Following on from Monday’s blog on How Much To Exercise…
With the hype around
- 5:2 loading
- Polarized loading
- Pyramidal loading
- Targeted loading
You could be forgiven for feeling a little confused.
I’m going to make it simple for you.
Well, that depends on your goals.
- Metabolic Health & Fat Loss
- Mood Management
Lock in a Basic Week and repeat.
The Basic Week Approach is what I call low-standard deviation training.
It works for champion athletes
It works when I had a house filled with little ones
- Something every morning
- Mix our mornings between cardio and strength
- Do a little more when our schedule permits
With a young family, exercise was for stress reduction, not performance.
Health & Longevity – I am always amazed at how much health benefit we get from a bit of cardio and strength.
A bit of working out combined with frequent ‘moving around.’
If you want a deeper dive then read Howard’s book on Longevity, link is to Dr Luks’ site.
Metabolic Health & Fat Loss – don’t trap yourself on the hamster wheel of chasing volume so you can eat more. Even experienced athletes make this error, I did this summer.
It’s a game we NEVER win.
Keep stress down and focus on your core nutrition.
Mood Management – My mood responds best when I stop before I’m tired.
As I wrote on Monday, we want a small disruption we can repeat over time.
If I feel “disrupted” during a workout… I blew it and recovery is going to take a while.
Suppose you have ambitious athletic goals.
You will need to figure out how to manage larger “disruptions.”
Before you add training load, reduce life stress. I had to wait for the pandemic to end, and my kids to grow up.
There are seasons to what we can handle – these cycles are based on invisible rhythms and total life stress.
Three month view, below, to illustrate
- The grey bars are daily disruptions
- The calm blue “sea” is long term load – 7 weeks
- The red “waves” are short term load – weekly peaks
Spring and Summer are a time for bigger waves of load.
Fall is a time for slowing down, and long-term projects.
***Keep it simple and persist***
If you are interested in how I’ve been managing my “waves” then I pulled together a thread of resources for you (below).
Where to start?
Heart Rate Variability – tracking my HRV showed me how much fatigue I was carrying around. Here’s an FAQ and here’s the app I use.
The graphic above is from hrv4t.com and is another representation of daily loading.
The color represents how my metrics looked that morning.
What I like about this chart: even when things are going well, there’s a lot of recovery required.
Depending on how you slice it, 2-4 recovery days per week.
Loading is the easy part, what’s your Recovery Strategy?
Let’s end with a favorite quote about humility
When different protocols produce similar results, the mechanism isn’t the protocol
The process you enjoy is the one you’ll be able to sustain.
Consistency is the mechanism underlying all progress.
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