The Tao of Training

Keep it Simple

There were days in the past when I would think long and hard about my training; I would write out a weeks schedule splitting up my body into small parts and train them each for a certain amount of sets and reps. My training had become methodical I even knew exactly what Cardio to do after and what RPM to keep my heart at during this laborious 20 minute session. I would finish my training and head home to down a ‘Recovery Drink’ which was made up of Dextrose (Liquid Sugar) and Whey Protein (A factory produced protein) which would overload my body with a hit of sugar and protein in an effort to achieve optimal recovery and growth from my session.

Not the way things work

This is not the way things are supposed to work. Life is random, we have control over nothing except what we are doing and thinking right now. You cannot force your muscles to grow or fat to melt away, all you can do is make informed decisions right now and let things take shape, which with a bit of faith will happen…..

Training is this way, your body is a complex system and can take a whole load of abuse and it will tell you when its had enough or when you are pushing things too hard in the gym. Our bodies are also surprisingly adaptive and will adapt to different types of training in no time at all. Therefore in order to achieve your optimum shape physically or look at your best you need to train in a variety of ways and work with what you have.

Make Your Training Random

I am a firm believer that unless you are training for a certain event or need to do something specific very well, there is no need to specialize your training. By this I mean if you are training for rowing then by all means row loads and work at what you need to be strong in.

On the other hand like many of us you are just training for life and whatever it throws at us its best to keep things as random as possible; never get stuck to a routine as it can end up controlling your life. Always make training fit in with your life, figure out when you have time to train and what kind of training you can fit into different time frames.

If you know that in total going to and from the gym and doing your workout there takes one hour then you will need to find a slot for that, Whereas if you know that doing 100 pushups takes you 15 minutes and requires no travel time then you could fit that into your life far easier, and if thats all you can fit in on a given day then so be it.

Some tips to fit training into life

-Make sure you have a wide variety of different training methods to fit into life and keep your body guessing. Then depending on how much time you have or what you feel your body needs, you can fit it in (This is an example for myself and all include travel times):

  • Gym Workout 1hr
  • Sprints @ local park 25mins
  • 100 Pushups 10-15mins
  • Intense KettleBell workout 15mins
  • Yoga 2hrs
  • Run with pushups and sprints thrown in 35mins
  • Kickboxing 1hr45mins
  • Long walk 45mins +

-Find out what time you love to train. I am definitely a morning person when it comes to training I like to do my training either first thing when I get up or at around mid-morning. I have experimented with all different times and know this is what is best for me.

Don’t Obsess over that post workout meal, wait until your hungry and go ahead and eat what healthy food you can get your hands on. This will allow you to be very flexible with your training times.

Don’t be rigid over days you train, opportunities to  get a training session in will always arise wherever you are. So don’t get disappointed if your forced to miss a training session due to something out of your control.

-Always keep your gym gear handy. For me this is a T-shirt, Shorts, Change of underwear and some Trainers. If you keep your gear to hand you will have to ability to have a quick workout whenever you feel like it, so try to keep a change of gear at work or in your cars trunk.

Tie Up

It may sound contradictory but I have found that when I have no real plans for my weeks training and just let it take its course and flow with life, I not only enjoy it better but achieve far more in terms of results for body and mind.

Allow your training to flow, listen to your body and enjoy what you do. Keep things short and intense and get on with life. This attitude may not make you look like Arnold or perform like an Olympian, but sometimes you have to do what feels right.

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