Training isn’t the real work…
Training in the gym is not the real work of making progress in fitness and health. It is what you are doing outside the gym that really really makes a difference.
I am not suggesting that going to the gym is ‘easy’ or unimportant, for many it can be really hard to find the time, motivation or courage to get into a gym. However once you are there, it isn’t the real work.
The real work lies in what you do outside the gym. For example, a typical, highly motivated member here may come 5-6 times per week for 60-90 minutes. At maximum that adds up to 540 minutes, a cheeky 9 hours. In a week, there are 168 hours. That means you are spending just over 5% of your time in the gym.
So if your goal is to lose body fat, gain muscle, get stronger, improve aerobic capacity or work output, then a lot of effort must go into this outside of the gym.
Essentially whilst in the gym for 9 hours, we are intentionally placing our bodies under more stress, we are creating it. The theory being that super compensation takes place outside of the gym hours. This means that our body recovers from and actually increases our capacity to adapt to that stress.
Through this process, we get stronger and improve our work capacity. We lose body fat and build muscle mass.
Most newcomers to the gym will achieve this no matter their lifestyle, however, the more advanced you get, the more effort is required outside the gym. So if you have been training for 4-5 years, hard, and are running into injury, plateaus in training or just a bit of lethargy, start to look outside the gym for where you can improve!
It is pretty simple, but is often over complicated by many!
- Sleep well, be as in line with the rise and fall of the sun as possible. This is SO important.
- Eat good food. Varied, well produced protein, carbs and fats. Don’t over indulge, but also don’t restrict yourself so much that food becomes a ‘stress’. Listen to your body, if it doesn’t like certain foods, stop eating them.
- Don’t do extremes. If you are in it for health then avoid big drops in calories, likewise do not go for big rises in calories.
- Manage your stress. Work, relationships, financial, training, toxins. Manage it all.
Some really basic guidance there, but keep it as simple as possible and you won’t go to far wrong. The only caveat to this is for those already in very sick state, then we may need to dig a bit deeper.