My 10 Training Commandments

What would Moses have said…if he liked to lift weights and stuff.

Let’s just pretend for a second I’m not being completely sacrilegious and have some fun.  After all, I like lists.  I like Moses.  I like kick ass beards.  I like easy guidelines.

Most wanna-be writers bloggers like me often write in list style because we are not good enough at writing to formulate it any other way.  I’m okay with this.

I had a friend back home email me the other day and ask, “if you had just five suggestions for me to focus on, what would they be?”

As I told him, this is too vague and arbitrary of a question to answer with any kind of definitiveness, but I understood what he was getting at and it actually forced me to sit down and think about it.  Ultimately, I came to the easy discovery about my core beliefs on long-term health, strength, leanness and longevity that I could share with the group.

We have something similar in the gym at Performance360 that focuses more on group dynamic on a macro scale.

Here are my personal 10 Training Commandments.

Yes, this happened.  A little more serial killery and a lot less holy.

1.  Thou Shalt Scale Everything.  Not the thing that weighs you.  We’re talking scalability, periodization and progression.  You absolutely must have an understanding of your current fitness level at all stages of your development.  Not only is it important for beginners to start out with the basics, but equally important that advanced folks not train below their pay grade.  To always efficiently trend upward it is critical you scale your program to your level.

2.  Thou Shalt Burn Fat, Not Store It.  I don’t need to hear studies.  I know what works on my body and for training and that’s what I choose to share.  When I am burning fat as my primary fuel source, whether body or dietary fat, I am at my best both physically and mentally.  A low carb, high animal protein diet that contains sufficient healthy fats will allow your body to recompose itself to become leaner and stronger.  By limiting carbs and eating healthy fats your body will be re-trained to use fat as energy, just like our ancestors.  That means what you normally store around your gut will be tapped into as fuel for your workout.

So long as you’re..

3.  Thou Shalt Interval Train Based Around Strength Component.  That was a mouthful.  Short, 20-30 minute workouts like what we do at P360 where the focus is around compound, strength-based movements serving to get you stronger while also getting you leaner.  Two for one for maximum efficiency.  Yes, it is possible to have your Chic Fil A and eat it, too.  This is my preferred method of getting results for all fuel systems as it keeps me strong, in shape and athletic.  Three things I like.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

4.  Thou Shalt Train Like an Athlete.  Jump, lift heavy, throw things, pull sleds, sprint, learn Olympic lifting, move quickly.  Of course, see rule #1 first, but along your development make sure that you allow your body to be used the way it was intended; the way we have evolved.

5.  Thou Shalt Taste the Rainbow.  I try to eat foods that cover the entire spectrum of the rainbow on a weekly basis.  Bell peppers, berries, leafy greens and quick handfuls of many other fruits and vegetables can get it done.  Indigo is a little tough, though.

6.  Thou Shalt Pull More Than You Push.  Generally speaking pulling exercises (deadlift, pull-ups, rows) are widely believed to have slightly more benefit than pushing exercises (bench press, squat). They are both very important and crucial to well rounded results, but by and large exercises that have you pulling are going to keep you healthiest, especially in the shoulders.  They are typically better for posture, as well and more often engage the total body.  The more muscles you use in a given movement, the more it improves your body and performance.

7.  Thou Shalt Sprint.  This one deserves its own category as sprinting has more benefits than most people are aware.  If you want to re-train your body to not just burn fat, but to not even store it in the first place then start sprinting.  Foot sprint, bike, erg, stairs.  Whatever.  Just go all out more often.

8.  Thou Shalt Respect the Recovery Process.  Your results reveal themselves only when your body, nervous system and soft tissue have the chance to repair.  If you are constantly breaking down and not allowing repair then you are stunting your growth and cannibalizing your return.

Here is the best article I’ve ever read on the difference between recovery and rest.  I recently took 10 days off for the first time in years and it did wonders for not just my training, but daily energy, sleep and hormones.  I typically train four days per week and NEVER go heavy on the same muscle groups on consecutive days.

9.  Thou Shalt Focus on the Big Five.  The unofficial foundation of our training program is built upon deadlifts, pull-ups, box jumps, push press and squats.  Two pulling, two pushing and a ballistic athletic based exercises.  You could easily make the case for the inclusion/replacement other exercises as we also perform cleans, push-ups and others at a high frequency, but the point is to direct your focus to a select group of compound exercises guaranteed to change you and easy to track and measure.

That said, make sure to also focus on quality complementary exercises like single leg work, dynamic core exercises, plyometrics and other total body lifts will also ensure you do not get stale at the major exercises.  They will also keep you from boredom and overdoing any one major capacity.

10.  Thou Shalt Create Challenge to Create Change.  A simple saying that I believe true is: If it does not challenge you, it does not change you.  If your workout is more going through the motions than sweaty hard work, don’t hold your breath for big results.  Your body will only change itself with big stimulus.

The human body has evolved to tolerate a high level of stress.  Exercise is a stress and if it’s easy repetition day in and day out the body can cruise on autopilot and not be forced to adapt.  Only when you really challenge it will it be forced to change and respond to the stressor.

There you have it.

I could write an entire post on each commandment but here they are, short and sweet.

This has worked very well for me over the years and have in turn passed it onto our members at the gym to some pretty great results, as well.

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