We've all heard the stories, people doing insane high tech, space age sounding things all in the name of enhancing workout performance. They spend lots of money and devote so much time when for most of us, finding 20 minutes of gym time day is a struggle.
The key for the average person is to keep it simple. Dan John, with over 30 years coaching experience, explains that all you need to do is follow 4 principles
. He says if you follow these, you will be set up with a life time of fitness success.
Pick the Right Program
Your training must be in sync with where you want to go. Ask yourself what your goals are and if the training doesn't fit those goals, you will never be happy with what you are doing. For example, if a triathlon is your goal, than you need to practice swimming, running and cycling. Sounds intuitive but according to John, an awful lot of people choose workouts because some celebrity did it for a role or it worked for someone else. You need to choose what is going to work for you. You also have to be realistic. High intensity works outs on the weekend won't make up for 5 days of sitting. You have to find time to work out everyday.
Take Your Time Getting in Shape
Remember this little tidbit the next time you expect results overnight: it takes 8 to 12 years to build an Olympian. Doing the 'six weeks to a six pack' or '90 day transformation' type workouts/diets are great if you can follow every single detail but a slower approach is better in the long term. The longer you take to get in shape, the longer you will stay in shape. If you train a little and train often over the long term, you will decrease your risk of injury and avoid burnout.
Place importance on the beginning and end of your workout
Your warm up and cool down don't have to be 'perfect' but you should definitely be working them in as best you can in every workout. Use the time for foam rolling and flexibility work. Or use it to think about your goals, visualize them. If you are working out in a group, use the time to catch up and bond, it will keep you coming back. These are the things that keep you engaged in your workout.
Train for volume before intensity
John says, "I believe in intervals for runners, peaking for lifters, and 'crunch time' for team sports–but you can't maintain that intensity all the time. Work with lower intensities and build a solid foundation first." Think of your workouts as 'performances.' Do the workout and gently nudge yourself along. Doing it this way will make you fitter, better and stronger.
What do you think? Can you take the slow and stead approach to long term fitness?