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Beginners Suck…and it’s the “Trainers” Fault

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment
 

While it’s getting to the end of New Years resolution gym rush time, there are still some more motivated guys and gals who have hung on. These people are still beginners, I’m talking like total newbies. Yeah, they bought an issue of Men’s Health or whatever and they took the centerfold, fold-out, workout out of it and they carry it around the gym and so the exercises for the sets and reps prescribed, but let’s face it, they suck. Now they don’t suck a little, like as in, not good or that’s wrong, but they suck a LOT- a- bit.

This is the type of crap experts have beginners do...how far is that going to get you?

This isn’t to bash on these folks, they’ve overcome a lot just to get to this sucky point and quite honestly it’s not entirely their fault. First off, they showed up. That’s hard enough when you don’t have a clue what’s going on and is a hell of a lot more than what most people do. Which is to say, make up in their head some make-believe reason, verbalize reason and sigh out loud, sit on couch for next 4 hours and watch TV.

Secondly they realized they didn’t have a clue so they looked for help, granted it’s from a website, magazine, book etc, which is like me trying to learn car maintainance from a book. Yes, with enough time and practice pretty much anyone can become competent at almost anything, but I’m better off not buying the book and taking my car into the mechanic. It will cost me more but the job will be done right and I don’t have to struggle thought the learning curve …But hey, at least these people are trying… 

A BIG part of the problem is the “Trainers” at gyms…Seriously, what they hell are you/ they doing?

Ohh, it's cool, I saw a "trainer" do it......

 Stuff like the jackassery above is a BIG part of the problem. What the hell is that doing besides being overly complicated and getting nothing accomplished?

Here’s the problem some “trainers” don’t do shit…no, I’m not joking. I once had a “strength coach” (self-appointed, he was, mind you) tell me, “I don’t do it. I coach it”. WTF? For real?????        FO REAZL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So how would that person even know what works and what doesn’t..Would you go or take advice from a mechanic who doesn’t work on his own cars? ….It’s a job that requires little to no entry-level knowledge, any one can do it….

Then there is the other third, the “trainers” who do workout but have never “trained” a day in their life. They equate the latest greatest fad of the moment with a successful training program…Bender Balls, Bosu balls, TRX, Kettlebells, Foam rollers, Shake Weights, Zumba, CrossFit, P90X etc, etc, etc…and all types of future cappy crapola. It’s not that the modalities suck, they all have a purpose and can have GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT applications. It’s that these jackholes buy into anything entirely and use it exclusively until the next BEST THING EVER comes along. ….These people have never had goals except look good naked, which is perfectly acceptable but because of this they never set goals, they never THOUGHT about what they were doing they just went, “It’s hard and I’m dying in a pool of my own sweat and vomit so it must have been a great workout. I’m going to be really sore tomorrow”.

So the goal of this workout was:

  1. To be really tired.
  2. To be dripping with sweat.
  3. To not be able to raise their arm or walk down stairs tomorrow.

and the goals of the next workout will be…………the same…

Really? That's the goal of EVERY workout?

 Again, that’s alright some of the time…but it should have a place and purpose…not just because it’s Tuesday and the website or Yoda at the certification last weekend said that’s what you’re going to do.

Then there is the other third. These people  train, not workout. They have put THOUGHT into what they are doing. They can not only explain the what and how but the why. These people actually think about what’s going on in their training, where they have been and where they are going. They tend to have definable goals, even if those goals are as opened ended as, “I want to get stronger”, “I need to be less fat”.  These trainers are usually NOT doing very sexy things in the gym, most these things are centered on their own body weight, barbells and dumbbells….They tend to do the same old, squats, benches, deadlifts, lunges, pressess….yeah they may use a TRX for a couple exercises, Kettlebells for some, maybe even a Bosu for some core training, but overall they’re program is pretty basic and focuses heavily on….THE BASICS….strength, movement, crazy shit like that…They usually tend to be both the most knowledgeable and “in the best shape”…….

Wierd, I know.

Here’s the problem: BEGINNERS DON’T (think they) LIKE THE BASICS (at first)…..

They get bombarded with all the junk in the industry from tv, magazines and websites, lets face it people, even very smart people, buy into marketing and just from watching an hour of tv you’ll realize there is a lot of fitness marketing and by golly they aint pushing those things called barbells..you know the thing that has gotten the more people stronger, leaner, healthier than probably any other fitness apparatus….EVER….

Might not be sexy but damn does it work....

