Caffeine and curly fries, Volume 3.1  

The concept 

Just because you could do something in the gym, doesn’t mean you should do it

The principles

1) Minimum effective dose


Photo credit – http://www.coachr.org/training_theory.htm

The minimum effective dose is the “training adequate” line on the graph above. This is the amount of effort/the intensity and the duration that is present when you’re training/exercising in order to reap the most reward from the session, in order to get the greatest adaptation (“overcompensation” on the graph) possible from the training stimulus.

This is sort of like the path of least resistance. What’s the most efficient and effective way to get the desired outcome from training e.g. Improving strength, fitness, health or whatever. There needs to be enough effort applied to create a stimulus, too little effort and you won’t create enough of a disruption for your body to adapt to, but too much effort and your body won’t be able to cope.

More is not better.

2) Risk vs reward

Risk vs reward is about selecting exercises that will have the biggest bang for your buck with the lowest risk for injury. Exercises that are appropriate for you as an individual in regards to safety, physical readiness, the anatomical structure of your body, and what fits best with your goal in general.

You can’t always put a square peg in a round hole and get away with it!

Real world application (context, common sense, plain english)

With all the different fitness platforms available today in 2017, people are exposed to and doing things they probably never thought they would or could, they’re pushing their limits and their comfort zones.

This is a good thing! The downside though is that it breeds the mentality that if everyone else is doing it then so can I, so should I, no pain no gain, more is better, and so on.

Programs like this include things that all humans should be able to do (gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, kettlebells, bodyweight training, running etc). The issue is that gymnasts, weightlifters, really good runners etc most likely haven’t been working a desk job/stuck in a car/dehydrated/malnourished for the majority of their adult lives. They started their sports at a young age and progressed over decades, not over weeks.

My advice to people that don’t want to plateau, regress, burn out, or get injured is pretty simple.

– Don’t compare yourself to what someone else can do. Everyone has different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, medical histories, anatomical and genetic factors, cardiorespiritory capacities, neural plasticity capabilities, and many more factors that dictate how, why, when, or if you should do something in the gym

– Find a coach or a trainer who can identify your abilities and limitations, and expand them appropriately, but not force them

– More is not better, better is better (in every context)

– If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing 
Physical training should be viewed the same way you would a prescription drug. How do you feel about taking a drug that hasn’t been prescribed for you?

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