New Years Resolutionists: Train Techniques - Train all Year
At this point I'd imagine you've read your fair share of you "New Year's Resolutions 2016" articles. I'm sure you are just about done with all the fuss and want to get to it.
You've been told to set the bar high, be reasonable, challenge yourself in the gym, do more weights and less cardio, eat more vegetables, eat less junk, sleep more, drink less, and watch "Pumping Iron" on repeat for motivation...
Numerous articles have spoken to the need to focus beyond the aesthetics, and put an emphasis on make small progress on a consistent basis. They've educated you on why you should squat, why you should run, and why putting down that cookie, now...is always a great idea.
(two Arnold references in the intro alone - this will be a good year)
Yet, these recommendations still don't speak to the number one problem that plagues most New Years Resolutionists. The one thing that doesn't exist in January, but shows up in February and leads to complete abandonment by March.
Now, let's be clear. The gym is probably not going to be the place you'll consider the greatest entertainment spectacle in the world. It isn't Star Wars. You probably won't transcend time.
It won't satisfy your attention span the same way Buzzfeed, Facebook scrolling (and re-scrolling), or playing Call of Duty will do.
Chances are you won't associate the gym with a crazy night out on the town with your friends....unless of course you work out at Mark Fisher's gym.
It will also hurt a little, make you sweat, and place you in the middle of a brightly-lit space around a bunch of other people who may or may not be in better shape than you. There will be grunts, hot girls in short-shorts, bros in tank tops, old men doing nothing but talking, and old ladies hording every dumbbell they need.
Dude Perfect - nails "People at the gym"
It may actually be the greatest spectacle in the world now that I think about it....
Point is this - If you can accept these facts - then you can also accept that there is a bit of redundancy and boredom in exercise.
A sprint on a treadmill will always be just that and nothing more. Doing your fourth set of bent over rows for and 2-1-2 tempo for the third time in a week will drive you nuts at times - but chances are you'll see great results from the program you are on.
Yet, for New Years Resolutionists - it isn't about just about finding the best program that gets results, building consistency, and constantly shopping for new gym gear to add incentive on going...
It's about having a reason to go in the first damn place.
Enter the focus on techniques. Better yet, the focus being on developing new techniques for weight-lifting, running, rowing, boxing, yoga, pilates, and any other darn movement discipline that matters to you.
Instead of focusing on how many pounds you can lose this month, or how many days you can go in a row - focus on something you actually care about...or at least think you could care about.
Go to the gym with the intent on learning how to deadlift properly so that you stop throwing out your back everytime you do work in the yard, play a random game of basketball.
Go to the gym with the intent of finally learning how to box, kickbox, and be the reason Ronda Rousey takes loss numero dos'
Instead of just signing up for a race and proceeding to beat your feet into the ground innefficiently until you get injured before, during or after your race - go to the gym and do your best to strengthen the correct muscles and master your running technique so you can survive more than just a 5K for charity.
You get the point.
Your consistency will come from your desire to get better at something. If you deadlift a relatively heavy weight for yourself and finally feel your glutes fire AND your back didn't hurt, then I'll bet a pretty penny that you'll be really excited to get back there again.
You'll tell your friends about how strong you were and how good you feel. You'll come to the gym thinking about that damn deadlift.
I've had plenty of clients in my training career that had these "Aha" moments when doing something correctly for the first time. They actually feel the movement, feel the muscles, and can tell that they'll feel it for a few days.
I have a client who is actively pursuing double-digit weight loss. She trains twice a week with me and has done things on her own as well. Lately, her weight loss has stagnated a bit, but her dedication has not.
See, we've been focused on her deadlift strength - an impressive 255 I might add - while she is also taking private lessons with a kickboxing coach.
She isn't coming to the gym talking about the weight on the scale - rather the weight on the bar. Furthermore, she isn't coming in talking about how hard it is to kick bad eating and drinking habits; in fact, she tells me how hard she kicked the heavy bag, and punched the mitts that Saturday.
We are doing new things to reinvigorate her weight loss now, but she easily could have fallen into the "This isn't working for me - I quit" category. Yet, her new found passion for being a strong woman, great deadlifter, and bad ass kickboxer have kept her going while we figure out what needs to adapt to accomplish her primary goal.
Techniques never "stop"
Michael Phelps has a swimming coach and trainer and he has won a staggering eighteen Olympic gold medals.
Phelps and Bob Bowman
Serena Williams has a tennis coach and trainer and she just won another US Open to make it 21 grand slam titles.
LeBron works with various hall of famers in the offseason, Tom Brady has a throwing guru...so on and so on...
Even us trainers have our own coaches. We pay to attend seminars, workshops, and purchase e-books written by those we look up to. We are looking for new techniques in training and coaching - for ourselves and for you, our clients.
So training your techniques never expires. There isn't an end goal. You can always be a little bit better than before. You could get tighter on your lifts, run tighter with your arms and longer with your legs, or you could turn those hips a little bit more and kick higher.
Check out the lists below for 5 techniques that you can start working towards immediately. Be honest with yourself and pick what "level" you believe you are:
5 Techniques for ANY BEGINNER
1. Standard Deadlift (DB, KB, Barbell progression)
2. Running Stride
3. Push up
5. Dancing or Boxing
5 Techniques for ANY INTERMEDIATE TRAINEE
1. Sumo Deadlift
2. Sprint Strides
4. Kettle Bell Swings
5. Advanced dancing or Boxing techniques
5 Techniques for ANY ADVANCED TRAINEE
1. Weighted Push ups/ Weighted Pull-ups
2. Pistol Squats
3. Turkish Get Ups
4. Olympic Lifts
5. Triathalon Training, Crossfit Comp., Powerlifting, Bodybuilding show
I don't like making jokes about how the gym is full in January and a ghost town in March. I don't like hearing people say "I don't like working out". There is something for everyone out there. You just have to find exactly how your body wants to move.
Now go out there and Terminate the goals you set!
Happy New Year ya'll.