The mentality of a person must train hard to get good results has been a staple of athletes and anyone involved in sports for as long as there has been sport, simply because it was pretty much a fact that those who put in more effort and worked hard usually used to be top of the tree.
A fair observation really.
Over the years it has been translated or rather interpreted as “Everyone needs to train like an athlete” and there in lies the problem.
Do you know why?
Not everyone is an athlete, funnily enough.
Top level athletes not only have some of the most superior genetics around but they also have a whole team of people to support them ranging from strength coaches, nutrition coaches, Dr’s, specialists and many other experts in their respective fields. Not to mention another simple little fact that goes over peoples heads; IT’S THEIR JOB!
An athlete is just that, an athlete. They earn a living by putting themselves through seemingly superhuman feats so that they can shave even 0.05 seconds of a sprint time let’s be honest, Jo Average who works 9-5 won’t ever reach a level where they need to achieve that. All they want is a little less body fat, a little more muscle and to look good naked. It’s time we started telling people what they need to d to achieve that.
Here are the three things I’ve found people need:
– A Plan
– Support to put in the required effort levels
Obviously there is going to be a required level of effort and they will indeed have to ‘work hard’ or ‘train hard’ but remember that the term ‘train hard’ is subjective to each person.
Here is what I look for people to achieve:
– Getting Stronger (adding weight, sets or reps)
– Improving VO2 Max/CV (faster run time, or more distance covered in the same time)
– Achieving the results they desire – If this happens they’re on track.
And a bonus one as well:
– Understanding they need to make an effort but enjoying the majority of their journey (20 rep squats are never enjoyable at the time). If they enjoy the journey they will be more consistent which means in the end they will get better results.
Don’t beat yourself up for not achieving athletic training peaks, it’s okay, unless you’re an athlete that is. Enjoy your training and give it as much effort as you can, just don’t damage yourself in the process because in the long run that will be a steep price to pay (injury, illness, depression and possibly more).