How you Train and Recover Matters

How you train and recover matters. Over time, both good and bad, training and recovery habits compound to drive you in the right or wrong direction.

The below four training types are fitness level agnostic and can be commonly identified across all levels and types of training. The ‘Over Training / Injury Zone’ highlighted in each diagram below exists for everyone but depending on your own personal fitness level it may take more or less effort to reach it. The four commonly identifiable training types are as follows:

      • Optimal Training
      • Sub-Optimal Training
      • Inconsistent Training
      • Over Training

Optimal Training

Optimal Training DiagramAs the name suggests, this is optimal training. This is where everyone wants to be and with the right coach and mind-set this is where you should be. Optimal training has two key identifying traits:

  1. Train Hard – Those performing at an optimal level are consistently training hard and pushing themselves close to their limit without over doing it.
  2. Recover Properly – After a hard training session you are actually less fit than prior to it in the short term. It’s the recover phase that makes you fitter. To consistently perform at an optimal level you must also consistently recover at an optimal level. Every correct recovery allows you to again empty the tank in training and push yourself further again.

You can see from the graph the Optimal trainer is consistently training hard and recovering properly which is making them fitter and fitter over time.

Sub-Optimal Training

Sub Optimal Training

Sub-Optimal training is unfortunately the zone that most fall into without the assistance of an experienced coach or indeed when the motivation is not there. Sub-Optimal training is identified primarily by the following:

  1. Not Training Hard Enough – The key identifier of sub-optimal training is not pushing yourself hard enough. Skipping sets, skipping exercises, working with weights or resistance that  does not challenge you, or simplifying exercises are all habits that can lead you to sub-optimal training.
  2. Recovery – Recovery here could be optimal. Rest and nutrition on point but you are unable to get the maximum benefit due to not pushing hard enough in training.

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G.R.O.W.T.H model for Personal Fitness

GROWTH Model

  1. Goals
    • For You – Goals need to be thought about and defined clearly. No obligation to share widely, but you must know your own goals. If you have none, start here now! If you’re not working towards your own goals, your only working for someone else’s.
    • Your Coach – Understands your fitness goals and agrees them openly with you. Where a client does not have strong medium to long term goals, your coach should help you to define shorter term goals in fitness and health to help you begin your journey.
    • Level – Goal definition, understanding and agreement is the base level of coaching which should be expected. If you have clearly defined goals, although still at a low level, your personal fitness journey has taken it’s first step into maturity.
  2. Reality
    • For You – You must gain an awareness of your current state in the context of the goals you wish to achieve. Personal awareness of the reality is one of the most difficult steps in maturing your personal fitness journey. It is extremely rare that anyone can gain an objective sense of self from themselves alone. Over confidence and under confidence cause havoc in equal measures. Hard pills may need to be swallowed in this phase for the over confident, while a healthy push in the right direction and support is needed for those less confident. It’s a vulnerable phase, but key in maturing and moving forward in the right direction.
    • Your Coach – must at all times provide the objective view and help you to understand your own reality in the context of your goals. Some coaches may already fall down here in favour of quick profit. “Sure I can get you ‘-insert unrealistic goal here-‘ in 8 weeks. Incidentally here’s my 8 week challenge package”. The best coaches will help you understand your reality and form a realistic plan for helping you to achieve your goal based on where you are currently at. Trust and honesty must become the base standard between the two of you.
    • Level – Coaching which is honest and helps the client to understand their reality is key if goals are to be achieved. As a coach this is an uncompromising principle.  If you have made it to an awareness and acceptance of your current state, and still have a burning desire to achieve your goal, you have taken a very important step in maturing your personal fitness journey. At this point you know where you are and where you want to get to. By the way, this step never really ends, soz.
  3. Options
    • For You – You must be open to the options available to you to achieve your goal. This is a time to be honest with yourself and your coach about

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