• James Heath

Train smart, train hard, train less

Most professional athletes, coaches or bodybuilders will say their biggest mistake to progress came when they trained too much. It fits a simple linear thought process - "train more to progress faster". This ignores the reality of how our complex bodies work.

For a natural athlete training correctly, it is incredibly easy to over train or in other words under recover. This is because the training session has elicited stress onto our cells, central nervous system and energy pathways. Our bodies produce a hormetic response to that stress, also known as hormesis (hormones). Our cells and energy pathways adapt to better cope with that stress next time.

When your muscles are trained too often, they cannot heal, and the end-result is zero growth and perhaps even losses. Working out every day, with the adequate intensity, will lead to gross over training. A body part, worked properly, i.e. worked to complete, total muscular failure that recruited as many muscle fibers as possible, can take 3-10 days to heal, provided your lifestyle caters for optimal recovery - no booze, good sleep and nutrition.

Even working a different body part in the next few days might constitute over training. If you truly work your quads to absolute fiber-tearing failure, doing another power workout the next day that entails heavy bench-presses or dead lifts is going to, in all probability, inhibit recovery and so-called “gains”. After a serious leg workout, your whole system mobilises to heal and recover from the blow you've dealt it. How, then, can the body be expected to heal from an equally brutal workout the next day? It can't!

We are not robots, your job, family commitments, commuting, finances, deadlines, sports, alcohol, lack of sleep or sub-par nutrition all accounts to additional stress. On top of that people are genetically more suited to cope with different levels of stress, be that emotional or physical. Thus, recovery rates are specific to the individual and variable and can affect your capacity for recovery. A good program takes everything into consideration.

Most of my clients do not need to be in the gym lifting weights for more than 3 hours per week. So much progress can be made in 3 hours resistance training. Some additional cardio maybe optimal but the secret is to make those 3 hours count thus optimising the key ingredient TIME.

Training hard and training smart.

Learn to accept rest as a valuable part of your workout. You should probably spend as many days out of the gym as you do in it.

Are you living in Dubai and wanting to start a personal training program? My body transformation services guarantee rapid results in performance and body composition. I want to hear from you so please get into touch. Please subscribe to my website for future updates and promotions.