Look around and you are going to find bunches of people arguing over what the most important factor is when it comes to training;
- body part split v full body training
- compound movements v isolation work
- super tight nutritional control v IIFYM
- the Batman Mens Health workout v the Royal Marines bootcamp workout
And while these things may be important on some level, they are largely goal dependant and down to personal preference. These things will all work for someone for some of the time, again, depending on goals and training history.
There are however 3 factors that most people overlook when it comes to training success –
- consistently “showing up”
- eating for your goals
- recovering well
“80% of success is showing up” – Woody Allen
Training success isn’t going to come your way if you don’t actually show up to train or don’t put effort in when you do. Let’s face it, no matter how good the programming is or how fancy the gym is, if you don’t actually go and train how on Earth do you expect success to be forthcoming?? Equally turning up in all the latest training gear to the most high tech gym in the world and sleepwalking your way through a training session isn’t going to get you anywhere near achieving success you want.
Schedule your training time. You have as much time as everyone else, it’s how you choose to use it that matters most. When you get there, put in some damned effort and you’ll find that pretty much everything works when you do.
Eating the right way
One of the most common things you hear in the gym is either, “I eat really healthily and I train all the time but I don’t seem to be able to lose weight,” or “No matter how much I eat, I just can’t gain any muscle!”
Changes on body composition are down to equal parts training effort (see above…) and nutritional effort. Changing your body composition requires a change in eating habits because whatever you have done up till now hasn’t gotten you success. Changing your habits is hard, it takes a certain amount of self awareness and a lot of effort.
Taking some time to honestly review a weeks food log or track calories for a while will give you better insight into what’s right and what’s wrong with your nutritional approach. Be honest, be consistent and find where you can improve your approach.
Rest days, down time, whatever you call it, the time away from the gym is important for recovery and allowing your body to adapt up to the training stress you put yourself through. Assuming of course that you actually shown up and put in some effort…
Too many people “earn” their rest days simply by walking into the gym and not much more. Others see rest days as weakness and don’t take time off and then can’t work out why the get injured/ don’t see improvement/ feel tired all the time.
Taking a recovery day every couple of days, whether it’s total training rest or working through some mobility/ light movement work, can be the best thing you can do to allow your body to rest and prepare adequately enough to bring the right effort to your next training session. Plan them in and use them wisely!