What Extra Training Should I be Doing?

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What Extra Training Should I be Doing?

I overheard a question being asked to a coach the other day….

“If I want to do extra training, what should I be doing?”

The million dollar question, right?

Firstly, good on you for asking the question. We love that people in our gym want to do more and are keen to improve.

I’ll answer your question with a question…. What are you trying to achieve from the extra training you want to do?

Knowing your goal is the only sure way to design any type of training program or accessory program that is going to help you achieve that!

The more specific it is, the easier it is to know what to do, and the more effective it will be.

This will also enable you to focus on one thing at a time, or a couple of things only if they compliment each other. If you are trying to increase your 1RM back squat as well as improve your 5km run time, the type of training required to specifically achieve those two things is conflicting. It would be much more effective to focus on one rather than both at the same time.

This will also enable you to structure it into your training week so that it is not at the detriment of the rest of your training

As coaches, we sometimes hear the comment – “Oh, but only if I could train as much as you”. Contrary to popular belief, our coaches at CFH are not spending all their lives training in the gym. Most of us train once a day, for 60-90 mins, 5-6 days a week. Most of us follow the CFH program almost to a T, and we put little pieces on top of that to attack our weaknesses. And that is how we continue to improve. We are consistent. When we train, we train with appropriate intensity. For the most part, we listen to our bodies and know when to slow down or stop. And all of us are very careful and thoughtful of our nutrition, rest and recovery.

Anyway, back to the original question, “If I want to do extra training, what should I be doing?”

If your goal is about weight loss – your extra training should be done in the kitchen, not the gym

If your goal is about muscle gain – your focus should also be in the kitchen, and you should consider adding some bodybuilding / hypertrophy based sessions into your training week, structured with progressive overload over 4-6 week blocks.

If your goal is about building aerobic capacity – then adding some steady state, single modality sessions into your training would be ideal – Swim, Run, Bike, Row, Ski. Your should also consider structuring these sessions with progressive overload over 4-6 week blocks.

If your goal is strength based – get specific – what specific strength to you want to improve? Your squat, deadlift, pull ups, your handstand push ups? You need to decide and focus on one or two, so that you can get the appropriate volume, intensity and accessories in there to strengthen that movement.

If your goal is skill based – get specific – which skill? Is it Olympic Weightlifting, or Gymnastics or something else? And which specific skill is it in that domain? Once you know that, you can start breaking down what needs to be improved and which drills you can use to start improving that skill. Something to consider here too is whether you want to learn a new skill or if you’re trying to improve this skill under fatigue. This will determine whether you should work on your skill before or after your class. 

And one last caveat to all of the above – If your limiting factor to achieving any of the above is Mobility – then you should be putting that extra time and energy into improving that!

In finishing, let me reiterate that this really is a great question! 

Get clear on what you want to improve and why, and then you can start planning how to do it. 

If you need help with this, reach out to one of your trusted coaches and ask their advice. We are more than happy to help!

Paul Kiely
Head Coach

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