6 Commandments for a Right Training Philosophy

Hi! I am the author and founder of Old School Calisthenics

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It’s great that you have realized the importance of a healthy and correct training philosophy. Excessive training can lead to burnout, injuries, and long-term damage to your body. It’s essential to listen to your body and take active rest or light physical activities when needed.

Moderate-intensity workouts are usually more sustainable in the long run and provide an opportunity for your body to recover and adapt to the stress of exercise. High-intensity workouts can be useful, but they must be incorporated into a balanced training program that includes rest and recovery.

It’s also essential to consider the climate and weather conditions when planning your workouts. Extreme temperatures, humidity, and air pressure can all have an impact on your body’s ability to perform and recover from exercise. It’s important to adjust your workouts accordingly and not push your body beyond its limits.

In summary, a healthy and correct training philosophy is based on balance, moderation, and listening to your body. By incorporating these principles into your fitness routine, you can achieve sustainable progress and long-term results.

Newbies often train too intensely compared to athletes

It’s not uncommon for newbies or amateurs to approach training with excessive intensity, driven by the desire to burn more calories and get in shape quickly. However, I have learned that a healthy and correct training philosophy requires balance, moderation, and patience.

During a recent walk in the park on a dark, wet, and overwhelming air pressure Sunday evening, I observed a group of out-of-shape individuals sprinting repeatedly instead of opting for light jogging or active rest. Despite being an athlete who can handle higher-intensity workouts, I recognized the importance of listening to my body and adjusting my workout accordingly, even on a different day.

This observation highlights the need to prioritize rest and recovery, especially when I’m not in a position to afford excessive outdoor training. It’s important to understand that progress in fitness and sports is a gradual process that requires consistency and patience.

As I mentioned, moderation and balance are essential in developing a healthy and correct training philosophy. By incorporating the following six commandments into your approach to training, you can develop a sustainable and balanced workout routine.

You should listen to your body and adjust your workouts accordingly, prioritize rest and recovery, develop a balanced and diverse training program, pay attention to nutrition, set realistic goals, and seek guidance from qualified professionals. By following these commandments, you can achieve sustainable progress in fitness and sports while preventing burnout and injury.

training philosophy

Moderation is key when training

I’ll start with another story, this time from a few years back. It was January, and I decided to go jogging on the athletic field. The track was covered in snow, and it was freezing outside. I jogged at a light pace, focusing on enjoying my workout and gradually starting my fitness routine for the new year with cardio exercises. I didn’t rush into high-intensity training because there were plenty of days to catch up and train as I desired. I had feasted during the holidays and stayed up late at night, so I intended to restart my consistent training gradually.

While jogging on the 400m track, a fellow suddenly overtook me. He was a skinny guy who ran at a much faster pace than me. He greeted me and wanted to chat. I increased my speed to match his pace so we could talk without slowing him down. I respected his workout, even though he was huffing and puffing and already tired after barely starting his running session. He had hardly run 2-3 miles in total, including the distance with me. I asked him why he was running so fast, considering the temperatures and the holidays. He had been inactive except for one workout before Christmas.

The guy was skinny, out of shape, and trained only occasionally. He was not consistent over the year, but each workout meant high intensity for him. He vaguely responded to my question without proper training knowledge. I invited him to run at my pace so we could enjoy our conversation. Otherwise, he would have needed to stop.

During our jog and conversation, he told me that he tried to do 200 pull-ups in a workout a few days before Christmas, but he could barely withstand 70. The sheer volume was too high for him and even for someone used to hardcore training. He probably pinched some nerves or got stiff from overtraining. He needed one week to overcome the extreme muscle soreness and another week for his back to recover. He interrupted his workouts during this time.

I advised him on how to approach his training based on his fitness level, the weather, and his body’s capabilities. He had no training philosophy, so I had to provide a healthy one for him. He trained when he could, more than his body could handle, without considering anything. He went purely based on instinct.

In a way, I agree that one needs a lot of hard work, volume, and training frequency to build athleticism, endurance, motor skills, improve cardio, get stronger or leaner, and even build a more massive body. Newcomers in fitness, sports, or bodyweight training usually have many physical weaknesses to address. It’s not enough to train for a week or two to get stronger arms and legs. It takes time, probably years, to achieve a balanced and healthy body.

training philosophy

It’s easy to get carried away with intense strength training, but it’s important to balance your workout routine to achieve sustainable progress. For instance, you may do 5 tough strength workouts and then realize you need to improve your cardio and burn some extra body fat. But adding another 10 extremely hard workouts on top of the previous 5 may be too much for your body to handle.

It’s important to build a foundation and add bricks one at a time to prevent collapsing. Train your foundation moderately, and only do hardcore workouts when your body can handle the intensity and pressure, not just to satisfy your ego.

