Now 36 years young, I often wonder about the timelessness of my training. Will my zest for strength & conditioning last the test of time? Will it give me more than what it takes?
In truth, I have remained resilient. With minimal tweaks and injuries, my body has withstood years of heavy lifting. But at 36, with 23 years of strength training under my belt, I know now is the time to dial in my routine to ensure health moving forward.
My recipe for success has not focused on new additions, but quite the opposite. To honor adherence, and honor my health and longevity, I have focused on outright simplicity in training. This goes for exercise selection, intensity, volume, and progressive overload.
As a strength coach, I tell my clients that we must focus on a balance of pushes, pulls, squat, hinges, and calculated core work. As an athlete, I tell my clients that strength training forms the basis of their movement practice, but it’s best to also engage in other sports and hobbies.
We humans should move: walk, lift, climb, run, swim, and fight. Without the additions of these fundamental movement patterns, our movement practice feels less fulfilling. The well-roundness of concurrent training ensures adequate muscles mass, high cardiovascular conditioning, a healthy brain, and necessary time spent outdoors.
Simplicity Honors Adherence
In my minimalist worldview, I want to offer the scaffolding for how I structure my training. I’ll just note, this would be an ideal schedule, but it might change based on a a particular goal I’m working on (strength goal, mountain summit, a climb I’m working on, hunting season, etc).
- 2-3/x per week
- Full body focused training sessions
- Hybrid Training: barbells, kettlebells, bodyweight
- Balanced Training: pushes, pulls, squats, hinges, core work
- No more than 5 reps for strength, no more than 8 reps for mass
- Training time under 45 minutes
- 2-4/x per week
- Always prepare mentally and physically before diligent sport practice
- Warming up and cooling down are priority for longevity in sport
- If attendance is lacking, gain accountability through a training partner
- Realize sport is a blessing, not an obligation. Act accordingly
- Create goals and aim to improve 1% week by week.
- What gets measured gets managed (write down goals, schedule, to-do list daily)
- Kill two birds with one stone (your goals should also include secondary and tertiary goals that can be accomplished simultaneously)
- Always aim for the biggest bang-for-your buck (sleep is king, nutrition is paramount, supplements help, but your mindset controls all of these)
- If you need a favor, ask your busiest friend (think about that)
- Wake up earlier: the early hours of the day offer solitude that’s necessary for busy people
- Meal prep: putting effort into healthy food preparation at the week’s beginning alleviates stress during the week. This offers more time for training, sport, or with family and friends.
Adaptability: Be Like Water
And lastly, I’d like to leave you with a quote:
“Be like water… Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”– Bruce Lee
And if we are to be adaptable like water, think of the possibilities. We would not be hung up on our perfectionist tendencies. Instead, we would realize that we can have it all, but we must mold ourselves to our environment.
This is how freedom is attained. This is anti-fragility. This is our impending future as athletes. Just remember, simplicity honors adherence. This is Timeless Strength.
January 16, 2022