1) Sleep is the most important thing we can do to improve general health and speed up progress in the gym, and most people have a lot of room to improve in this category leading to substantial and noticeable improvements. Read about how important sleep is and what you can do to get a better nights sleep here and here.
2) You can handle way more volume than you think (and would probably benefit from trying to push it a little). Click here to learn about how much volume is enough volume.
3) People spend entirely too much time stretching, foam rolling, smashing, and doing correctives. These feel-good exercises force little physiological adaptations and minimal time should be spent doing them. Click here to learn about foam rolling and here to see why I don’t program or prescribe it very often.
4) People don’t spend nearly enough time warming up with the movement they are about to perform. The majority of your warm-up should be spent performing the movement you are about to load. The best warmup for squats is squats, the deadlift is deadlift, and the bench is bench. Replace all that time you spend stretching and rolling with getting in extra sets with lighter loads of the main movements. Click here to see why I always start with the bar.
5) Your expectations largely influence your results.
6) “The best clinicians see you fewer times because they teach you to take responsibility for your healing and they give you the tools to do so” Dr. Stuart McGill, I can't tell you how many times I have heard "My (insert whoever you see to deal with pain/injury) is the best! I have been seeing them for my (insert injury here) for years!" To me, this seems backward. You wouldn't' brag about a tooth whitening product you have used for years without results, but for some reason that is lost with pain/injury. If dealing with an injury find a provider that has a goal of making you independent in as few visits as possible as opposed to trying to make you dependent on them and their service. Let's change the script to "My clinician is great. I only had to see them a few times!"
7) Using RPE can be superior to percentage-based training by allowing you to autoregulate your training based on how you are feeling that day and letting your training to adjust to you getting stronger over time. Read more about RPE and why we use it here!
8) Performing heavy singles on a regular basis allow one to practice the skill of performing heavy singles as well as offer a unique way to track progress. Read about how we use heavy singles in training here and how heavy singles can be used to track progress here
9) Your workouts should suck and drive adaptation or be easy and drive recovery. Most people get stuck in this no man’s land of medium effort workouts. Each workout is approached with the same intensity, and they never turn it all the way up or all the way down. Not enough effort is given to really drive physiological changes, but too much work was done to help recovery. You end up with a bunch of unproductive stress. Previously we looked at “Are You Training Hard Enough?” and decided that most sets should be taken within a rep or two of failure. We then looked at a study that had people do as many reps as possible on the bench press at a weight they would normally choose to do ten reps with. The average person performed 16 reps which are nowhere near close enough to failure to get the most out of your workout. Next time you go into workout ask yourself is this workout designed to drive adaptation or to drive recovery. If it is designed to drive adaptations, try pushing the weights and making your workout suck a little more, if it is designed to drive recovery take your foot off the gas and cruise. Get yourself out of this moderate intensity nothingness.
10) Body composition changes are driven by dietary changes. You don’t need to add in extra workouts, do more cardio, or finish your workout with a metcon and you certainly shouldn’t be replacing resistance training with conditioning. Stick to your program and work on making changes with your nutrition to drive the body composition changes you want to see. Click here to learn more about fat loss and exercise.
11) Your training should not change based on your age or sex. An old person shouldn’t train any different than a young person and a female no different from a male. Instead, we should look at an individual’s training sensitivity and how well they respond to training and base our programming off that. You are never “too old” to train. Anyone that tells you that you can’t get strong because you’re a female doesn’t deserve the light of day #juststrong
Written By: Paul Milano