“To truly benefit from in-season training, you have to realize that it isn’t about leaving the weight room exhausted after each session.”
– Eric Cressey
The other day I was struck by this quote from Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric Cressey. Contextually, I have no doubt that Cressey is speaking both to and about some of his athletes who are a portion of the way through their competition schedule. As I examine the quote for personal application, I ask the question of our clients at MSP Fitness, when exactly is the “Season” for those of whom might be non-professional athletes? What exactly constitutes the competitive schedule for an individual who is seeking general health and fitness?
In my experience, a resounding majority of individuals who submit themselves to physical training do so to yield a noticeable benefit in the form of looking and feeling better. For darest I say all of that aforementioned majority, there really never is an “off-season.” Apart from the allotted vacation days, time off at holidays, and the week or two one might take to travel with friends and family, we are constantly balancing an array of activities that would undoubtedly qualify as “in-season.” Your personal life, social life, work life, even hobbies and the things you enjoy compound on top of one another, creating a busy and sometimes stressful environment. This is the reason why a fitness regimen needs to be supportive and edifying, building you up in the pursuit of your individual goals.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a portion of the health and wellness community that is propagating an idea opposite of Cressey’s. In exercise, the notion that more work is better has been depicted everywhere. From reality TV shows, gym and workplace fitness challenges, to posts on blogs and social media, we are constantly fed the image of people lying on the floor in a pool of their own sweat. This sweat laden, maximally fatigued version of yourself can and will happen occasionally but by and large, the biggest piece of your physical exertion “pie” ought to be labored at less than one hundred percent effort, otherwise known as sub-maximal work. The highest highs and the biggest gains from working out happen when utter exhaustion is not the reality every time you’re in the gym
I am constantly asking, how can we elicit the greatest training response with the least amount of effort? How little can I make you work to yield the greatest available result? For all of us at MSP Fitness, the answer to these questions are held within an intelligently planned program. A program that selects and combines the right exercises for the right people, controls the volume and intensity so every participant succeeds, and crafts a culture that values doing fitness for the long term. Individuals under a program like this are continually coached to take ownership of the way they train and move, learning how to gauge the intensity of any workout thrown their way. In the end, training plans such as those, function by the tenant: SMART work is always better than MORE work.
When it comes down to it, you are an in-season athlete. Whether it’s for enjoyment, or done in the pursuit of personal goals, exercise is just a portion of the things you’ll juggle this week. I want to see you walking away from training fully equipped to enjoy life, and handle all of the things it throws your way.
THIS SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WHERE AND HOW DO I START?
Maybe you’re finding it hard to write your own program, or just simply don’t know what to do. Quite possibly you’ve tried some gyms and in turn, realized they’re more about taking your money than actually training you. Perhaps you know what it’s like to train, but it’s been a while and you need guidance and place to start back up again. Regardless your situation or start point, MSP Fitness is the facility for you.