Too often in my young coaching career I have seen people excited to get started in the gym, only to have that flame of excitement quickly burn out. Too often have I been asked to create a program for people looking to get back in shape, or train for a sport; only to check in after a few weeks, and find out they have completed the first work out… and that’s it. There is no secret formula to finding success in your training. There is no magic program that will create the results you are looking for if you do not dedicate the time to the program. When it comes down to it, the only way to get faster, stronger, more fit, is to stay true to the process.
When I start training a new athlete, I do not immediately throw them into the gates of hell. A lot of coaches enjoy this, as I have come to find out. We attempt to build mental toughness via excruciatingly difficult/ pointless workouts before establishing some sort of training base, and before looking at the needs of the athlete. Besides the science behind this flawed practice of training, if I am looking to establish a consistent routine with this athlete, absolutely destroying them will more than likely prevent them from coming in the next day… and the next… and the next. Once they have recovered from your “session from hell” they have now missed 5-7 days of training time (probably). That is anywhere from 5-14 hours of training volume that could have accumulated, instead they were laying at home, struggling to walk. So, they come back in and we are starting from zero again. Here is your chance to make up for a pointless workout. Instead of going into the session with a mindset of training homicide, we can test the athlete to see where the athlete currently sits physically, and mentally. Run them through an evaluation! Everything from past medical history, to contralateral asymmetries, and work capacity. From there we can create a program that may not challenge YOU as a fitness junkee, but it will challenge your athlete appropriately. Your athlete is now coming in 3-4 days/ week consistently with adequate rest between sessions, and after a few weeks some big changes have already begun to take place. Here is where a good program has merit, but that is a conversation for another day.
This same principle holds true for general population folks as well. If you haven’t run 5 miles in 5 years, or you haven't squatted your high school max since high school, do not attempt to do so on day 1. If you do not injure yourself, your body will be in recovery mode for years to come (that’s a joke, but really your body will scream at you). Then we see the same pattern, “I’m too sore” or “I’ll come back in a couple of days.” Before you know it, we haven’t exercised in 7 days. When you are unsure of how to begin, ask a professional like myself for help. We must establish a routine that appropriately challenges your current fitness level.
However, not all of the blame can fall on the misinformed fitness coach. If you want to accomplish health goals, or get better at your sport, YOU have to spend the time in the weight-room. Whatever program you decide to run, the common variable is consistency. Whether you come in 1 day per week or 7, the volume of training will accumulate, and change will take place.
Thanks for your time!
Coach Nate Garcia