Collectivism In Training, Why it Doesn’t Work, and How To Make It Work For You

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Whether you use the programming written by your gym or ordered the latest and greatest fitness program online or in an app, you are getting a watered down version of what could have been right for you. What’s good for the masses may at best be just “O.K.” for you. But then again, it might be your worst nightmare. Programs written with “everybody” in mind may be perfect for a few, but off the mark for everyone else.The good news is that you can personalize these programs by tracking your lifestyle choices and enhancing them by using feedback tools like the BioForce HRV or Sleep by MotionX to name a few.  In this article I will discuss some questions you should ask yourself each day before you hit the gym, and also some solutions to personalize practically any workout to optimize your health.

Ask yourself these questions before you work out:

1) How well did I sleep?

  •  8 hours or more, uninterrupted – great! It’s a good start getting all your ducks in a row.
  • 6-7 Hours soundly – you might not want to totally go for it.
  •  Less than 6 hours or interrupted under 7 hours – you might think twice about working out at all, or maybe just walking.

2) How well did I eat?

  • You ate clean and you ate enough… protein, veggies, safe carbs, and quality fat; plus, you have a good tie-in with sleep requirements – go for it today!
  • You didn’t eat that well or you ate too little and you had cake at the office party – consider modifying that workout today.
  • You got hammered the night before – skip the workout and go for an easy walk, jog or swim.

3) What did I do in my last workout? When was it?

  • You are you rested, not sore, and ready – 3, 2, 1-GO!
  • You are on day 3 after 2 days that have made you sore and you’re walking funny – cut the workout back to half, and/or go light!
  • You have been going hard for more than 3 days and you dragged yourself into the gym – time for a “U” turn and a day off or a walk.

4) How am I feeling emotionally? Emotions count.

  • You are energized and clear – hit it hard!
  • Your dog spent the weekend at the vet – you may want to cut back the workout and just have fun.
  • You had a big fight with your spouse – a walk might be your best bet.

5)  Are the programmed movements for me?

  •  Maybe 100 snatches is not right for you and puts your livelihood at risk.
  • Wall balls give you a headache from cranking your neck or maybe you have tingles in your arm from impingement on a nerve. Find an alternate movement. Make the workout work for you by evaluating the movement and how it is helping you and your overall life in general. (Your trainer should be more than happy to help you with this.)

These self-evaluating questions are based on someone NOT using biofeedback tools. But if you are able to be honest with yourself and you are reasonable, you can do quite well.

The “Lie Detector Tests”: Biofeedback Tools

Readiness monitoring. If you think that you might not be introspective enough to manage yourself in your workout routine (most of us are not!) then the answer is the BioForce HRV monitor. I like BioForce the best because it was developed by one of the highest regarded Strength and Conditioning Coaches – Joel Jamieson. Simply put, the BioForce HRV is a tool that  monitoring cumulative stress, and that can come in the form of less than optimal sleep, diet, emotional well being, and an aggregate workout load. It is simple to use and gives you a green, amber, or red light that determine your training readiness, respectively. So, for the questions you asked yourself above regarding readiness, the answers come in colors: Green is a go, amber is cut the volume back by 50% or so, and red is take the day off or walk!! You won’t be able to lie to yourself with this technology and it is a way to transform “programming for the masses” to “programming for YOU”! For more detailed information on the HRV monitor, please read my article HERE.

Sleep monitoring. My favorite sleep monitor is Sleep by MotionX. There a several out there, but Sleep by MotionX gives me a clear picture of my deep and light sleep cycles, the length of my sleep, and the percentage of my sleep goal. I use this along with my HRV. My personal correlation is that when I start to come up with poor training readiness, my sleep history usually doesn’t look that optimal. I have learned that the best way to get my training readiness up is to sleep a good 9 hours!

Wrap Up

General programming usually doesn’t work for most people, so I have given you some questions to evaluate yourself and your training readiness for the day. We also looked at how a few cutting edge applications can keep you honest with yourself!

A few weeks ago, my friend, Jim Laird, make an interesting and true statement on Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution Podcast. He said, “You have to qualify to train”, meaning that training is not productive unless you are well prepared with your sleep, food, and emotional stress load. So, I encourage you to make your workouts yours and only yours. Do what is in your best interest for that day so you can sustain your fitness and stay Strong, Healthy and Happy!

NEN Workout:

*10 vertical jumps, 10 push ups, and 10 sit ups 4 rounds ~GO!
*please warm up appropriately.

By purchasing your BioForce HRV monitor on this site you will be helping support EvaTSC.


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