Intensity: Started phase 3 of my 5 phase triathlon training this week!! Each phase is 6 weeks long. Starting any new training phase with new workouts and cardio regimes should be challenging and this week definitely was! Felt sooo good to be sore! Intensity was probably a 9/10 this week.
Motivation: I felt very motivated this week as well, despite travelling the other half of the country. I knew the long drives would stiffen me up so movement would be key. Cardio has been much better and reached a record running distance for this training so far – 7.5km. Getting real excited to buy my bike next week and start adding in my bike training:) I’ve changed my workout sessions to only 4 times per week and loved all of them! Feeling a great balance of workout to cardio for this phase.
Lessons: Last couple weeks I talked a lot about not feeling very sore after my workouts. I have talked about the reasons why this may be so, such as muscle memory and adaptation, and higher rep ranges. It was so nice to feel sore muscles this week after switching things up so I wanted to talk more about progressive overload which is basically “switching things up” and is important in any exercise program.
Just think about a time you got back into an exercise regime after taking some time off, remember how you couldn’t walk for two days after? And as you continued on the soreness dwindled as your muscles start remembering the movements AND you started getting stronger and able to handle more! This is the idea progressive overload, of challenging yourself, and continuing to grow and get strong and healthy.
When designing any program for an individual there are key concepts of progressive overload that I follow:
- Start where you are at: if you are new to working out, have taken a lot of time off, or consider yourself a beginner, don’t come flying out of the gates with super intense workouts or long daunting cardio sessions. Little exercise goes a long way when it’s something new because you are firing new muscles and putting your body through the unfamiliar. Sometimes with motivation high, we go a little too hard right off the bat and this can lead to unwanted injury. We also need room to progress so this is the great thing about just starting out, there will be tons of room for growth!
- Progress your volume every two weeks: Every two weeks you want to bump up the volume of your workouts whether that be heavier weight, increased reps, or increased sets. Don’t get too crazy with it, again you want room to continuously progress.
- Introduce new exercises or programs every six weeks: If you’re a heavy lifter there is great evidence in the benefits of doing a deload week every 6 weeks. Whether you are lifting weights, yoga, dance, swimming etc. Change the movements or exercises you are performing in that sport and challenge yourself about every six weeks. This could be in the form of new routines, new circuits, or new movements. By doing this you will continue to get stronger and grow in that sport, as long as you stay consistent.
Another concept I would like to mention on this topic is noticeable progress. Another great benefit of just starting out is that you usually see results a lot quicker. As you continue along your fitness journey your noticeable progress will dwindle. You will stop seeing “External results” but this does not mean that you are not benefitting yourself internally and mentally.
Don’t get so hung up on on seeing external results and be proud of accomplishing consistency in your programs, of taking care of yourself and your body, of developing resiliency, and of empowering others around you. Remember your “why” of continuing on in your health journey and the external results will not matter. Focus more on developing and working on that growth mindset and your quality of life will amplify!:)
If anyone is interested in an individualized fitness program with nutrition recommendations and mentality exercises (for a great price), contact me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM on instagram (@frecklefithealth).