Trust The Process
Be Consistent In Your Training And Progress Will Follow
It is easy to be manipulated by the fitness industry into a quick fix mentality and begin to desire unrealistic expectations and expect quick results. We are marketed to from both a nutritional and training angle; often, we are told we just need buy and take supplement X, or told that we are not working hard enough and that our intensity is lacking. We are cornered and advised to purchase new ‘revolutionary’ full body workouts that incorporate variations of isometric holds with rest pauses and static drop sets; touted as the secret of the pros. In falling victim and purchasing, lifters can turn their backs on well researched and well-designed programmes all too frequently, often too early and long before progressive overload has a chance to take hold and long before results begin to glean to the surface. Process? I don’t see any and there is definitely no trust in it. It is no surprise that there exists a large group of over-trained, confused and dejected individuals who have been spinning their wheels and making little progress whilst spending considerable time in the gym.
It is with consistency and trusting the process that can eradicate these issues. By committing to a longer-term approach, progress can be tracked, monitored and compared against benchmarks and sticking points. In fitness, these benchmarks can range and take the form of PR’s, recovery times, workout capacity and aesthetic changes. If we frequently change the metrics – new routines and exercises how are we to know whether we are improving? It is at this juncture that we notice that the most effective routines are the simplest ones and the ones that are consistently followed. The best programmes are the ones that take the minimum dose of time and energy that place us closer to our intended goals.
Take the 5×5 programme for example; perhaps one of the simplest routines in regards to the exercises, sets and rep ranges that can be utilized. Full Body, 5 exercises, 5 sets, 5 repetitions. It is not sexy on paper, but some of the greatest physiques have been built using this programme. There is a reason why it is often the go to programme recommended to a new lifter. If nutrition and recovery is on point, progressive overload can be applied to these compound lifts with increased weight over time and subsequent favorable adaptations can take place across the major muscle groups. This is not even taking into account the momentum and positive mindset obtained when progress on the lifts is achieved. There are thus both physical and mental rewards for those that commit, trust the process and remain consistent. Perhaps this is the greatest benefit one can obtain.
Let’s now apply an analogy to reiterate the point. If you wanted to build a house that looks really nice on the outside, you could employ a group of cheap workers and tell them to put up a nice picket fence, door archway and stone pathway. You could get this work completed quickly by telling them to forget the foundation and forget the inside. But, the second you go into the house and try to live in it; the whole house falls apart. It is not functional. Ultimately, to build a good house takes time but when this is applied, the house lasts. The same is true for your body, and how you approach your training, nutrition and lifestyle. The foundation needs to be in place and gimmicky detours and quick-fix approaches will only lead to frustration and despair down the road.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to go from an amateur to a specialist in any craft; stated differently, it takes time to learn any skill. The more a skill is learnt and practiced the better one should become, and this holds true not only for any exercise at the gym but for your overall programme methodology. If we begin to focus on exercises as things that need to be practiced and perfected, strength gains should be faster and smoother. This approach, with load added and moved appropriately, ensures the body can progress. Alternatively, by taking a soreness and create damage mentality, the focus of the body is wrongly shifted toward recovery and not development – ‘the recovery trap’. The body is so focused on recovering from getting hammered, that it can never shift to adaptation and growth. A tell-tale sign of this would be when strength increases after a week break from training. The intention between these approaches is therefore stark, having a massive influence on how the workout is viewed, intensity is applied and form is conducted. Ultimately, in the long run, practicing the skill and priming the body will yield far better long-term results – Rome was not built in a day. It was built by specialists who mastered their skill over time respectively. They applied this skill and often time, one of the great in all of human existence cities was built.