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When intensity and volume just DON’T matter

As coaches we know that progressive overload matters if you want to get stronger or fitter.   We build this into your programming at The Wild Movement so that in the long term you get the results you are after.

However – There is a time when the variables that largely make up progressive overload really don’t matter!

When you find yourself thinking that conditions aren’t ideal for training and you should ‘probably just skip it’ is when intensity and volume don’t matter.

Let’s say you have been sick and you know you won’t be able to train as you would be able to when you were rested well and healthy.    In this instance it’s easy to think there is no point because the intensity (amount of weight on the bar as a % to your heaviest for 1 rep) will be too heavy or the volume (sets and reps) will be too taxing.    That may just be the correct thinking – its not always wise to try and push yourself so hard when the recovery metrics aren’t there. 

When it’s ‘go hard or miss a session’ there is a sweet spot in between that produces long term success

 

What we do suggest though is to simply disregard the numbers, put on your training clothes and tick a box for the day.

So many of our positive habits and behaviours are anchored by our training and these don’t know the difference how ‘hard’ we push – they just need it to happen for us to keep the momentum going.   

So next time you want to skip the workout or go the extreme other end of the habit that you want to do because conditions aren’t perfect ask yourself can you simply turn up, complete your work with perfect form and tick a box you can be a little better overall come tomorrow?   

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Does variety lead to greater results for you?

Most gyms will advertise how their sessions are ‘always different’ or  have ‘variety every day’. The rationalisation is to ‘keep the body guessing’. This concept can work in the short term, especially if your training level is very low, but what will work better for everyone in the long term is following a system.   The system in strength training is called periodization. This really just means organising and planning your training ahead of time.

 

This system will allow us to be systematic in nature to ensure we are forcing the body to adapt to more work over time. The only way to do this is to keep many of the variables the same (such as exercise selection) and increase one prescription variable such as load, volume, range of movement or density.   If we change everything to call it ‘keeping the body guessing’ we lose the approach of building one layer upon the next.   The biggest key element to you being in the best shape of your life is being the strongest you have been relative to your body weight. If you increase your 5 rep max squat or your 5 rep max dip to the highest it’s been at a consistent body weight you can almost guarantee you are in the best shape of your life. There is no chance to do this without some level of progressive overload.

If you are training by yourself – a training journal should be a staple

Following some planning to get ongoing results doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing for months on end.   Psychological factors are also important to take into account.   We use 4 week blocks which we find is a happy medium for those that are less comfortable with change and those that tend to get bored.   Four weeks allows us to learn the movement and feel it out in week 1 and then build upon it for three more weeks. The next block will then change all the assistant exercises and often change the main exercise slightly – say from a back squat to a front squat.   Each 2 blocks (8 weeks) we retest all our main movements to get objective feedback on what we are doing. 90% of the time our members see themselves get stronger. The outcome? More empowerment and more buy in.   This just breeds long term success.

 

If you want to know more about our system of training (not just exercising) then please send us a message or email.   You may think ‘I’m not ready for this training’ but I guarantee we can scale it to you so you can progress safely over time.

 

Happy lifting,

 

Luke

 

 

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