Whether or not you puke shouldn’t determine if your workout is good or not
Coach David’s outlook on thinking that you must leave feeling broken after a workout
As the fitness trend of high intensity workouts continue (Remember a trend may last years if not a lifetime, not to be mistaken with a fad) the original ideas and methodologies behind them begin to dwindle. What began as a way to increase heart rate, recover, repeat, or a way to allow your body to pass through different metabolic pathways in a single short duration workout is now beginning to turn into a “how quickly can I break you down” mentality. With all of the great side effects of proper programming of high intensity low duration workouts, many clients and more importantly, less educated (in the since of exercise) coaches, are beginning to take and program these workouts the wrong way.
Here are 2 problems I see when it comes to programming ideals from both coaches and clients/athletes along with what I believe is a solution for each.
The first issue is the issue of new gym owners or trainers wanting to outdo competition by simply having harder or a more aggressive programming style. Here we see the more is better mentality begin to kick in. In this scenario the coach takes pride in seeing athletes not complete workouts or get sick during/after. Ability to program for these coaches is not based on results athletes see over a given period of time, but instead the coach determines their ability by how hard they can make a workout. Remember, any bum off the street can make up a hard workout, but not everyone can create results driven programming over time.
** Let me add this. Great coaches will also make mistakes and changes as their programming progresses. They may have a certain program written 6 weeks in advanced and decide to make changes mid way through as they evaluate progress or develop concern with their athletes progress or lack their of. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making changes.**
The best way for coaches to get out of the harder is better mentality is to educate themselves on proper strength and conditioning techniques and methods. Now I’m not saying everything you do has to be scientific, but once you have built a base understanding of what metabolic conditioning means, what type of movements should and shouldn’t be used during high intensity workouts, what time domain, rep/set scheme to use then you can correctly design programs based upon your knowledge and later your experience.
Another great tool is to ask your clients/athletes how they are feeling, if and where they are sore, how their recovery is etc.
There is what I call the, “I need more of….” client. This person is always looking for something new or something more. More weight lifting, more cardio, more kettlebells, more feeling like death after a workout, etc. Usually this person misses out on results due to their lack of sticking to a program. You aren’t supposed to feel like death every time you walk out of the gym nor are you supposed to have an overload of one specific type of training (unless of course you are training for a specific task, feat, event or sport). It’s time to stop looking for “more” and stick with a program.
Trust a program and stick with it. Once you have found an educated coach that you trust, there is no reason to believe you need more of one thing or another. More so, don’t believe the myth that if you aren’t leaving feeling like your going to die everyday then that means the programming is not good enough. Some days may be harder than others but solely judging a program based on how hard you think the workout is everyday is a lack of understanding. Many other factors such as nutrition, and how hard you are actually working each day can determine how your body reacts to your daily workouts.
Along with these, there are other issues and solutions, but these 2 are the most common. It boils down to this. Getting ill during a workout doesn’t define the coaches ability to make you stronger, faster and more fit. The best thing to do is find a trusting coach, eat correctly and commit to the program.