Education |

Self-evident truths in training

None of what I or anyone else says about weight or cardio training is new and original. It has all been said before in different words. Sports science is mostly about putting precise numbers to what the old-timers learned by just trying it and seeing.

Because we sit still at work, at home, at leisure, and in the journey in between, we have to stand up and move our bodies in the gym. Once I worked in a sheet metal factory moving and cutting quarter inch sheet steel, and I cycled to work every day. I didn’t need a gym membership then. Now I don’t, so I do.

Train movements, not muscles. When do you do bicep curls in day-to-day life except at the pub? Move your body in the gym as you should in day-to-day life. In every workout, do at least three of squatting, pushing, pulling, picking something heavy off the floor and walking around with it.

Consistent effort over time gets results. More important than which routine you choose is that you be consistent with it. Better an ordinary routine you stick with than an awesome one you quit. Most people quit.

If in every session you do more than you did before, you will get stronger, fitter, and your physique will change. More weight, or more reps or more sets. More range of motion, too, but that really just applies to beginners. For everyone else, more weight, more reps or more sets; or for cardio, more speed or more resistance or more time.

Strength and fitness are built in the gym, size at the dinner table. No amount of weight training will make you bigger if you live on a bowl of rice and stick of celery every day, nor will it make you smaller if you eat 20 quarter pounders a day.

Recovery depends on food and rest. The Bulgarian weightlifting team works out six hours a day six days a week, but they have lifting as their full-time job, eat 13,000kcal daily, have afternoon naps, hot saunas and ice baths, sports masseurs and copious amounts of vitamin T. The ordinary person has a life to live, poor diet and poor sleep, so struggles to work out 2 or 3 times a week. You can’t have an extreme workout with ordinary food and rest.

None of what I or anyone else says about weight training is new and original.

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