lb × 3

Set 8: 205 lb × 2

Set 9: 215 lb × 2

Set 10: 225 lb × 2

Set 11: 225 lb × 2

Set 12: 225 lb × 2

Chin Up

Set 1: 1 rep

Set 2: 2 reps

Set 3: 3 reps

Set 4: 4 reps

Set 5: 5 reps

Set 6: 6 reps

Set 7: 7 reps

Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)

Set 1: 60 lb × 8

Set 2: 70 lb × 8

Set 3: 80 lb × 8

Set 4: 80 lb × 8

Set 5: 80 lb × 8

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