Predictable Problems

Yesterday I covered some of the common faults I see on a regular basis across training, nutrition and mindset. Today it’s time to cover some problems that arise fairly often.

There will be 3 points for each category as before.
Training.
1 –  Unbalanced Training.
What I do not mean is to train while stood on Bosu balls or doing single leg squats on kettlebells, I mean doing more Pressing than Pulling, this is a common fault among many lifters because it’s easier to train the mirror muscles and the ones you can see.
To remedy this all you really have to keep in mind is that ideally your program will have a 1-1 ration of pushing/pulling, ideally you would have 2 pulling movements for every one press as this will promote better posture and keep your upper body free from imbalance. You can never do too many pulling movements but you can do too many pressing ones.
2 – You Skip Leg Day.
This is more common among men because who needs legs right…
Training your legs is an essential part of training, not only because of the increase in anabolic hormones, strength, fitness and overall badassery but because your legs are quite literally half of your body. Skipping legs day will leave you weak and looking weird. I’m sure for some the Johnny Bravo is what they want, however it’s not optimal.
In an ideal world squatting 3 days per week is what everyone wants to aim for. The old school programs used by the greats such as Steve Reeves, Reg Park, Steve Stanko and many others of that era used to squat multiple times per week. You should as well.
3 – Lacking Mobility & Poor Posture.
Poor mobility is the product of modern day living. We spend hours upon hours sat at a desk, as the day wears on we slouch, our hear pokes forwards (like a turtle) and it’s causing us to get injured and stop our progression. I am willing to be that at least 90% of you who are reading this need some form of mobility work (myself included).
There are lots of different mobility exercises you can do, for the shoulders you have the I-Y-T-W-L complex that can be done with dumbbells or resistance bands, for the legs you have the goblet squats, there are loads of great exercises you could do depending on what you need, those two are the most common that people require from my experience, if you want to learn more I suggest buying the book ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’ by Kelly Starrett because it’s filled with knowledge that you need to know.
Nutrition.
1 – Listening to Everyone.
How many ‘diets’ have you tried? 3,4 perhaps more? Either way it means that they all failed for one reason or another and chances are you stumbled across said diet because you were told about it by perhaps a friend or some random person. Just because someone says something is the best thing since sliced bread it doesn’t mean you need to listen and take their words as gospel.
The world of nutrition can be very confusing. I still get confused from time to time so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. What you want to focus on is learning the facts (energy balance-calories in/calories out), what macro nutrients are and what the body does with them and so on. Nutrition is as complicated as you make it, you will find that the human body hasn’t changed that much in the last few hundred years, try looking in to some older books, studies and papers to see the common themes/facts and untangle yourself from this web of misinformation.
2 – Binge Eating.
Okay, this might seem obvious but more people do it than they realise. Some people will follow a ‘strict’ diet where they restrict foods and as a result over the weekend feel they deserve a break and a treat, this is where the problems begin. People who end up in this situation are always living in extremes, be that deficit or surplus.
To overcome this problem you will be best off tracking your calories with either an app or a food diary so that you can make sure you’re hitting your ideal caloric/macro-nutrient needs, this way if you’re eating too much or not enough or even binge eating you will know. Simple.
3 – Not Enough Quality Foods.
Some will disagree with this, however I challenge you to hit your caloric/macro needs without eating any ‘whole foods’ (meat, veg etc) and see how you feel because the chances are you’ll feel like crap. Eating the majority of your calories/macros from whole foods will help you feel better along with your overall health. It’s just common sense really.
Last up is Mindset.
1 – No Will Power (no time to reset).
As with everything there is a limit to how much mental strength you have, if you’ve had a long day filled with stress then your mental strength will have taken a hit and there isn’t much you can do about that, or is there?
A great way to help combat daily stress and mental drain is to take some time out to yourself to have a mini rest. This can be in the form of a 30min walk in a secluded area or even 10min of meditation, personally I would say to have a 10 min meditation session at the start of the day in your first break, then a 20min walk at lunch time and then a final 10min meditation session towards the end of the working day on your last break, that way you will be ready to hit the gym feeling both physically and mentally strong.
Taking time for yourself is a necessity, you may feel like you don’t have the time but you do, after all, tomorrows problems can be dealt with by tomorrow you.
2 – Knowing Everything.
The modern world is one where any information we want is at our finger tips, google can be blamed for this. While the internet serves as a great way to improve you understanding of things it can also confuse the ever-loving life out of you, as with anything too much of a good thing can be bad. When it comes to program knowledge for example you may think you plateaued because the program has stopped working and therefore you need to change it up to a super-iso-mega-lateral-plyometric-drop set style of training when in reality you just need to DIG DEEP and word harder.
3 – Your Mind Is Not Your Own.
What do I mean by this?
We like to listen to our friends, peers and heroes but in doing this we can end up becoming carbon copies of them and trying to do what works for them – physically, nutritionally and mentally. Just because something works for one does not mean it will work for another.
Learning to be honest with yourself and obtaining a deepened sense of self isn’t the easiest thing in the world, however it is one of the most essential to happiness and mental longevity.
Look up to your heroes, take on board the critique from your peers and listen to your friends while still being you. Absorb what is useful and let go what isn’t, this will help you become the best version of yourself and that’s what it’s all about.
Tomorrow will be the last 9 points covering common misconceptions I see in each of the categories above.
Until then, Enjoy.
Ross
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