No one likes to do homework.
From 1st grade through the completion of my Master’s, I went to school for 20 straight years.
There was a lot of homework along the way. It was necessary for success.
When it comes to getting great results from training you must do your homework as well.
A lot of thought goes into the best gyms, programs, exercises, and equipment even though there is a simple recipe for training.
Training overload + recovery= adaptation (results)
The recovery is your homework.
If you do not recover from your training then you will not make long term progress on your plan.
Recovery is a funny thing because the more you train; the harder it is to recover.
Beginners are lucky because they can come back from a training session very quickly and can train at a high intensity 6 days a week.
The more advanced you become, the less frequent you can train at the same intensity and the more you must take care of yourself.
Now I know the objections to this. Some elite lifters will train 6 days a week to increase frequency.
They do this by making shorter, more frequent workouts. They may pick one day a week to focus on something and only work on that.
I remember watching Louis Simmons of Westside Barbell on what he does with his elite powerlifters. He said that if they hit a PR in the gym on one of their lifts he sends them home. They will not get any better that day.
I listened to Nick WInkelman present on what he does with his combine athletes and each day they have a very structured plan of all day training and recovery.
So yes, some of the best athletes can train 6 days a week but they lower the volume each day and promote optimal recovery.
This is not the case for the average person.
Most people have a job that Is not to train full time. This means that 6 days/week is usually unreasonable. 3 days/week is much more realistic.
There are 168 hours in a week. If you train for 3 of them, that leaves 165 to do your homework.
If you ignore the 165 your progress will be stunted.
The key categories to focus on during the other 165 hours are as follows. Those who dominate the 165 are going to feel better, look better, and get stronger faster.
Even though food information is getting better, there is still an obesity epidemic in this country.
More and more fast food types are popping up and you would think that there would be a shift away from those places.
The problem lies in over-information. You give people tons and tons of nutritional information and they cannot follow any of it.
“Carrots are high in Vitamin A and are great for you. Wait, they are high on the glycemic index. So are they good or bad?”
Carrots are a vegetable and vegetables are good for you. When too much information comes out everything becomes a mess.
I have actually heard people bash carrots for being high glycemic. Carrots are not bad for you but some will lead them on to be.
*Carrots are high glycemic because it is measured based on a pound. No one eats a pound of carrots at a time.
Tips for successful nutrition:
– Eat lean protein at every meal
– Eat 2 cups of vegetables at every meal
– Avoid foods that are already cooked, packaged, processed, and otherwise not fresh whenever possible.
This is going to be short and sweet.
Sleep 8 hours a day. I can ask anyone off of the street how much sleep they should get and that will be the answer.
There has been some talk of 6-7 and I cannot attest to which one is right. If you are getting less than 8 make sure that you are going to bed before midnight.
An hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after.
3. Move Every Day
Every day you should be doing something.
Just because it is not a training day you need to do whatever you can.
It does not have to be hard or anything complex, keep it simple and do it every day.
Some things to do are:
– Foam roll
– Body weight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups
– Mobility exercises that will help your in gym performance
– Core stability work
Dan John always says that if it is important, do it every day. Movement is important and you can
leverage your gym performance by doing accessory work every day.
4. Other means of recovery
– Hot tub
– Ice bath
Anything that helps you relax and wind down after a long day, whether you train or not, will be helpful.
When you take care of yourself outside of the gym, your progress in it becomes enhanced.
You cannot ignore the 165 if you have goals that you want to reach. It really is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Do your homework and dial in your nutrition, sleep, and other recovery methods.