Answers to 90% of Training Questions
Will this pro-athlete’s program work for me?
If I’m doing plyometrics twice a week, should I cut down on speed training?
Whatʼs the best way to build muscle, burn fat and increase strength?
What’s the quickest way to tone up, to tone down, to lean out, to lean in?
Will weights make me bulky and by the way do you think Bieber’s new song is the best song in the history of music?
Whilst each topic could be debated at great length (apart from the Bieber question) the answers are usually the same:
Focus on making smart choices, keeping a balance and staying consistent.
Get good at the basics.
Train hard and recover well.
See point 1.
No crazy fads.
No single-leg plyometrics twice a day.
No lettuce and mars bar rotational cycle every third day of the 6th week unless itʼs a Tuesday diet.
No 1980’s sprinter-weightlifter-rugby-baseball-hybrid peak performance plan periodised Soviet style.
None of that.
Just straight forward training consistently, getting good at the basics and eating well.
Questions and Answers
The questions are often framed differently, and come from people with a range of goals but my responses are usually pretty similar.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to maximise your performance or just looking to become a little fitter, these 10 points need to be attended to before any other questions are asked…
Water. Make water your drink of choice. Aim for 3 litres a day.
Lean Protein, Vegetables, Fruit, sweet potatoes and rice. Make this 80% of your diet.
Push, Pull and Sprint. Your body was designed for these movements, get strong and powerful in this patterns.
Keep Your Training Simple. Bands, chains, cables and other equipment all have their place but make sure you master the basics first. That means squatting, deadlifting, sprinting and jumping before you confuse yourself by trying to do a one legged cable row with a twist on a Swiss ball whilst eating a selfie and tweeting a banana.
If youʼre unsure of what to do, deadlift.
Recovering from exercise is just as important as the exercise. Fuel your body appropriately after your session (see tip 2) and try to get 8 hours sleep each night.
Track Your Progress. Make sure youʼre progressing each week. That could mean lifting more, running faster, running further, jumping higher or completing the same amount of work in less time, revering better or subjectively performing better on the field. Whatever the measurement is, make sure you’re progressing.
Consistency is key. Training programs are often deserted because after week one there was no significant change. Give yourself time to adapt and stick with it. If after three months there is no change, then itʼs time to start asking questions.
Time is not an issue. Some of the busiest people in the world still find time to train because they value the effects. Training doesn’t need to be a three hour slog, 8 days a week. An effective session can be as short as 20 minutes and can be done anywhere, regardless of what equipment is available. Forty-five minutes, two or three times a week is ideal.
ENJOY IT! Training should be fun! Try different types and find what’s best for you. There are so many options: weights, running, weights, cycling, sports, weights, indoors, outdoors, weights, sprinting after the dog...the list is endless! Find one that suits you and enjoy the rewards it’ll bring. That goes for athletes too, who need more specific adaptations; your body will adapt better if you’re enjoying the process.
If you enjoyed the article then please do share the word! Thanks, Jon