Just 3 things W/e 7/6/20

I’ve not trained this week. At all. Nada.

I have a cool and interesting project starting on Monday with a company here in Edinburgh to provide their staff with short mobility and movement sessions to help with the aches and pains that home working causes. So with getting that set up, coaching calls for online clients and various other things going on, something had to take a back seat for a week, and that thing was training. So that brings me to the first of this weeks 3 things…

Training should ebb and flow with your life

We all have varying stresses throughout the year. Work stresses tend to rise and fall across the year. Family time is always important but during the kids school holidays there may be more to be done, depending on their ages. If you are studying, then exam times will be higher stress periods.

When these higher stress times come around, and they do for us all, you have to find a way to balance your other stress causing areas.

If you think of a four dial system, with each of the dials an area of potential stress in your life, and a limited amount of ability to deal with them all. Then as you increase the intensity on any one of the dials, you have to decrease another. Sometimes you’ll try to push them all up at the same time, and this may be manageable for a short time, but eventually you’ll hit the wall and they all get forced back down.

As your life/ work/ financial stresses go up, training should be used to reduce stresses, not add to them. As one or more of those stresses comes back down, training can be pushed back up again and the cycle repeats. Don’t beat yourself up if you drop a session now and again due to necessity, or if you get them done at a lower intensity than normal. A week isn’t going to make a massive difference to your outcomes. And if it goes on longer than 1 -2 weeks, then maybe it’s time to look at other areas in your lifestyle and see what needs to change.

For the past week, other things had to take priority, so training took a back seat. I knew it would only be for a week so no big deal, Katie and I did a lot of walking. Or I should say, I did a lot of walking with her on my shoulders carrying her bike or scooter when she got bored/ tired of riding or scooting. As a family we got out for our daily walk each afternoon. Both of which are times where my stresses melt away.

This week, I have more time, and training is back on.

Too much sitting will mess you up

I usually work part of my week from home. About half is in the gym, on my feet, coaching in person clients. At least it used to be…

Now, with all my clients online, and no gyms to go to, All of my work is at home, so as a consequence I’m sitting a lot more in a less than optimal set up and boy do I feel it. I honestly don’t know how people do this all day every day.

Short and tight hip flexors, tight chest, rounded shoulders, achy low back and knees are all issues that come from being stuck in a seated position for extended periods of time. Getting up now and again, doing a quick mobility drill or stretch can do wonders for how you feel and move. Here is a couple of options to help you move better in 5 minutes or less.

Option 1

Tspine rotation x5/s

Bodyweight squat x10

Repeat for 2 rounds focussing on movement quality.

Option 2

Hip flexor stretch with overhead reach x30s/side

Pushup variation x8-10

Repeat for 2 rounds focussing on movement quality.

Make time in your day for one of these each day, and you’ll soon feel the benefits.

If it’s easy to do, it’s easy not to do.

The problem with the movement fixes in the last section is that they are almost too easy to do. Therefore, they are easy not to do.

Because you don’t necessarily see immediate, and massive, improvements, it’s easy to overlook their value. The same is true for a lot of other areas in training and nutrition. Adaptations take a long time to happen, as your body hates change and tries to do what it can to keep you where you are. Change is an expensive process, metabolically speaking, so maintaining the status quo is useful.

But just as with positive adaptations, negative adaptations are slow to materialise too. A little less movement each day doesn’t feel different, but over time results in lower fitness and less calories burned each day. A little less fruit and veg each day doesn’t hurt for a while, but over time a lower nutritent quality (and typically more calorie dense) diet takes its toll. Not doing some kind of mobility work regularly can result in loss of full ranges of movement over time. One day you go to do something you’ve taken for granted and it’s “suddenly” a struggle.

Don’t overlook the value in doing the small, seemingly insignificant things each day that keep you moving forwards. They don’t need to take loads of extra time, but they will add up over time to give you big rewards.

Stay healthy,


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