Training Consistency

Jake Articles

I’m not a touchy feely, get-you-all-pumped-up, motivational speech kind of guy, unless it’s motivating you to get your elbows up in a front squat. I’m not your mom, or your high school football coach. I am however, a guy who will tell you when something is a bad idea, especially if it’s something he sees happen day in, day out, to a lot of people. What I’m talking about is consistency, or more importantly, the lack thereof.

Consistency can be our greatest strength when it comes to training. Sure, I’d throw in genetics ahead of that, but we don’t have much control here. In a sense, consistency is more important than your programming, the movements you do, or anything else for that matter. Search around YouTube, and you’ll find no shortage of brutally strong, fast, powerful, and well-conditioned people with terrible form and bad programming. They make up for all that with consistency and natural ability. Look around, and you’ll figure out that they train several times a week, just about every week. Your buddy who trains down at the big box gym, runs a few miles every morning, and pumps up the gunz and abzz 3 days a week, is probably stronger than you if you’re strolling into CrossFit RVA once a week. He probably gets all the ladies and could beat you in a fistfight also, so you lose on all fronts. The message is simple: you need to come in, every week, at least 2-3 times a week. I haven’t met a single person who could not consistently recover from that volume of our workouts. If having your big box gym buddy beat your ass isn’t enough to get the point across, read on.

Adaptation is the name of the game when it comes to training and improving. When you train, your body is stressed by that workout. As you recover, your body will adapt to that stress, given that the stress was sufficient and you are given proper rest. Adaptation to the point of improved performance doesn’t necessarily occur from workout-to-workout, but can take time as some of our more advanced trainees know. When adapting, your body overcompensates for the stress, and your fitness improves in some capacity.

But what about those of you who come once a week, or every other week, or even once a month? Or those who come fairly consistently for a week, but happen to take every other week off for some reason? The issue here is that unfortunately, even though your body is adapting to your workouts, your fitness level also declines over time if not continually challenged. With low training frequency, we run into the issue that you either do not accumulate enough stress to force adaptation, or your fitness decreases to a level at below where it was at previously. If you train frequently, you’re probably going to improve. You sit in front of the TV every day, you’re going to get worse. Simple, right?

For those of you who come infrequently, you’ll notice that not only your performance, but also your ability to recover from workouts will diminish, with the end result being you feeling like trash during and after your workouts unless we stick you with the PVC pipe like it’s the first time you’ve seen a gym.

So show up and train hard! See you soon.

Jake