Real Life, Social Media, and Everything In Between
Confessions from a gym owner: I drink far too much alcohol, I am addicted to exercise, I suffer from extreme anxiety, and I find sticking to a healthy diet and eating pattern a constant struggle!
You're probably wondering, "Craig, why are you telling us this?"
Well, I am regularly approached by Workout Bristol members wanting to learn more about my exercise program, what I eat, as well as my general approach to life, business, and health. Truth be told, I always find those conversations difficult to have, because believe it or not, I am definitely not a perfect example of someone that has all his ducks in a row. However, I think it's increasingly more important for people like myself (i.e. someone with a platform that can be used to provide value for others) to be open and honest. So, I'd like to discuss my "real life," rather than giving a false impression that I'm "living the perfect life," like so many others do on social media. All of the topics mentioned above - exercise addiction, anxiety, alcohol consumption, diet, eating patterns, and more - are individually worthy of discussion, so over the next few weeks, I'll try to approach each one for you in detail. First up: how I train personally... something I've been asked quite a lot recently.
Finding What Works Best for You
First, I want to be clear that everyone is different, and it would be an impossible task for me to suggest what the optimum type/style/volume of training would be best for you personally. Rather than be drawn into what others are doing, focus on finding what works best for you: I can’t remember the last time I shifted my own training around just because of what someone else is doing. Of course I'm interested to know what others are training to give me ideas, but I'm far more concerned with what works best for me personally.
For those of you that are training for general fitness purposes (i.e. you're not training for a specific event, run, or sport), the most important place to start is consistency. Ask yourself: "what type and frequency of training are best for me as an individual?" Sticking to what works for you will likely give you better odds of staying consistent over your lifetime. For example, there are many advantages of body building to increase metabolic rate and shape your body, but if you find this style of workout boring, then it's highly unlikely that you'll stick with it for very long. Therefore, the disadvantage of you likely not sticking to body building outweighs the advantage of making short term gains from it. The best advice I can give: stick with what you enjoy... even if a different type of exercise may give you shorter term gains; in the long run you're more likely to stay consistent.
Current Training Style & Sample Workout Plan
Back to my training style. To be completely honest, I usually change my exercise program on a bi-weekly basis, depending how I feel. In my younger days I structured my programs more carefully because I was competing in multiple sports... but as I no longer compete, my training in the gym has been more about general maintenance than actual progression or sport-specific goals.
That being said, I have always been an advocate for goal-oriented training, whether it be a sport, timed race, or a fitness event. However, I admittedly haven't followed my own advice over the past few years: I've coasted, and as a result, I've seen little improvement. With that in mind, I recently decided to take part in this year's Superhuman Games, which take place on Saturday 1 June at Greville Smyth Park. Not to go off on a (completely related) tangent, but if you're looking for a fitness challenge, and/or something specific to work towards, I would strongly recommend you check out the Games. And before you say, "not for me;" the event is accessible to all ages and fitness levels. A couple of weeks ago a team of women with a combined age of 271 entered and crushed it in our Winter Challenge. FYI this means they were all over the age of 65... just saying! You can find out more on the Superhuman Sports website here.
Anyways, because I'll be competing in June, I'm specifically focusing the next 12 weeks of my training on the event, which will mean a bit more structure around my programming than usual. For those of you that are interested, this week's programming will look something like this:
- 40 mins of body building programme focus: back.
- 15 mins of Superhuman Games focused workout: 600m hill sprints on the treadmill, repeat 6-8 times.
- 20 mins of Superhuman Games focused workout: 1 mile sprint plus max distance on the spin bike. Total workout time cap of 20 minutes to prepare for the competition challenges.
- 60-70 mins of body building programme focus: Biceps, Triceps, and Abdominals.
- 40 mins of body building programme focus: chest.
- 20 mins of Superhuman Games focused workout: 10x deadlifts and 10x slam ball throws. As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes to prepare for the competition challenges.
- 60 mins of body building programme focus: legs.
- 20 mins of Superhuman Games focused workout: as many tyre flips as possible in 20 minutes to prepare for the competition challenges.
- 40 mins of body building programme focus: shoulders.
- 20 mins of Superhuman Games focused workout: 20m log carry, 20m keg carry, 20m sandbag carry. As many laps as possible in 20 minutes to prepare for the competition challenges.
Weekend: 5km run
As you can see, my training this week is very specific to me, as I want to ensure that I maintain my bodybuilding sessions whilst also training for the Superhuman Games, which is more of an endurance event. You may also notice that my week of training is quite intense, and I haven't factored in any time for more moderate training and conditioning work such as Yoga or Pilates yet. I definitely consider this a weaker area for myself, and it's something I intend to work on over the coming weeks.
Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support surrounding Workout Bristol. I look forward to approaching the aforementioned subjects with you over the next few weeks, and in the meantime, if you need anything at all: my door is always open! Otherwise, feel free to email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.