Oftentimes I find myself thinking “I wish I knew about XYZ when I started strength training”. It’s typical for us to look back and realize the mistakes we made and/or the lessons we learned. We all have things we learned during our journey in fitness, health, education, work…life in general!
I asked the Telos coaches what were some things they wish they knew when they first started training:
Shaun- “Most low back pain is due to weakness. Train your trunk (abs, obliques, and erectors) directly with assistance work.”
We see a lot of people with lower back pain. This is common and it’s a sign of weakness. What does that mean? Train those muscles we often neglect (mentioned above).
Karen- “Soreness and feeling totally run down after every session is not an indicator of a good training program or a measure of success. You don’t need to totally destroy yourself every day in order to make progress. Instead, trust the process, stay consistent to make small gains over time, and TRACK YOUR NUMBERS!”
You should not be feeling constant pain in your body! Soreness is typical when you start training and/or introduce a new stimulus to your body (i.e, do an exercise you don’t often do which targets a muscle you have not activated in a while.) However, if you’re feeling this soreness often, that is not a good sign. That is your body telling you that you need to recover!
Abby- “Working out and training are not the same thing. Working out is done to make you tired. Training is done to achieve a specific goal. Training requires consistency and a long time.”
Training is methodical. It is not fast paced, heart beating, sweat dripping sessions day in and day out. It requires mental focus, progression, and analysis. You don’t learn skills (pull ups, jump rope, etc) through fast conditioning pieces under fatigue, you learn them through training properly and having a plan.
Day- “There’s a difference between having muscles and being strong. Don’t train for great biceps and abs, prioritize the exercises that build your strength & functionality. There’s nothing worse than looking strong and not being able to deadlift heavy.”
It’s easy to get sucked into social media and be influenced by athletes showing off their abs and muscles. However, the priority should be strength and functionality…muscles will come as a result of being strong in the right places.
Matt- “Nutrition and sleep are pivotal to your recovery and the more consistent those two things are, the better you’ll be able to recover”
We preach recovery because it is the number one thing that will keep you healthy in the long run. Longevity is important, and it can only be achieved if you are taking care of yourself. You can train hard all you want, but if you don’t fuel the body properly or give it time to recover through quality sleep, you will not see results and you will run yourself down.
Rachelle- “Everything changed when I started training for MYSELF…Not to compete or to compare, but to make MYSELF the best.”
Your health journey is yours and no one else’s. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, if you compare yourself to others then you will limit your potential and cause stress that is not needed. Celebrate your wins, your progress, and celebrate the wins of others as well.
Robert- “Recognizing longevity in training. Just because a program calls for something, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person if you don’t have it in you that day. Live to fight another day. Don’t force it for the program. Honor your body.”
Auto-regulation! You are the only one who knows how your body feels. If you are expected to squat heavy on a specific day but your body is run down, listen to your body. It is telling you it needs time to recover. Everyone recovers at different speeds. Give it what it needs and jump back on the program the next day, or whenever you’re ready. It’s better to get away from the program if you are not ready, instead of causing an injury.