The 10 Commandments of Training:
Over my 8 years as a coach and 17 years as a lifter, I’ve tried a lot of different methods. I’ve experimented with dozens of training protocols, programs and movement varieties. The following are my non-negotiables when it comes to training to become my strongest self. I hope they help you to avoid the many mistakes I’ve made over the years. Huge shoutout and thanks to Ben Bruno. His recent Instagram post is what inspired this week’s blog.
- Squat, hinge, push, pull, row, lunge and carry. Any program worth its weight incorporates these fundamental human movement patterns.
- Move often in a manner you enjoy. Kettlebells, barbells, body weight, blah, blah, blah. Find what you love and do it regularly.
- Stop chasing shiny things, focus on the goal. Chasing novelty will keep you entertained and excited, but remember the old proverb; “He who chases two rabbits will lose them both.”
- Do your damn mobility. Think of mobility as your general maintenance. You wouldn’t skip your car’s oil change, treat your joints and soft tissue with the same care.
- Don’t neglect your recovery. One way or another, your body will slow you down. Get enough sleep and take actual rest days. If you’re bored and feel like training, remember that the actual growth and adaptations occur while your body is resting. Go for walks, do something low-intensity and allow your body to recover from hard training.
- Know your limits, Master Wayne. Set the bar down as soon as technique breaks down. Lift for longevity, not your ego in the moment or the Instagram PR.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Sign-up for a competition, hire a coach, do something that will push you to get better. Oftentimes, trying something new will set you on a fun and new path of discovery.
- Consistently following a plan trumps random acts of variety. In the immortal words of Dan Jon “Keep the goal the goal.” If you start a plan, finish it. This will do wonders for your discipline, mental toughness and physical development.
- Don’t marry yourself to one style. There are plenty of ways up the mountain. If you’ve found a method that works great for you, that’s awesome! Ryan Holiday said it best; “Ego is the enemy.” Don’t be a jerk and start thinking you’ve got it all figured-out. Bring a knife to a gunfight and see how well that goes for you.
- Train for performance and the rest will take care of itself. Strength and fitness are about so much more than a number on a scale, pants size or “after” photo. Train hard and push yourself to reach your capacity, you will find this so much more rewarding.
Looking back on my years as both a trainer and trainee, I know how confusing and contradictory the training advice on the internet is. I hope this helps demystify a few things for you and helps you to become your strongest self.
Train your body. Feed your mind.