Not, squats, pushups, rows….But jumping, kicking, punching…Really? That’s how beginners should start? A guy who has spent the last 10 years doing nothing but sitting at a computer and sitting in front of a tv should be doing squats on a Bosu?……Can he even do a squat without the Bosu? ………………psssst, I’m guessing no…………….

Unfortunately these beginners never learn a core truism…the basics are the basics for a reason. Mastery of the basic concepts of training will hold true until the end of time.

“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change principles NEVER do” -Alwyn Cosgrove by way of Bruce Lee

And that my friends is the problem. Beginners come to the gym and are never given proper instruction and introduction to and in the basics. Too often they are given an overwhelming number of options (methods) but never taught how to push, pull, pack a shoulder, hinge a  hip, squat, lunge. We skip the most important part to put them on a series of high Intensity Plyometrics followed by circuit training or some other looks cool but inappropriate crap…

WTF?

ohh, don’t worry, it’s cool, we did a very scientific dynamic warmup first…..I guess that makes it right.

So think about it, go into almost any gym and you have 2 thirds of the “trainers” ie knowledgeable, “expert” staff doing mind-numbingly stupid things with people and the other third doing that not very sexy, learning to master a split squat thing.

If you’re a beginner you’re screwed from the minute you walk in.

You see:

  • Trainer A: Client Standing on Bosu ball doing bicep curls
  • Trainer B: Teaching a hip hinge pattern
  • Trainer A: Client doing box jumps
  • Trainer B: Teaching how to open the hips and push the knees out during a squat
  • Trainer A: Client doing bench presses on a stability ball
  • Trainer B: Client learning how to do an elevated pushup on a smith machine

Which one would you go with? Obviously trainer A!!!!! That shit looks hard, and they must obviously be very good or they would not have been about to teach someone to do those things right away…right? Any way I saw that stuff on TV and it looked like fun….plus I did pushups in high school 10 years ago and they were waaaay easy.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOpe.

There is NO DAMN reason for a dead beginner to do that stuff day 1…it doesn’t make sense on any level at all….except, shhhhhhh, you’re bad at what you do and cover up your deficiencies with cool looking but stupid/ inappropriate tricks….shhhhhhhhh.

So what does the beginner do? What all beginners do everywhere, they mimic what looks cool, what looks like fun. Let’s face it people, often incorrectly, equate complexity with effectiveness. Remember, they don’t have the education and knowledge to understand why it’s stupid. They can’t, that’s why they came in here and watched what you were having your client do in the first place…they were trying to learn……….great job teaching prof.

If you’re a beginner and you want to become good at this whole exercise thing stick with the basics, buy books like Starting Strength, Core Performance, The New Rules of Lifting, and Maximum Strength….any of those programs and some dedication will get you a hell of a lot further than the tv-infomercial, I saw a trainer at the gym do this trick one day BS that is constantly thrown your way. Learn how to move your body and lift a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell correctly.

Think  about it, the really strong guy at the gym who squats 400lbs easy….yeah, he got that way by squatting, twice a week for the last 5 years….not changing programs every month, and buying into fads and tools every other month for the last 5 years. He got really good at the basics, while the functional training guru got really good at….the fad of the minute be it standing on a stability ball while juggling, P90X, ropes whatever…….all nice tricks I suppose, but is that really where you want to be 5 years from now?

Not an overnight success.

I guarantee the guy or girl who starts training focusing on the basics will be feeling better, looking better, moving better and way more motivated to come to the gym and smash PR’s than the poor soul who is trying to learn the new training  fad of the minute every other week.

Hat tip: Tony Gentilcore

It’s a Pullup….pretty damn basic

Who works on the weekend? Not me, I read!

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

My morning perusal of the interwebs left me with a bounty of good articles…so good you should read them too.

Some Thoughts on Louie and Westside– Charlie Weingroff 

Mr. Weingroff is super smart and his thoughts on neck packing really influenced my training the last year. I know, it’s like ummm “packing your neck” made a difference?

Yeah, yeah it did..

This article is awesome, covers several misconceptions and arguments against the Westside Philosophy. Plus the videos range from informative to down right cool..Best part is in the first video when Louie says he has physicists and engineers come out to evaluate training. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Physics rules the weight room.” You might be strong, fast, quick etc. and have the latest training gadget gizmo or thing-a-ma-jig but ultimately, physics determines the performance and outcomes of exercises.

