Rich’s Training Log 1

This week I’m setting out to work on my overall strength. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one thing for another and when training for strength you have to set aside the idea of fat lossand not even consider weight. As long as you’re eating healthy any weight you add will probably be good lean weight during this type of phase. Sometimes people don’t have the patience for actual strength training, but if you’ve ever trained for strength you know that you have to allow decent rest periods.

Some personal trainers will constantly keep you on the go, preaching weight loss, fat loss and the only way to get the results that you want is through high intensity training, but the body needs to go through multiple phases in order to achieve good results. As I mentioned in my article about whole grains, cycles in nature required humans to eat a certain way during certain times of year. On the same token, the body must go through cycles or phases not only to keep it off balance and constantly guessing, but also to keep it growing and stimulated in different ways.

I have a friend who once told me that life is like the stock market and that there are ups and downs, but as long as the long term trend is upward then you’re moving in the right direction. You have to think of your body in the same way. Your trending should be upward. That means that during each strength phase you’ve made improvement, during each endurance phase you’ve gotten better. Even if you are simply trying to lose weight or burn body fat, if you are not able to lift more in one month than you did before you started training, what’s the point? If you aren’t getting stronger or adding lean tissue then you are not reaching new heights. The monotony alone of not having a goal and simply staying on a plateau is enough to make you fizzle out and quit.

So for my strength phase which will last me two weeks, I’ll do 3 sets of 5 reps of each exercise at the heaviest possible weight that I can. I will make sure that I have enough rest in between sets to recover for the next set (having good music helps). I’m not worried about the waiting time as the weight is typically heavy enough to keep me out of breath for a couple of minutes. During the second week, I’ll increase the weight slightly and push to higher limits. The intensity of these workouts is high, especially when you have a stopwatch to keep time between sets.

Always remember that you are training the body and that everything that you do should have rhyme and reason behind it.  Remember that rest is required for muscle development and fat loss. Consistently depriving the body of oxygen during constant high intensity exercise without proper rest  periods leads to over-training and is counter productive to muscle growth and fat loss. Be patient and train smart and you will get the long term results that you’re looking for.

Feel free to leave your comments, questions or your own personal input in the comments section below.

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By Rich Thurman, B.Sc., MA, CSCS, CPT

Health & Performance Coach

Active Lifestyle Co. Ltd

With a degree in Physiology from UCLA and a Masters Degree in Sports & Fitness Management, Rich combines his knowledge of rehabilitation and sports performance as well as nutritional studies to provide a complete and holistic approach to training clients. The focus is on lifestyle change which creates long term health.


About Rich Thurman III B.Sc, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Rich has a Bachelors of Science in Physiological Science from UCLA and a Masters of Sports Management from USF. He is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, (NSCA) as a Personal Trainer (CPT) and Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is primary author of The Fitness Library and writes for various other publications, including the San Francisco Police Officer's Association. Rich is the founder of Xodus Fitness, which offers Fitness Consulting & Personal Training, Urban Body Transformation Bootcamps, Corporate Wellness. Rich also conducts Workshops and an annual lecture at the San Francisco State University Kinesiology Department. Please feel free to contact through any of the links below to inquire about professional services or opportunities.

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