May 23, 2016

Most Valuable Training Tip... EVER.

I like brash statements particularly when I know them to be true! I would like you to think about the concept of performance. What does this word conjure in your mind? Do words like maximal, peak and ultimate come to mind? For me they do. In your place of work I’m guessing you have to perform. You have goals, targets, KPI’s that have to be met. There is pressure to perform and there is expectation from the paymasters!

What if I was to say to you that unless you take that attitude to your training you won’t meet your goals and targets there, either? You want results, you should take expectation into your training and so ultimately, you need to perform! Come to think about it, a lot of things in life can be attributed to performance.

If you just get up on that elliptical trainer and fixate on the TV, sit on that bike and freewheel a bit or sit down at this machine or that what’s going to happen? Nothing, right? Right!

The old saying, “you get out of something only what you put into it”. Or, “garbage in, garbage out”.

It’s a bit like a sports car and a family wagon. If you’re a big unit, room for plenty inside, moderate engine running on 95 you will be a trundling sedan. If you’re a bit leaner, sleeker, room for only 2 and running a revved up turbo-charged engine, well baby, you’re a sports car!! What are you? And more importantly what would you rather be?

Ok so I’d better start revealing this training tip! It’s called I N T E N S I T Y. You have to bring it, regularly. Performance in your training is dictated to a large extent by intensity! And I hear you saying but I’m not even halfway to being fit how can I “bring the intensity??”

I’m here to say this – Intensity is Relative!!

Clearly someone not so fit will struggle to complete tasks at the intensity that a fit person would bring. However there’s differences in intensity with groups of fit people as much as there’s differences in intensity between fit and not so fit. It doesn’t matter! You just have to work outside of your comfort zone for periods during your training to up the intensity.

Remember when you were a kid and you were with a friend or fellow team mate or even a fellow competitor and you were doing some kind of physical activity? And this other person was fitter than you. But you were determined to keep up and even beat this person. And you did! You summoned that competitive spirit and you dug in and you performed!! How did this happen?? A big part of it was because you raised the intensity.

At UFIT there is ample opportunity to raise the intensity. And most of the time members buy into it and bring it! But if you’re like the average Ufitter you’re attending UFIT sessions twice a week so potentially there are 3 other sessions you’re doing a week where you probably are not bringing the intensity. BRING IT, ALWAYS!! I know sometimes you can’t, sure, we’re not all Olympic athletes in fact none of us are (that I know of  ) but that shouldn’t stop us pushing ourselves!

You don’t need to set Personal Bests every time but you do need to keep raising the intensity. This can be done in many ways –

Cardio (interval training): increase speed during intervals; increase length of work interval or decrease rest interval; increase number of intervals.

Resistance Training: Add more weight; Change number of reps from what should be standard (4-5) to 10-12, once and a while.

Have recovery weeks where you don’t raise the intensity, say every 4-5 weeks. You must also remember to have rest and renewal periods where you don’t train at all (perfect period coming up over the Christmas week!). This only applies of course if you have already been training with intensity……

So there you have it. Intensity. A simple word that can mean so much to your training. Understand what this word means and buy into the concept. Your training will improve out of sight as a consequence! As usual it’s something we here at UFIT understand and if you would like our help, do drop us a line –

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