“Your workout program is only as good as your ability to recover from it. This is true whether you are working out for fat loss, muscle gain, sports performance or any other goal.” -Ted Ryce
I’ve seen it ever since I started in the fitness industry as a personal trainer in Miami Beach. People who do workouts like step aerobics, spinning classes, fitness bootcamps, crossfit, in the gym on their own…working themselves into a state of heavy fatigue, sweat pouring from their skin… Yet, these people’s bodies don’t change!
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying these workouts don’t work; what I am saying is there are always many people who start programs like these then quickly plateau or they get injured or they stop improving. In fact, the majority of people are probably like this.
Many people have this mentality that if we’re killing ourselves in the gym, THAT is a good workout. In all honesty, I’ve even been guilty of this myself. When I was competing in Brazilian Jiujitsu tournaments, it took me a while to really learn the how to dial in my strength and conditioning program so I came into the competition in top shape. Working hard gives you the feeling that you’re really doing something good for yourself. Unfortunately, this feeling can be deceptive.
What it really comes down to is RESULTS. Results can mean different things for different people depending on the goal. Since this is a website about grappling, I’m going to guess that you want to be better conditioned for your training and competitions. You want to feel stronger in rolling or maybe recover better between rounds of sparring.
I want to introduce you to a very important concept called…
What is super-compensation? Briefly put, it is when your body adapts to a stressor, in our case exercise, and responds by getting stronger or super-compensating for the stress. Check out the graph below:
As you can see in the picture above, if you train adequately for YOU, you will get the best results from your routine. If you train too hard, you will actually get weaker and have to rest longer than usual to get back to your baseline. If your workout was too easy, you will improve but only by a little and if you wait too long to train again, you will be back at the same level you started at i.e. making little to no progress.
How do you know what adequate training is? That depends on your biological state, which represents your baseline above. Your biological state is dependent on a lot of factors including, but not limited to, how appropriate your exercise program is for you, how well you sleep, your nutrition, your hydration, how much inflammation you have, hormonal levels, how much stress is in your life, and your genetics.
So how do you figure out whether your exercise program is working well for you or not? Well, we need to ask the question:
What’s Your Goal?
First of all, you must decide what your goal is. If you are working out to improve your grappling performance, then you should notice that you feel stronger in training or maybe you don’t gas as easily. It is important to record your workouts and what you felt in training so you’re not completely in the dark about the results of your strength and conditioning program.
Conclusion and Take Away
What I want you to understand is that you will get better results by training in an intelligent way rather than just going to the gym and killing yourself with a workout. Gyms are full of hard working who don’t get the results they want. Instead of suffering the same fate, figure out what your goal(s) are, then track your progress. Make changes accordingly!
Ted Ryce is a brown belt with two stripes in Brazilian Jiujitsu under Daniel Valverde in Miami, Florida. He is a professional personal trainer with over 13 years of experience specializing in the areas of Sports Performance and Medical Exercise Programs. For more information visit: www.RyceFitness.com