Everybody used to hang on Lou’s nuts, now it’s popular to bash him. While I don’t think you should be a nut hanger for anybody…If I wanted to get really strong I would go to Lou and do EVERYTHING he says….maybe not forever but for right now, definitely. Know why? Because every one of his lifters are waaaaaaaaay stronger than me and that’s gotta be worth something.

7 Ways to Ease Pain and Avoid Injury– Sue Falsone

Awesome, short to the point article about how…..ease pain and avoid injuries…..If people just did number 2 (no, not that number two)

not this one either…

but, spent 5 minutes a day with prehab it would go a looooooooong way.

20 Best Fitness Tips of All Time– Susy Sedano

Truth

Brace your core, shoulders down and back, hip hinge, lift heavy weights, grip the weights HARD

Do Squats Damage Young Spines– Charles Poliquin

The study this article is talking about is not out in print yet, will be soon, everyone will read it and nothing will come of it except negative no-nothing media driven BS….(think steroids, that’s whats gonna happen here).

I’m going out on a limb here (read: not really): Squatting, we’re assuming proper squatting, is perfectly acceptable and safe. Like Poliquin points out Mel Siff went over this long ago,

It is extremely misleading to focus on the alleged risks of weight training on children when biomechanical research shows that simple daily activities such as running, jumping striking or catching can impose far greater forces on the musculoskeletal system than very heavy weight training“- Mel Siff, Facts and Fallacies of Fitness

Crossfit Endurance, Tabata sprints and why people just don’t get it– Steve Magness

This is a really good article on the pitfalls of CrossFit Endurance. The take home message is this,

#8 Periodization matters:

It seems simple enough that people would know that how you plan and periodize training matters.  Training isn’t a random collection of hard exercises or workoutsThere has to be some sort of logical sequence and progression.  If there’s not, then you can expect to get exactly what you trained for, random results.
 
The bottom line is that so called high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is the new fad word with strength coaches is good.  But for endurance performance it’s even better when it is supported!  You have to support it with something.  Endurance work of various kinds and even pure speed work (with lots of recovery) serves as support for the intense stuff.

Sounds an awful lot like Charlie Francis, Dan Pfaff, Mel Siff, Yuri Verhkoshansky, Mark McLaughlin, James Smith, Buddy Morris ie coaches who know their shit and don’t just make stuff up because it sounds cool or to sell their “certification”……

As far as I’m concerned Steve hits the nail on the head when it comes to CrossFit,

Crossfit exploits a couple different natural reactions people have to get people on their bandwagon.  First, they create a straw man “us vs. them” mentality.  We’ll go over this straw man tactic a bit later, but they try and cultivate this idea that just because it’s different and new means its got to be better.  They throw in some pseudoscience or misinterpretation of science and they’ve bolstered their selling point.  Further exploiting peoples natural habits, they promise better results with less time commitment, which in today’s “busy” world is probably the number one selling point for many products or ideas. If you’ve ever watched late night infomercials, you might start to see some similarities…

Lastly, once you’re in they do something pretty creative.  They first created their own new performance metric on which you’re judged.  Because being good at all the other methods of establishing performance isn’t good enough, so now you’re judged based on some criteria that crossfit develops.  Being a specialist at something is apparently bad?  Additionally, they really go after this hard work/pain = improvement and results idea.  This is also known as the Rocky effect.  But if you’ve been in the coaching business long enough you know that hard stupid work doesn’t get you anywhere.  You can’t just do work that is painful just because it hurts and expect to get better.
 
Jump For Stronger Bones– Caitlin Carlson, Womens Health mag.com 
 
This kinda goes in the no crap category. I’ve never understood why “fitness professionals”, I use that term loosely, always advocate low or no impact training. Obviously some, very few, absolutely need this but the vast majority of people NEED impact. It makes our bones grow…you learn that in anatomy and phys class, think osteoblast, they respond to FORCE on the bone
 
“ohh, like compressive forces? The only type of forces that have been shown to increase bone formation?”
 
Yeah, Just like that…
 
You know what causes compressive forces? Well among other things…IMPACT…ie the result from jumping (it’s called landing) ……so why do we start telling people that they shouldn’t have impact once we get certified? Elliptical machine anyone?
 
 
Tug Toners for everyone!
 
 

Dave Tate on Human Potential/ Drugs in Sports/ Passion etc..

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Dave Tate speaks the TRUTH about human potential and drugs in sports….

He makes the point I was talking about here: Achievement, 10,000 hours, Grit and why you’re not a pro athlete…

Surprise!!!!and maybe it didn’t have to be like this…..

