How to Workout Smarter

February 14, 2022

In fitness and training, there are so many factors to focus on. But which is the most important factor? What should you focus on when you train? For both advanced and novice people, consistency has to be the most important factor to focus on in training. You should NOT aim to be [very] sore. Here is why:



For example, if John Doe’s maximum amount of pushups is 10, there is no way he will be able to do 11 [in ‘okay’ form], even if his life depends on it. So, in terms of training, I would recommend John do 5 today, so the next day John can do 5 again, and maybe just maybe on the third day, John can do 6. Once 6 push ups become really easy, I will encourage John to do 7 push ups.



If John did the maximum of 10 push ups on Monday, then he might be so sore that he cannot do push ups again until Thursday. So in this situation, John did 10 push ups total in four days, Monday to Thursday. In the other scenario, John would have done 5 push ups on Monday, 5 push ups on Tuesday, 6 push ups on Wednesday, and 6 more on Thursday. That is 22 total push ups in four days versus 10 push ups in four days. There is MORE volume in this scenario, and if you add up all the volume for a month, who trained more?



So, how much volume can we expose our body to exercise? Remember, exercise can produce energy, like a tonic effect. Your mood can enhance after some movement. If you are in a workout and received the “high” and feeling good, shut it down. Don’t go to the phase that your body is beat up. Do not red line your body. Working through that euphoria is saved for specific training like camps where all that intensity is only for a couple of weeks, a small period of time.
You can get a little more from the system during that time, but in the long run, you get less if you continue to treat every week like a camp. Consistency gets you to your goals. Volume is more effective than intensity. Train to a point where you’re enjoying it and have good flow. Don’t go to a point where it’ll lead you to anxiety. Train everyday calmly and not with intensity.



Personally, I suffered from exhaustion in my own training. Mentally and physically. I went from burning myself out every workout because of the “gotta work hard” mentality. It eventually caused me to hate working out, and I stopped training for a few weeks. I now train 50-70% of my max and I enjoy training. I am getting great benefits from it, and I look forward to every workout instead of dreading it.



If you go hard every day, you aren’t actually going hard because your body is broken down. Intensity should only happen once in a while because by nature intensity should only happen once in a while!



There is a cost going to your max. Consistency over intensity!

The Author

Carlo Varquez, M.S.

I believe in the practice of preventative health. The only way to combat chronic diseases is through preventative action such as exercise and diet. My health and wellness career started within myself. After being an active person in high school through sports, my fitness dropped entering college. I gained unhealthy habits that lead to weight gain. To prevent any complications, I made some time to be active again by picking up weight lifting. Through that, I found myself wanting to help others before it was too late for them. As I gained my masters degree, I interned at the Cardiac Rehabilitation department at Advocate Lutheran General. I saw firsthand what cardiovascular disease can do, and what the action plan is to help those people return back to their daily routine. The time to make change is now, but it doesn’t need to be done alone. The science behind exercise is a powerful tool that is often overlooked. I want to motivate and increase self-efficacy to help others achieve their goals.

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