In this third part on the subject, I want to address the benefits that can come from the adjustments in mindset necessary in order to train like an athlete.
When you approach your training in this fashion, you start to look at things to add to your sessions, diet and life to help you reach your targets rather than things you need to remove. This is a much more positive and productive way to view things. If we take an example from your diet, instead of focusing on ‘I need restrict myself from these crisps to lose weight’, you will start to think ‘Okay, I need to make sure I have my rice with this meal in order to have the fuel to train properly later’. The focus is taken away from the thing you are removing – creating a negative relationship with the food - and instead is placed on the thing you are adding, it starts to feel much better to be eating these healthier foods and they become more of a treat for your training rather than a punishment that must be endured in order to reach your goals.
When your focus shifts to your performance in the gym the side effects are often aesthetically pleasing as well. If we increase your bench by 10kgs, pull ups from 10 to 20 and knock a second or two off your 100m sprint how is your body likely to have changed? Most likely you’ll be leaner, carrying some more muscle and will be stronger. That sounds like a pretty good combination to me! And from sitting down in consultations with potential clients it tends to be what most people are looking for, so why would we avoid training in a fashion that aims to achieve this?
Similarly, another benefit is that it moves the focus away from the scales – something I feel people get far too wrapped up in anyway. Your weight can fluctuate daily based on so many different factors that the scale can be so unreliable for someone who is trying to live life as well as enjoy their training. How much water you’ve had to drink, when you last ate, how big your last meal was, how much salt was in your last meal, how long you slept for etc. can all have a big influence and lead to large daily fluctuations in your weight. This can lead people to thinking that they are not making the progress that they had hoped for, in some cases it just makes the process less enjoyable and in others can put people off enough to fall off of their plan.
While these are just a few of the benefits that I see in approaching training in the way that I do, there are many more too. Hopefully this has opened a few eyes to the fact that you don't need to be spending half your life on the treadmill followed by a few sets on the chest press machine in order to achieve what you're looking for (although if that's what you enjoy more power to you!) and that, as with most things in fitness, there's more than one way to reach your goals. If this little series has raised any questions for you, you would simply like to continue the discussion, or you're looking to take up training in this fashion then please get in contact either through the site here or the social media channels.