Include pleasant physical activities and aerobic exercises when your body recovers from strength workouts. If you’re feeling sore after a workout, consider doing a different exercise that won’t exacerbate your soreness. Learning how to balance your workout routine is crucial because your body’s training capacity increases with time and adaptation.

Intensity doesn’t always mean lifting more weights or doing more reps. There are many different types of training intensities, such as circuits or high-intensity workouts that include light intensity exercises like jump rope, leg lifts, and box jumps. Not all exercises should be about heavy lifting or maximum sprinting.

Of course, doing sprints, pull-ups, pushups, and weighted squats in a circuit is an excellent workout that will leave you sore and take your body into an anaerobic metabolism. But it’s essential to balance the intensity. For example, jogging for 20 minutes, doing some sprint intervals, sets of squats, and finishing with stretching can be just as effective. The key is to find a balance that works for you and your body’s capabilities.

Be consistent, not “Beast Mode On” every time!!!

Before training, it’s essential to be aware of your body’s condition and how you feel that day. It’s not worth pushing yourself to do a tough strength high-intensity session if you have a headache, high eye pressure, or are feeling stiff with back pain or blockages. These issues will hold you back, and it’s not the right time to go “beast mode.”

If you’re feeling pressure or tension due to heavy air or a bad start to the day, switch to aerobic exercise or another physical activity of gradual intensity that’s more enjoyable. For example, hiking at a steady pace with a good degree of elevation gain can still burn body fat.

The “beast mode” should only be switched on when you’re feeling your best and have adapted to consistent training over time. As you’ve learned from my stories, approaching your training with the right mentality and following a healthy philosophy is key to preventing injuries, pain, and discomfort.

A healthy training philosophy is like a training bible that will keep you on track. Be consistent and train almost daily to achieve the best results. Everyone has bad days, so there’s no need to exaggerate and push yourself too hard all the time.

Don’t stay exposed to cold if you are all sweaty!

If you’re healthy but out of shape, don’t sacrifice your wellness for an impressive physique. It’s important to prioritize your health and maintain it while working on improving your aesthetics, athleticism, and strength. An optimized person has a clear mind, a strong, fit, and lean body, and most importantly, good internal health.

Exposing yourself to the cold weather by staying shirtless, for instance, can be detrimental to your health. I’ve made this mistake and learned from it. Similarly, wearing inadequate clothing can also be harmful. If it’s winter, wear comfortable clothing that allows dynamic movement and dress in layers. Keep yourself warm but not too warm to avoid sweating excessively. I usually wear a hat, gloves, proper shoes and socks, and suitable clothes.

My grandmother always advised me to take care of myself during harsh weather conditions because it could affect my health in the long term.

Never train if deprived of sleep!

Training hard while being sleep-deprived is almost always detrimental and can have negative consequences. Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, and when combined with rigorous training, can result in regrettable outcomes.

Adequate sleep is critical to maintaining optimal performance levels. I’m not referring to occasional nights of 6 hours of sleep; I’m referring to consistently chaotic or dynamic lifestyles that compromise both the quality and quantity of sleep. You need as much sleep as possible, and some people function better with 6-7 hours of sleep, while others need more than 8. I personally require 7-9 hours, depending on my daily activities and external stressors.

I had a friend who used to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and engage in high-intensity training. He was a fit and well-adapted individual, but his dynamic and stressful lifestyle with long work hours caused sleep deprivation. He began to complain of headaches, high eye pressure, and general tension and stiffness.

At his request, I shared one of my training routines, which included uphill sprints, jumps, squats, and pushups. However, this calorie-burning workout required a fresh body and mind, which he rarely had due to his sleep deprivation. He eventually injured his back and could barely walk, so I took him to acupressure to relieve the strain on his nerves and muscles and restore normal blood flow. It took him a week to recover, but he would have suffered for several more months without my intervention.

Even after reaching a high level of fitness, being well-adapted, and working successfully in all conditions, prioritizing adequate sleep will always be a crucial factor.

Build a training program based on weaknesses

A sound training philosophy relies on both wisdom and common sense, and building a good training program requires knowledge. Educate yourself on exercises, biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, and metabolic processes so that you can understand the cause-and-effect relationship that occurs during exercise.

Keeping your training program basic is essential as it will deliver most of the desired results. Compound and basic exercises are critical in building a solid foundation. Most of the equipment or apparatus invented in the fitness industry is unnecessary. Essential exercises include leg lifts, sprints, hill sprints, coordination exercises, plyometrics, squats, burpees, bench press, deadlifts, back extensions, pushups, and pull-ups.

To optimize your body, focus on your weaknesses. If you have poor cardio, engage in more aerobic, HIT, and VO2 max workouts. If you have weak pulling strength, dedicate more time to perfecting your pull-ups. While I am a bodyweight training coach, I suggest integrating as much calisthenics as possible while also incorporating other forms of exercise.

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