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Paula Deen Has Type Two Diabetes Us Weekly via Yahoo news.

I feel bad for her…I mean, that sucks balls and all, she seems like a genuinely nice person and her food looks awesome but seriously, who didn’t see this one coming?

When Al Roker repeatedly asked Deen if her diagnosis was a direct result of her butter-rich diet, she admitted that it’s “part of the puzzle” but not the only factor.

A “part of the puzzle”? I guess she didn’t specify how big of a “part” so she’s right….At least it looks like she’s trying to deal with this and not just pull a, “oh well, guess that’s how it goes”….

But this quote was awesome;

] a few years ago: ‘Honey, I’m your cook, not your doctor,'” Deen said. “You are going to have to be responsible for yourself.”

Damn straight…..

Being the “fitness professional” I am sometimes me thinks, “Self, could some exercise have kept Paula Deen’s insulin sensitivity in check and help her stave off the dreaded diabetes mellitus?”

I don’t know, but it looks like science does (great segway right?)…..Here is the actual article (only including this because it appears that this work is one of the few truly groundbreaking findings in quite a while in this field)….Plus, it’s published in Nature which is considered along with Science to be the two most prestigious science publications which usually means it’s kinda important.

Here is the more readable version from Science Daily: Boost for Health? Researchers Isolate Protein Linking Exercise to Health Benefits. The researchers were able to isolate the hormone from muscle cells which is the trigger for some of the benefits of exercise. The protein is called irisin and it switches on mechanisms that turn white fat (metabolically inactive) into brown fat (which is metabolically active). Irisin was also shown to improve glucose tolerance ie. no more diabetes, HELLO Paula Deen deep-fried cheescake!

 

Charles Poliquin, who is really smart and has TONS of great insights and ideas, wrote this blog about the implications for this finding, and I totally agree. Strength training will be where the irisin research goes in the future and will prove to be MUCH more fruitful in terms quality outcomes resulting from controlling the release of this protein.

Maybe this whole irisin thing is why teenagers, athletes etc. can eat like shit “shitake mushrooms” and not get fat. Plus, I have to give myself a little credit here. For the last couple years I noticed that even with a pretty bad diet clients who showed up and worked hard would keep their weight in check….So I started telling my clients that diet is where you’ll lose or gain weight and exercise is your “buffer” for when you eat Paula Deen deep-fried cheescake like shite…If you’re training hard a few times a week, it seems like you can get away with several more nutritional slip-ups than if you’re not training at all or training like the average gym zombie.

Jim Wendler’s Blog post today totally speaks the truth to this topic…You Can Out Train Your Diet– Jim Wendler

Great video about Stress and Training

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Plyometrics- You’re Doing it Wrong

January 17, 2012 1 comment

Earlier this week I had a discussion with one of the better, for sake of a better word let use, “athletes” at work….He’s early to mid in really good shape and ran track in college, now he’s part of a special campus security team. He asked me about “plyometric” workouts…..right then, I knew it was going to be bad….

It was

he had gotten a workout off of the interwebs that called for 3 sets of 3 exercises for sets of 10-12 each…..

plyo’s are NOT body building…nor should we use the DeLorme method. It just ain’t right….plyometrics are about speed and power. So this is the basics of what I told him:

First off 99% of what people call plyometric is not at all. Don’t believe me? What about the National Strength and Conditioning Association,

Even though plyometrics have been around for decades, many coaches still remain misinformed on how to properly incorporate plyometrics into their athlete’s training plans. Others fail to understand or apply the scientific theories behind this unique methodology of training.- Shawn Myszka

“Plyometric” is a western term (we made it up) which comes from what was termed by Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky as “shock training”.

True “plyometric” or “shock” training requires a large eccentric force to be coupled with a concentric force resulting in a very large resultant force.  

The most famous exercise which is used in the “shock” method is the depth jump;

stand on a box, step off, hit the ground, and immediately jump up as high as possible at ground contact. You should gain energy from the impact that you absorb, stabilize, and transfer to your muscles and tendons for a more explosive jump. – Kelly Bagggett

Obviously, this is very different from the exercises that most people call plyometric such as box jumps and broad jumps where there is no coupling of the eccentric and concentric contractions or amortization phase. The goal of plyometrics is to ultimately enhance the Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC) of the muscles and tendons. The athlete needs the eccentric loading provided by stepping off the box for the SSC to really be challenged and trained.

