You might begin to see a theme in a lot of my articles, the key to success is to do things in a way that is sustainable and will create longevity. There are a ton of really strong guys that show up and in a year you never here from them or we all know the people who dieted super hard but couldn’t sustain it and ended up gaining all the weight back and few more for good measure. Now I respect these people because they go hard and go all out but there has to be a smarter way to approach things so you can maintain what you’ve built. We’ve all been there to some extent, starting something new is always exciting and we always want to start things off right so we go into the gym and blast a body part because we feel good and training makes us feel good, but we push to hard to the point where we can’t even move for a few days because of DOMS. A classic case of going in to strong and without the idea of progression and after this destruction we are left with a decision to miss the next couple days or to keep pushing harder and harder next time, until 3 weeks down the road we are burnt out and decide to pursue yoga instead. This is a bit of a stretch i know but you get my picture and for a few of you this may have happened. The same thing goes for dieting, start to low on calories and to high on cardio that you just can’t sustain for more than a few weeks and when you plateau you have to add more work or less food. You can clearly see the dilemma here.
The way to avoid this problem with training and diet is to come in with a plan that you can build on week to week to get better. Lets cover training first, how you approach training should be on a week to week basis so that you can build each week. You can do this by adding weight, reps, or sets each week so you start off with an easy week to get back into things, followed by a slightly harder week by making the small proper adjustments. For example I started my offseason plan with higher volume, after a meet the volume was low and weight was heavy, so I just did the opposite when I came back to training but not at a crazy pace. I started slow with DB movements and keeping everything somewhat light and easy. The next week I introduced barbell movements and started with a lighter weight that I know I can add to for the next 3-4 weeks. It’s a slow building process as I am not concerned with anything but building a solid foundation and staying healthy. The bigger the foundation the better the peak and if you can repeat that process over the course of 5-10 years you will be an extremely strong person as long as you stay smart and healthy. This is done with smart exercise choices and listening to your body. I’m not saying don’t push things but it doesn’t have to be every session all out failure and fatigue. You want to look for clean and smooth reps, not grinders or missed reps. A huge reason for doing things in a slow and methodical approach is it allows you the opportunity to develop proper motor patterns and technique, the best way to do this is not by maxing out it’s by sticking with reps and sets in the 65-80% of your 1 rep max.
Key takeaways here
- Start off slow, lighter and easier workouts without pushing to failure
- Build each week by adding weight or sets or reps not all at once though
- Stick with building better movement patterns over lifting heavy weight
Nutrition is definitely the hardest of the two to be patient with, when you are at the gym easing into things you are still putting in work and training hard, with a slow and methodical start on nutrition, although it will yield huge dividends at the end, it is tremendously hard to wrap our heads around in the beginning because we want to lose weight and get lean now!! So the regular person starts with a ton of cardio and starts with an extreme diet like a no carb, paleo diet. This is a recipe for disaster because if you start out fast like this yes you will lose weight and fast but what happens when you stall? You have to do more extremes and more because you started at the high end already the only way to keep the train rolling is to do more and eat less. By a month into this approach you go binge crazy and quit everything all together. Taking things slow and get the most out of the least at the start, because once you hit a plateau you have to do more or eat less and if you already start with an extreme deficit you have to keep going and thats not sustainable nor is it healthy. Look into your current diet and if it is compete crap like you drink 6 sodas a day, cut them down to 3 week one, than 1 week 3 and finally eliminate them. Once you get that down you can go into a set diet with balanced macros, never eliminate any macro if you are a performance athlete, because you’ve already dropped the junk and the next step would be to get organized. For cardio same thing start with walking 10-20 minutes for 2-3x a week. Than week 2 you can add another day and so on and so forth. Its an easy thing to do it just takes a ton of patience which is hard to do because we want results and we want them now. Slow and steady progress will yield longer and more sustainable gains, in reality if you are losing weight at a rapid rate you are also losing muscle so look to shoot for a 1-2lbs a week depending on size of athlete.
Key takeaways here
- Don’t go into a strict diet right away if you are not use to it, slow cut the junk out week to week until gone
- Do the least amount at the beginning so you can make adjustments when a plateau hits
- Look to lose bet 1-2lbs a week depending on the size of the athlete
- Start slow with cardio a little will do a lot if you don’t do anything
The giant takeaway here is to slowly build into things and have a long term view of the process. Key word here is the process, not the end goal, you must learn to enjoy the process of building. You don’t want to get to down and you don’t want to get to high just know that throughout the journey there will be a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of victories. Take it day by day and week by week and try to get a tiny bit better every time. Keep in mind the guys and ladies you look up to have been training and eating right for decades so don’t expect their great results after a 3 month training/diet plan.