Pouring in sweat, heart ready to explode, red in the cheeks, chalk covered t-shirt, and protein shake in hand. Was that a good workout?
A lot of people have the misconception that every workout you need to pick yourself up off the floor for it to be a good workout. Training to that extent on a regular basis results in overtraining, and most likely, injury too.
If we take a look at over training in my opinion you have two types of people:
1. The person that works out 6 times a week, but spends more time flexing in the mirror, talking to the girls, checking the latest Facebook update, and pacing around the gym then actually working out. They then blame their piss poor results on “overtraining.” I call bullshit.
2. The person that thinks they need to go balls to the walls every damn day in the gym. They eat like shit, and try to make it up with their workout. They bang out 15 sets of 15 reps of a hang clean, followed by a 2 mile run, 50 crunches, 40 box jumps, then more cleans. They then repeat the shitty diet, and come back to the gym 4 more times that week. I call stupidity, and probably over training.
When determining if your workout was good enough, it is important to look at that big picture. We praise and praise periodization. But how many of you people actually use it? Do you know what your specific goal is for your program? Do you have it planned out 3-6 weeks in advance? If not, well then you risk not seeing results, and potentially over training.
Going into a workout, you should have a goal. If I have a goal of increasing dorsifelxion in the ankle, I don’t need every workout to be death beating at the door. If I have a goal of increasing strength, I should complete exercises in the 5-8 rep range. At each workout I should have a goal of increasing the total volume (sets x reps x weight lifted). If I am increasing my total volume each week, each month, and each year, I am seeing progress.
We could talk for days about this, but it is crucial to realize you have to work on one goal at a time. I’m sorry, but you can’t lose 30lbs, train for a marathon, and become the next powerlifting champion all at once. Keep in mind one of the basic rules of program design:
- Power:1-4 reps
- Strength: 5-8 reps
- Hypertrophy(muscle size): 9-12 reps
- Endurance: 13+ reps
So why in the hell are you clean & jerking for reps of 15 if you have a goal of power? That will only increase your endurance, and probably destroy your shoulder.
Now, I’m not saying you have to lift like a sally all the time and wimp out. Your workouts should be tough, but they should also be educated and planned out. They should also include higher intensity weeks, and deload weeks. This will keep your body fresh, and your results where you want them.
So, was that workout good enough? That is a question that only you can answer. The bottom line is you should have a goal in mind for each program, and each day. If you achieve your goal, give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t, reevaluate what you can do differently next time.