For the most part true plyometric training is out of the question for most people. It’s just too stressful on the body. The vast majority of people can not absorb the types of forces that are associated with this type of training….if you think you can remember

MOST OF THE FORCES ARE TRANSFERED THROUGH YOUR TENDONS!

not the muscles. Don’t forget tendons are what attaches muscle to bone….If your knees hurt now just think about how they’ll feel after a nice series of depth jumps.

Strength is a hotly debated issue in regards to how strong is strong enough for plyo’s. Some say you should refrain from plyometric training until you can squat 1.5-2 times your body weight. I don’t know about that. That’s a pretty big squat for most people, but in regards to depth jumps and their ilk, I think I do agree with that because the eccentric forces being absorbed are so big. If nothing else, to squat that kind of weight, you would have to have a good body awareness and control. That sais pseudo plyometric drills like vertical jumps, box jumps etc, a little strength would be good (enough to control the landings) but I don’t think that type of strength is needed. Maybe a squat equal to 75-90% of body weight should suffice.

Now, before I get the angry Mike Boyle, CrossFitt nut hanger who goes, “My kids jump off play ground equipment all day and their fine” argument..

NO SHIT……

I’m not talking about you 55lbs kid who is active and runs, jumps, moves has good mechanics etc.  I’m talking about an adult who mostly stands around or sits at a desk, has bad mechanics, orthopedic restrictions and weighs 200lbs doing depth jumps….not box jumps or landings….thanks for your input. And if you listened to the ENTIRE statement Coach Boyle makes about the whole plyometric things you would realize he agrees…

Even the NSCA says, “Only Athletes who have already achieved high levels of strength through standardized resistance  training should engage in plyometric drills.” Not that they are the end all be  all but that seems to be the consensus.

Once we understand what we’re doing and what we need to be able to do this the question becomes..How much?

Answer: Not Much

Remember plyos are explosive and result in the body absorbing and producing large forces. Big forces are stressful to the body. Yeah, you may make it though the workout, but will you make it through the next one? When it comes to true plyos less is almost always more. It’s easy to overtrain these. Remember the words of Charlie Francis, ” it is always better to undertrain than to overtrain“. If you can’t recover, you can’t improve.

While there are guidelines for plyometric volume in a workout….the honest answer is, it depends. Training age, strength levels, the intensity (height of drop, number of consecutive jumps, etc), goal of the training session and cycle all need to be taken into consideration. Remember, “these are a speed-strength tool not an endurance tool. Maximum muscular recruitment requires that you stay fresh. High volumes of consecutive repetitions are not possible or advisable.” –Kelly Baggett . Keep em quick and explosive. Less than 20 ground contacts for things like depth jumps is probably good, 20-50 things like box jumps, cone hops, skater strides is probably enough there for most people.

That’s the quick and dirty basics of plyometrics….next time you hear someone go, “I love plyos. They make you sweat a lot”….or that they “did the plyometrics on P90X” understand that they have been BADLY misinformed and have no clue what’s going on… 

Great video on Dr. Verkhoshansky and plyos: If you are an athlete of train athletes well worth your time, if not…skip it.

Wired or Tired, why your nervous system is screwing you up……

January 12, 2012 1 comment

Stress…everybody has is. Doesn’t matter who you are and what you do, you have stress in your life. What is important is to manage stress as best as possible.

Not the best stress management technique...but effective in it's own way

The catch 22 is that ALL things are stressful…ie they cause a response through the nervous system.  All inputs cause a reaction in the Central Nervous System or CNS.

The nervous system is the main controlling and communicating system of the body.  Every thing we do, feel and think consciously or unconsciously is directed by the nervous system.  The communication between the nervous system and the body is through electrical and chemical signals that move rapidly and to specific areas allowing for immediate response

The Central Nervous System consists of the brain and spinal column…this is where inputs are taken in and respond to…the ANS (autonomic nervous system) is best thought of as a “go between” the outside world and our CNS.  The ANS or PNS (peripheral nervous system, either term is correct) basically takes in all the sensory input and sends it to the CNS for it to decide what that input is and how to react.

The PNS is further divided into two parts the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. Generally speaking, the sympathetic nervous system is what we learned in school as a “fight or flight” response….the, how to respond to this new stressor system….The parasympathetic nervous system however, is the rest and relaxation response…another comparison from Wikipedia:

 the parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” activities that occur when the body is at rest, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion, and defecation. Its action is described as being complementary to that of one of the other main branches of the ANS, the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.

