How is everyone this week? I had a weird day Wed, with my car in the garage for its M.O.T. I walked a little more than normal…ended up with around 23500 steps for the day. On very little food because my schedule got thrown out and I had to grab the best choices I could on the go. Not optimal, either for recovering from that days training session, nor for fuelling for the next days one. But I ate a little extra that night, slept ok and was absolutely grand the next day.
The thing is, that we are designed to adapt to our circumstances. We don’t need everything to be optimal all the time. In fact, trying to optimise everything all the time may actually be detrimental to our ability to remain resilient in the face of challenges and our ability to be adaptable.
So don’t panic if you are heading into a training session without the usual pre-workout food, or if you’re a little more tired than normal. Get in, do your best for that day, and focus on improving your recovery and move on.
3 training thoughts
I’m finding that not having people go to failure, except in limited circumstances, is proving better for strength improvements in the long run. Include in that using more of an RPE based approach, and recovery, subsequent training performance and overall strength improvements are better.
While I used to be very much of the % based school of thought, for the big lifts any way, I’m finding that having people work up to a test set near where they think they should start on a deadlift or squat, then rating the effort they would need to get their first set allows for more wiggle room if they are feeling better or worse than normal. Then all the 8-15 reps stuff uses the rule of 4, if you feel you could do 3,4 or more reps at the end of a set, you put the weight up.
Try to work in the 8 or 9 rpe range for most things. This may change from session to session, but it means you’ll always be working hard but staying within your capacity to recover well.
Sleep is the least utilised, least valued and most commonly ignored fat loss, performance boosting tool you have available to you. Getting 6.5 hours per night compared with 8 increases the amount of lean mass lost and decreases the amount of fat lost. Boosting your sleep amount even to an average of 7-7.5 hours per night will increase the amount of weight loss you achieve as fat, preserving your hard earned lean mass.
That same boost in sleep time will also cut your risk of injury dramatically. Though the studies linked to were on adolescents, the effects can probably be extended to an adult population.
2 nutrition bits
Mastering the basics of nutrition before you start to stress about the minutiae of meal timing, supplements and carb:fat ratios is important, here are 5 you should work on.
1 exercise demo
Here is a great exercise to help with strengthening the chest without stressing your shoulders out. The DB fly can be great, but the concentric phase (coming back to the top position) can irritate the shoulder. By changing the upward movement to a press, you remove the stress from the shoulder and use your triceps and chest more.
For a couple more ways you can use this same principle on a few other exercises go here.
Enjoy the rest of your day!