It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who come to “train” at the studio or the gym, using the same program every time, and wonder why their bodies aren’t changing? They aren’t changing- becoming fitter, leaner, bigger, etc.- because they continue to require their body only to perform the exact same thing they did the session before. This isn’t training, it’s exercise. There’s a big difference. Exercise is merely a confirmation that you can accomplish the same task, over and over, ad infinitum. Training requires programming for a specific goal, or goals. Training requires a record of what you do in each training session, to the very last detail, in order to ensure that you are making progress toward the goal, or goals.
We become fitter (stronger, leaner, bigger, etc) through a constant cycle of stress/recovery/adaptation. We need to record in exact detail these three factors as we train. Stress intensity may be modified by resistance load (weight, or body angle for bodyweight movements), time (speed of movement, duration of rest) and distance (range of motion). We can change one or more of these factors to alter our total time under tension during the training session, and it is this time under tension which determines total workload on the body’s systems. Workload/intensity need to be increased incrementally in order to increase stress, in order to force the body to make an adaptive growth response. Once stress is adequate, we must provide the conditions for complete recovery in order to adapt.
How do we know if we’ve recovered? It’s simple. If you’re really tired, or really sore, you haven’t fully recovered from the previous stress. Use sleep/rest, ice, massage, stretching, adequate hydration and nutrition to facilitate recovery. You’ll know when you’re ready to hit it hard again. Until then, prioritize mobility above all else. Stretch and breathe, do some yoga, drink water, eat clean.
Each morning the first thing I do is drink plenty of water. I use distilled water because it is the most pure. I drink a shot of Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil (many benefits to this and thank you Mom for feeding me this stuff when I was a little boy), a glass of water with an entire lemon or lime with a pinch of salt on the tongue (citrus fruits alkalize Ph and salt is the most important electrolyte). Next will be a meal of 3:2:1 ratio carbohydrate:protein:fat. And every meal throughout will be this ratio, the widest variety of food possible and some fish oil gelcaps will be consumed with these meals throughout the day. I also supplement once per day with CoQ10, ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble Vitamin C), cayenne pepper, turmeric, a baby aspirin, digestive enzymes and probiotics. During the day and before/after workouts I use creatine in the monohydrate and AKG forms. This may all seem like a lot to do, but it isn’t difficult to organize. I can show you how. And it isn’t expensive either. I can direct you to the best quality, lowest price supplements.
It’s been a long day. Before I go to bed to read myself to sleep, I take 3mg of melatonin and 500mg-1g of L-tryptophan. I sleep deeply, dream vividly and wake up ready to go again. You can too.