So, with this in mind we have to remember that physical training is a HUGE CNS stressor and needs to be accounted for along with the stress of life in general in any successful training program. If we accumulate too much stress recovery becomes virtually impossible because the body is never allowed to enter into a period of rest and recovery. At this point the sympathetic nervous sytem is working overtime and if it continues long enough we enter into a state of sympathetic dominance. Essentially, we become overtrained. Our CAT or current adaptive reserve (the ability to recover) has been overcome and overwhelmed by the levels of chronic stress.

Our bodies are always searching for “equilibrium” between the sympathetic and parasympatheic systems.

Equilibrium– a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.
 
   This is shown graphically with the inverted U…
 
 
 
 
   Think of the left side of the graph being the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and the right side being the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). When shown graphically, it’s easy to see how having just enough arousal (sympathetic tone) would be beneficial to an athlete (or any one) where as too much would cause high anxiety and too little would result in a “depressed” state.
 
 
   Now you understand why equilibrium between these these systems is optimal? Hint Equilibrium is that middle part, where the top of the curve says MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE!…yeah, that part…..
 
 
   So the question becomes how do we obtain this point of maximal arousal and performance especially when we have training, work and life to contend with?
 
 
   The truth is, YOU CAN’T…..or at least not always or probably often for precisely those reasons. We have a lot of variables to contend with. You never know what’s going to happen in life, who’s going to get sick, when your car is going to break down, when your kids are going to bug the hell out of you, when your boss is going to drop a load of work on your desk at 3pm on a Friday etc, etc, etc….all of these things are stressful on some level and affect your levels of arousal like it or not.
 
 
   What you can control is sleep, nutrition, recovery and programming.
 
 
   Getting enough sleep can have a huge impact in stress levels. During sleep, especially deep, REM sleep, is when the body actually gets a chance to recover and rebuild from the mechanical stress of the previous day….this type of deep sleep is crucial to recovery.
 
 
 
 
   Nutrition….it’s easy, eat right. Get enough protein, 1 gram per pound of body weight, eat enough healthy fats (omega 3’s), get a variety of fruits and vegetables and limit carbs. It’s not rocket science…
 
 
   Recovery work like massage, self massage, meditation, contrast showers and aerobic recovery work (hr 100-130bpm).
 
 
   In terms of training, constantly “maxing out”, going to failure, never changing exercises, constantly changing exercises, doing tons of hard conditioning and never planning deload weeks or time off can all lead to the accumulation of too much stress…..the goal of training is to…….
 
 
 
 
    Not just be really tired at the end of the workout or sore the next day. Best summed up with:
 
 
Train Optimally, not Maximally- Ive seen this in too many places to credit it to someone in particular, but rest assured, I stole this saying….
 
 
 
 
A body under recovery will always seek homeostasis. So it is always better to undertrain than to overtrain. You will still supercompensate, but not to the degree. Once you overtrain, your body will plummet and fight to retain a balance. Smaller CNS demands over a longer period of time result in more acceptance and greater improvement. While the rush to get more done leads to uncertainty down the road.”-Charlie Francis
 
 
    With these things in mind it’s generally assumed that as someone trains (and improves their fitness level) they will improve their CAR (current adaptive reserves)……from personal experience we know this is true as we train more we can train longer and harder (to a point) in subsequent sessions and still recover between sessions where as in the past those same training levels would have “crushed” us.
 
 
   Think about the term “periodization” and what it means;
 
“programed variation in the training stimuli with the use of planned rest periods to augment recovery and restoration of an athletes potential (1)…..According to Mike Stone, “Periodization can be defined as a logical phasic method of varying training volume, intensity factors, and exercises in order to optimize the training process. the primary goals of periodization are the avoidance of overtraining and performing at peak or optimum levels at the right time“- Jason Shea

All Periodization means is a program to manage the stress of training and it’s response by the body. When you think about how many performance coaches talk about the importance of a periodized program it’s obvious this stress management thing is important.

 
 
 
researchers found that those who dealt with moderate lifetime adversity maintained a more stable sense of well-being than those who never faced difficult situations.
 
   Is this the building of CAR regarding other aspects of life? Does training count as adversity? Does exercise build this ability across multiple domains? Does this ability transfer to training and vice versa?
 
 
  I have no clue (my guess actually is yes), but I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that stress and managing it is the key component to any training program and possibly life in general.
 
 
  Great discussion with Buddy Morris, Tom Myslinski, Dave Tate and Jim Wendler about stress and recovery….Definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK….