Tag Archives: addiction

Training Days Per Week

How many days per week should you train?

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, all of them?

Honestly it doesn’t really matter too much so long as your consistent.

You know there are people who hit the gym only twice a week and make more progress than those who frequent it 6 days and train twice per day.

It comes down to the premise of quality or quantity.

Technically you need both.

I know, it’s quite irritating.

The more quality you can put out the better progress you will make, that’s just how it goes, however no one starts off being able to do that, despite what fitness guy’s and influencers tell you.

Back in the day my philosophy for my own training was very much about all or nothing, luckily this didn’t extend to my clients and was purely pushed on myself.

Ironically many clients made great progress on 2-3 days of training per week.

Then there was me, slogging it away with multiple gym sessions, essentially every day and being honest there was very little to show for it.

When you keep digging in to your training tanks your body stops adapting and overcoming the stimulus, it merely learns to survive at any cost.

You will also find your body becomes more efficient.

Yep, it’s clever like that, so it ends up using less energy, especially when you place more demand on it.

Less resources become available for growth, progress and overall health and eventually the wheels fall of the wagon and you get hurt.

Then comes the mental anguish.

Along with the realisation that you’d become quite addicted to the gym, and despite all your ‘hard work’ you’ve very little to show for it.

I speak from experience on this one.

Even though personally I;ve always been lean and looked in shape (by the standards of an average person), I was causing a lot of internal damage and just not making the progress I felt I deserved or should have been.

Even knowing everything I knew, hubris got in the way.

Training should enhance our lives, not detract or dictate it.

If you find yourself binning off social events, or actually living because you MUST get to the gym less you miss your training then you’ve got a problem.

Seriously, it’s quite a big problem as well.

Addiction, regardless of the form is still addiction and at some point it goes pas the point of being helpful or even good for you and becomes toxic.

How does the old saying go – The poisons in the dose.

Or is it – The dose makes the poison.

Either way, I’m sure you get it.

I understand though, why you end up in this place.

We live in a very shallow and superficial world.

Both women & men are only as valuable as what they have to offer in regards to the majorities perception of them.

Better looking people get more opportunities in life, many may disagree, however it’s called the ‘Halo Affect’, a very real thing.

I spoke to a friend recently about this and they got rather put out by it and reacted emotionally as they don’t want people to think they only did well because of their looks, yet that is the exact reason they got offered as many opportunities as they did.

All of this brings us back to how many days we should train per week.

2 or 7, multiple times a day or just once.

My advice, 2-4 times per week is plenty for everyone.

These days I’d urge people to look at doing 2 gym sessions a week.

If you feel the need to doing something daily and move, that’s not a bad thing as you can pick something to practice, be that 20min of yoga, kettlebell work, bodyweight skill or something else entirely.

There are many many options available to us and in all honesty you can do which ever you enjoy the most.

Just beware the little gym monster of addiction.

It sits on your shoulder and tells you that you’ll never be good enough, lean enough, big enough, strong enough, or worthy.

When you start having these thoughts it’s time to step back from the gym and reduce training frequency before it gets worse.

Just something to remember.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Totally Addicted to Pain

You like feeling sore post training, don’t you.
 
Leaving the gym absolutely destroyed.
 
Hurting the same and even the next or next few days, that’s what it’s all about, right?
 
You’re addicted to pain is seems.
 
I was like you once.
 
While you can indeed live for this style of training it doesn’t do much.
 
Just because you’re sore that doesn’t mean you’ve made progress, it just means your sore.
 
If your level of discomfort/pain post external stressor/stimulus was the main factor in how many gains you made then everyone who had a major accident, such as –
 
Car crashes, falling down man holes, getting jumped and beaten to a pulp or tearing a muscle(s) falling down stairs.
 
Well they’d all be jacked by that logic.
 
Yea, sounds a little absurd, that’s because it is.
 
While this is indeed a logical fallacy, it helps people understand a simple point, you don’t need to kill yourself and if you’re seeking certain feelings from training then that says more about your psychology than anything else.
 
I can personally understand wanting to leave a session feeling accomplished.
 
In the past I was even caught in the trap of not being happy unless post training I felt demolished.
 
While it was good for the ego, it did little in the way of achieving progress.
 
It’s funny really.
 
I’ve had clients where we’ve reduced their training amount by as much as three quarters, they’ve ended up making more in the way of results in 3 months following this change than they did in their last 5 years of training the way they like.
 
The saddest part is that even though they could see and admitted they were getting the best results of their life for a long time, they didn’t like the training.
 
They wanted to do more because they felt they needed to.
 
Even in the face of strong evidence to that thought.
 
People are strange creatures.
 
We want to do what we want, even if it doesn’t get us to the goal or any progress what so ever, the cognitive dissonance is frightening.
 
Mellow as I have become over the years I still want to shake some people and tell them to stop being fools.
 
I of course put myself in this camp as well.
 
Let me as you this, why wouldn’t you want to change your training to get results?
 
In fact why wouldn’t you want to get results?
 
Are you one of the few who trains multiple times a day (or for 2 hours sessions of back to back classes) and gets no results?
 
If that is you then perhaps you need to reevaluate.
 
Then ask yourself this; What is training to me?
 
Now some will spend that long in the gym for deeper psychological reasons, this is worth discussion.
 
That being said, the aim of the game is to make progress because the body doesn’t really ever stay stagnant for too long.
 
You’re either making progress or regressing.
 
Maintaining balance is an illusion.
 
Often one championed by the mediocrity who achieve some basic results and are then ‘happy’ with where they are.
 
Those are the same people who end up putting on almost all of the weight they lost or regressing back to before they started training.
 
They repeat this cycle for many years.
 
All just to look, okay, average, mediocre.
 
I sincerely doubt anyone ever wakes up as a child and thinks –
 
“Oh boy, I hope when I grow up that I’m perfectly average.”
 
Would you do me a kindness?
 
Please leave what the gym means to you in the comments section, along with the last time you achieved any notable results.
 
Be honest.
 
I didn’t make any in the time period of 2010-2014, while I gained strength nothing else changed, wasted time that I will never get back.
 
These days I train in the gym as I did when I was in my competitive fields, for performance, to become a better human.
 
I don’t personally need the gym for respite or mental reprieve, for that I have places to go and write, people to share and have deep conversations with because I learn a long time ago that the gym can only change how I look, not how I feel about myself, not really.
 
Any mental fortitude from the gym is fleeting at best.
 
Don’t believe me, just speak to any physique competitor, most are chronically depressed because no matter how good we can make ourselves look on the outside that won’t change what, who we are on the inside.
 
In our heart we will always be the fat kid who was bullied at school and the only way to change that is not by working out, it’s by working in.
 
The gym is a tool, that all, a tool.
 
That’s me though, I know me, what I’m really interested in is getting to know more about you.
 
I look forwards to reading your comments below.
 
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Calories & creatures of habit.

Are you obsessed with the first while also being caught in the vicious cycle of the second?
 
Many are because loosening the reigns it too scary.
 
Did you know that on average people eat between only 15-20 different foods per week.
 
It’s not a great amount of variety, yet I know why many do it.
 
Safety, familiarity and all that other good stuff synonymous with the comfort zone.
 
From a calorie tracking perspective this makes things easy, yet it also means there might not be much change physically.
 
When you eat the same foods again and again the body will become better accustomed to processing them, in another word more efficient.
 
This will potentially lower the TEF a tad.
 
You’d also be surprised as o how devoid of certain nutrients you may actually be, a common consequence of lacking variety of foods.
 
Now many might say it’s because they don’t like certain foods, which might be true, however more often than not they’re just being fussy because their parents allowed them to be that way in their youth.
 
There is also the potential case that they’re being lazy.
 
We are not talking about preparing 5 star gourmet every day, however a little change will do you the world of good.
 
Sticking with the same foods all the time,while not only dull, will also lead to anxiety when you can’t get your fix because you feel your control slipping away from you.
 
I’ve seen it happen time and again.
 
Being the intelligent individuals you are, I’m sure you can understand that without change there will often be no change.
 
This applies to your nutrition as well.
 
Opting for more variety in what you eat can help you start to make that much sought after progress you desire, honestly.
 
You can keep the calories at whatever level they need to be for your desired goal while changing the food choices.
 
^^ On a calorie laden note, you can have higher days and lower days so long as the total amount of calories across the longer term tracking (say 1 year) is in sync with your goal – surplus for gain, deficit for loss.
 
^^ You don’t need to eat the same calories day in day you, you wouldn’t do it for training volume/intensity so remember you don’t have to do it for food either.
 
Do me a favour, keep a food diary for 2 weeks.
 
Sit down and take a look at those two weeks and see how many foods you eat on average, I’m willing to bet it falls in to the above (15-20).
 
*Of course i am bias towards a more whole foods approach to nutrition from a health stand point, however if on any given day you want cake then have the damn cake, enjoy it, don’t lament it, then adjust your foods the next day and carry on with life.
 
Once you’ve done this take a look at all the other foods you can add in, swap/substitute and enjoy.
 
Most ironic of all is all the people that call themselves ‘foodies’ are of the aforementioned ilk.
 
Give the above some thought.
 
Loosen the reigns and break the cycle of being the same.
 
Enjoy
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Gym Addicts

Hi, my name is Ross and I’m a gym addict.

You’d be forgiven in thinking that it’s not the worst thing to be enamoured with when compared to cocaine, heroin, alcohol and various other narcotics, yet it’s not great either.

How does the old saying go?

There’s no such thing as a healthy obsession.

This thought sprung to mind a being back on 3-4 days per week really does seem to yield my most optimal results, even though there is still a longing to get in and lift more.

I recently slipped back in to multiple gym sessions once again and found myself up a certain creek without a paddle very quickly.

Why?

Habit, one that isn’t as good as it’s meant to be.

Keeping the fact in mind that over they years the above (training 3-4 days per week tops) has often produced more, and often solidly consistent progress I still ended up doing more, just because.

Now I feel it is finally time to take a note and step away from the temptation to do more.

Time to let that obsession, that addiction go.

Yep, addiction, because that’s what it was, is.

I’ve never really written that down before… Huh, neat.

Perhaps you’re addicted as well, you just don’t know it yet.

Do you need to run a certain amount each day, even if you’ve lifted or you get jittery?

Can you stray away from your familiarity, your routine or must you follow it to the letter and when change comes around you smily add it to what you’re already doing and they promptly drop the new for the old?

Are you one to embrace the thought of what needs to be done or must you do things a certain way because if you don’t you get those strange symptoms synonymous with what we call withdrawal?

How I will miss those times where there’d be 2-3 sessions a day 6, or maybe even 7 days per week.

Yep, on occasion there was over 18 gym sessions per week.

That’s what a healthy obsession looks like…

Are you chained to routine & habit for no other reason than it just has to be that way, or are you someone who actually makes progress and does what needs to be done, rather than what you might be addicted to doing.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health