If you feel you are putting in 110% into your training, doing everything to get in shape but nothing will budge, this article is going to open your eyes and uncover where you might be shooting yourself in the foot.
Let’s start with inflammation.
Inflammation is neither good or bad. If you block inflammation post workout you are literally blocking muscle building. Their needs to be an inflammation response from training in order to adapt and grow.
For example, if you have an ice bath immediately post training you will block this muscle building adaptation process almost completely. Therefore if this is your goal, this would be a bad time to have one. Whereas on the other hand, if you are a rugby player that is having 5 games back to back, recovery is a lot more important than trying to grow right now, and you would want to use an ice bath to limit how much damage is being caused by all this activity, so you are ready to rock the next day.
Being specific about the training phase and your goal is crucial to your success. Most people are trying to grow muscle and shred the extra pounds at the same time. While this is possible (I have had a tonne of clients reporting a significant drop in body fat while their lifts go up and shirts tighten around there chest/shoulders) for long term CONSISTENT progress, you need to have a clear goal of the training phase you are in.
One of the biggest killers to your progress is trying to follow everyone’s approach at once.
If your goal is to get better at athletics, you need to do more athletic style training – explosive work, plyometrics etc.
If you want to drop body fat, you need to start thinking about how you can UPregulate your system to burn fat rather than suppressing the system with constant calorie restriction.
If you want to be a marathon runner, you want to do more unilateral work and long ass cardio sessions (Note: this is not how you get lean while holding muscle mass)
These three statements might look simple but I see so many people confusing the shit out of themselves by trying to take advice from every gym bro in their gym. Stick to your training goal, find a coach you trust and respect that knows his/her shit, so that you don’t get stuck chasing 2 objectives.
Knowing how your body is responding to the stimulus and knowing when the best time to incorporate different phases into your training is a MASSIVE variable in training success.
So, classic example of this is adding in your cardio post workout. You want to build muscle and lose fat as quickly as possible. The issue here is that your body is getting two conflicting signals, one is up-regulating MTOR telling you to grow, then your adding the AMPK response to then tell you to break down.
You are not only digging a big whole for your recovery, but you will never grow as effectively as you could if you kept these two sessions separate.
Going through periods of adaptation (forcing growth or fat burning) and periods of recovery (optimizing health and recovery factors) are two very different goals.
The time you need between is super subjective to you and your environment. But the power that comes with a plan that allows you to know what stimulus you are aiming for in each phase of training, each workout and each exercise is massively powerful to your confidence in knowing you have done “enough”.
Takeaway: If your goal is growth, you need to be doing everything you can to optimize your training for growth. If you are in a fat loss/conditioning phase, you need to be doing everything you can for up-regulation of mitochondria and fat transportation.
Most people change their training goal on a week to week basis because they are not clear on the training goal and even the things needed to optimize towards that goal.
So when I say optimizing your training for you, this becomes SO subjective to you and your goal. Because optimizing recovery or focusing on muscle damage or fat burning are going to be approached from a very different angle depending on where you currently are in regards to systems fatigue and stimulus you have been exposed to.
This goes far beyond just the style of training you are doing. Nutrition – your typical oats meal could literally be blocking the response you are looking for from a fat burning style workout. Inflammation – the example of ice baths I gave you before. Start opening up your scope to a more holistic view of your training and this stuff gets better all-inclusive (after all you are working with the human body!!).
What is your main training goal?
Check in with yourself and ask yourself what are you training for right now, does it line up with how you are eating, training and recovering? How is your progress going?
Once you start asking these questions you stop holding onto what “used to work” and start looking in mirror at what is working (or not working) right now.
The program that got you to where you are now, is not going to get yourself to where you want to go next.
If you want to learn how to get your body on your side again and feel incredible in your own skin after 40, book a call in with me so we can apply the system to you!