Why It’s Useful to Set New Goals and Sometimes be a Jack of All Trades

Trust the Trainer

Perhaps you place 100% faith in the trainer, you never question the why? You push on in confidence that the trainer has your goal and best interests at heart; Does the trainer know your ‘why’? Do you have one?

What about if you’re the type of person who likes to have a little more say in what you do, or perhaps you have set goals such as a race with a target time or dress size in time for a wedding date? Maybe you don’t have a specific goal, but you are pretty resolute that you hate running and love lifting weights?

So What’s the Point of This Blog?

I’ve been nursing a few injuries recently; first it was my back then it was my elbow. Sadly there comes a point in time when a ‘niggle’ becomes an injury, or better put, there comes a point when an acute injury becomes a chronic injury.

Why Did I get Injured?

Well there are a multitude of reasons, but I’ll narrow it down to two key reasons: 1) Over training, and 2) Lack of ‘periodisation’.

As a trainer I pride myself on doing a wide variety of training and activities. I am very competitive with myself; I want to be the fastest, the fittest, the strongest, the most flexible, and be a 6 foot 3 100 kilo gymnast, all at the same time! Sadly, this isn’t possible and trying to do it isn’t smart.

In order to really see results you need to be very considerate about which goals mean the most to you. If you love strength and you’re in the beginner phase you need to decide which you want more – a bigger back squat or your 1st (or 1st set of 10) pull up. The two aren’t necessarily correlated.

My over-training came following a full power lifting programme alongside regular tennis lessons, multiple weekly HIIT sessions, and a fair share of Yoga and calisthenics. I’ve got two massive dogs that need a good walk too (it all adds up).

My body had enough – It was time to periodise, i.e. remove some of training stimulus and re-focus on what I really wanted to achieve.

How to Go About Periodising?

I decided to really back off spinal loading (notably back squats) and embrace more pull ups, push ups, dips and muscle ups (all the stuff I can do in the sunny garden during summer). However, I haven’t quit the barbell (never in my life will I quit lifting weights; I firmly believe it is the corner stone of training).  I am merely spending more time in the summer months working on body weight strength, after all… ‘absence makes the heart grow founder’.

Come the winter months I can stick on my sweats and crack on with barbell strength.

The Main Point to Remember

If you have specific goals, make sure they are at least somewhat aligned.  Do not have too many goals.

If you don’t have any goals, then trust the trainer.  We don’t want to overload one component of training for too long a period of time.  Stay focussed and enjoy variety in the training stimulus (just not too much at any one time).