When Missing a Workout Doesn’t Matter

Today’s post comes out of a recent conversation with an online client.

They were worried about training frequency, how much is too much, how much is enough and how much is too little.

Before I go into what I told her, lets look at why people train in the first place.

I can categorise my clients into the following loose categories:

  1. Those who compete seriously in National or International level competition

  2. Casual Athletes who take part in competitive events as personal challenges

  3. Non competitive folk who train for life.

And the way I which we push people and the expectations we place on them change according to what category they fall into.

The serious competitors have a date to peak on, so their training build around that, we take their sports training into account when we build their S&C plans, we also look at their injury state very carefully.

The casual guys and the Train for Life guys we don’t drive as hard, we push them, but there’s less of a deadline to get them ready for.

Training for life is just that, training in a manner that allows you to fight off the inevitable decline as best we can. To paraphrase a friend of mine, we aim to improve the Glide Ratio of our clients.

What is Glide Ratio?

Its the ration of the distance an aeroplane will travel forwards for every meter lost in altitude following engine failure.

The higher you fly with a high glide ratio and you’ll stay airborne for a lot of miles.

This metaphor best describes the overall plan for the majority of my clients, with occasional and appropriate “power up” programs for when they want to take part in an event of some kind.

So where does my online client fall in this?

She’s very much in the Train For Life category.

The 86-year-old Johanna Quaas, the oldest active gymnast in the world according to ??the Guinness Book of World Records, attends a weekly exercises on uneven bars on November 6, 2012 in her hometown Halle, center Germany. The gymnast who celebrates her 87 birthday on November 20 still takes part in competitions. AFP PHOTO/ Waltraud Grubitzsch/GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

So, should she worry of she can’t get four training sessions per week in? Should she worry if she can’t train at all this week?

The short answer is no.

We are training for life, for the long term. It’s not a 12 week training camp finishing in an athletic competition where every session counts.

Training for life means training around life.

It means that when we have the time to work hard, we work hard. But if family visit, sure we take the day off. If we’re on holiday, sure we take the week off.

We take the time to enjoy life.

After all, whats the point in having high levels of Strength, Mobility and Endurance if you can’t go out and enjoy it?

We want to be in our 70’s and still able to walk the mountains.

We want to be in our 70’s and still able to get on the floor and wrestle with our Dog, or our Grandkids

And that ability comes from training frequently, but not stressing over training. It means you go hard when opportunity arises, but back of when needed. If life throws you a “back week” then take it.

I’d love to see everyone being active every day of the week. I’d love to see everyone getting in 6 good training sessions every 14 days. But unless you’re focused on peaking for an event, don’t stress it.


Dave Hedges

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