Adherence to training.
Ben and I have decided to do a joint blog where we will talk about training and adherence to a training program.
I must say the old saying that if your training program works for you – you are getting stronger, keeping injury free, you should stick to it. As a coach I know that there are people who don’t enjoy going to the gym as much as others and they only go there for the sake of it or to punish themselves for eating some chocolate. Even those who aim to get stronger or fitter may sometimes get into a routine which changes into a stereotype they don’t enjoy anymore, and they lose the motivation to come to the gym again. In my opinion, this mostly happens to the gym goers who train on their own or without a structured program.
In this case, I would say the best would be to have someone looking at your current training and get some professional advice. You may try to train on different days or at different times. This way you could meet different people or experience a new atmosphere. For example, if you usually train in the morning and the gym is less busy compared to the evening, try to fit a later session in as the busier gym could motivate you again. Also, there is nothing wrong with changing your coach. Different coaches are using various coaching ways and maybe you need a little change.
Now on a separate note, I’m going to tell you how I keep enjoying my training. The biggest priority of my training is Olympic weightlifting and when preparing for a competition it’s important to stick to the reps and load lifted. Apart from the oly lifts, fitness or strength and conditioning in general is something I really enjoy. And as great as the weightlifting is, sometimes I really miss working out, sweating and challenging myself over a prolonged period of time. Weightlifting is also an individual sport and I find myself missing training in a group environment. I prioritise my weightlifting training but adding one or two sessions a week with my friends or just doing some extra rowing/cycling/circuit gives me greater satisfaction. Mostly, I am trying to keep a balance between the workload but doing both really makes me love what I do.
Also, one could think that a program of a weightlifter looks boring and it’s all just pulling and squatting but if you follow a good program you still do many other things to balance the demands of the top lifts and to keep injury/pain free. This way, I have some ‘bodybuilding’ stuff in my training, and I’m loving it. Similarly, track athletes, football players, they don’t spend all their training time on a pitch/track. They use the weight room too. Weightlifters and powerlifters, however, spend all the time in the gym but apart from their main lifts they do all the accessory work, including conditioning. It depends on the program emphasis, but to have a good aerobic base is definitely beneficial. For instance, weightlifters on a competition may go for their attempts in a very short period of time, and so, the more efficient their body is in utilizing oxygen and restoring energy, the more benefits it has for the performance.
Unlike Sona, my outlook on training is not geared towards a competition. Obviously, I always want to get stronger and constantly improve, however this is not the main focus. We can sometimes take for granted how lucky we are to have the time and physical capacity to train, so with that in mind why not try to enjoy every session as much as possible.
Health and wellbeing are not solely defined by what you can do with a barbell but also being mentally and socially healthy as well. Therefore, for me, striking the balance between the sessions where you are getting your important lifts in, progressively overloading and the sessions where you are still working hard but in a friendly group atmosphere are of equal importance.
I think the social benefits you get from training in a group of like-minded and supportive individuals are huge and can massively help with your adherence to training. Whether this be because of the accountability or the encouragement you get from a group atmosphere. Whatever the reason, to me there is nothing better.
Whatever your goals in the gym are, it is vital that you enjoy your training as much as you can.
Training is supposed to be tough, that is how we improve. However, if we can couple a challenging workout with a social and supportive environment, then we can all make each other tougher.
Ži – Smej sa- Miluj – Live – Laugh – Love
Sona and Ben.