Monday, February 9, 2009

What I've learned

Something that has become very clear to me in the past six months is a very important step towards improving your quality of life. I'm talking about reflecting on past experiences. This process can be met with mixed emotions. On the plus side you can really learn from what you did wrong, and it can be very enlightening towards making smarter decisions in the future. On the other hand you may realize how you could have worked harder towards a goal and end up feeling ashamed of yourself. Do NOT fall into this trap of self pity, the past is over and done with. MOVE ON, LEARN FROM AND DO NOT REPEAT YOUR MISTAKES. One thing that always comes to mind when I'm reflecting back is my Dad saying, "hindsight is 20/20." I'm not sure how many times I heard that growing up and for how cliche it seemed then, it is just the downright truth. I think the take-away message here is that we always must learn from our past experiences, live in the present, control the things that we can control, make the best out of the hand we've been dealt, and let the future take care of itself.

So its strange to me that I've learned so much more in about six months out of school than I did in four years of college?? Did I not work as hard as I could have? Or perhaps something to be said about realworld experience?? Anyway, here is what I learned (mostly about training) in 2008 (in no particular order) .

· You need to set specific and measureable goals, and a reasonable timeline to reach them
o Short Term – Mid-range – Long Term
o Example of specific and measureable – Add 2 “ to my arms

· Keeping track of your workouts is crucial – plan ahead
o Buy a notebook for 30 cents
o Start thinking about the next phase - 6 weeks

· Periodization doesn’t have to be linear
o Undulating during the month – week
o Light – heavy days

· Being patient is the most important part of your workout
o Rest is important for performance – weight loss – building muscle
o Resting during your sets, and also planning off days (active recovery)
o Give your program time to develop - don't get programming ADD

· Compound (multi-joint) movements are king
o Rebuild the engine and body first – then worry about the detailing
o If you don’t have a lot of time cut out single joint movements

· Diet is about 90% of weight loss – you can’t out train a poor diet
o Plan your weekly meals – eat breakfast
o Understand what constitutes a serving size
o Timing of macronutrients is vital

· Volume and soft tissue work is important in highly trained athletes
o Time under tension
o Foam Rolling – Massage – Warm up - stretching

· Everything works, but only for so long – consistency matters
o Don’t skip/miss workouts – schedule them like you would a meeting or study time
o A lot of different ways to skin a cat

· Never stop researching, reading, and learning about training
o This is a changing industry, keep up with the new data

· Find people who inspire you – authors – pros – leaders in exercise science
o Find a mentor
o Model your behavior after them

· Contact people who inspire you – Network – Be Proactive!
o Successful people are willing to help you get started
o Don’t be afraid to seek their help – “often times you can learn a lot more over drinks with these guys than you can at a seminar” – Nate Green

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