Adjusting Training To Suit Lifestyle Changes
Payton with a 455lb. squat at the fastest that weight has moved, and Adam with a PR deadlift of 661lbs. (CLICK HERE). I highlight these 2 athletes because both of these lifters are progressing within their training at a great rate right now, but with two totally different approaches. Payton recently started college, got a job, has a girlfriend, and has found that training isn’t quite as easy to get in as it used to be. Adam has recently made some great improvements in his life, has reduced stress, become better with time management, improved nutrition, and found increased motivation within training. And due to this, both of their programs have changed pretty drastically within the last 2-3 months.
We have cut Payton down from 5 training days a week to 3, with less total sets and less focus on “fluff” accessories. While I know he misses those extra training days at times, he’s also making the best progress he has in months because the program is now more suitable for his current situation. He is able to be consistent within training, he is able to recover between training sessions, and training is no longer a burden that then complicates the rest of his life. In summary, we are seeing increased progress while training less days and with less total workload.
Adam used to have a very low threshold for workload. Many variables played into this, but we pretty much knew at certain weekly set counts or intensities he would have injury flare ups. Recently we’ve seen the ability to greatly increase total volume and intensity to levels he was never able to sustain before. The thing is he still made progress before, but now it’s at a faster, more consistent, and definitely more predictable rate. If I had kept him on his prior levels of workload and intensity, we probably would not see the same results, as his major lifestyle factors adjustments changed his response to training.
If you ask these lifters, I think Adam would describe this change as a “reward”, and Payton might somewhat look at the changes as “punishment”. But Adam is not getting rewarded and Payton isn’t getting punished. We are simply adapting based on lifestyle factors that translate to their individual training responses. Their “reward” is the progress, the changes in training are just what is needed to get that reward.
Per usual I write an essay, but I could simply sum this up in that we need to understand more is not always better. More can be better, just like less can be better, it all “just depends”. Consistency, predictability, and results trump any thoughts of what we think we want. And for both of these lifters these changes have improved their consistency, improved the predictability of their training, and yielded the results they are striving for. When significant lifestyle factors occur, adjust based on current demands, not what you used to do or what you think you need to do.