Over the last few years I have developed a great appreciation for efficiency, especially with training. It is a shame when the time, energy, focus, or resources that are invested into something does not yield a good return. It can get really frustrating when your goals are sports performance or fitness related. After a fitness goal is clearly stated, it is key that the point of diminishing returns is established and important variables are controlled to maximize the benefits. I love the term, “minimal effective dose”. By applying this, you have some “dose” leftover to use some where else to get a better return in another area that will help you achieve your fitness goal sooner.
You may ask yourself what is the dose in regards to training? The truth is not everyone’s the same, but I am sure at least one, if not all the following will apply to you: time, money, energy, and focus. For example, if I can reach my goal of building an aerobic base using a small dose of time, I will have more time to spend training my running technique or spend time doing plyometric training to decrease contact time. There are countless areas that can contribute to lowering the effective dose, but none greater than nutrition. Proper nutrition will enhance the training effect tremendously. By fueling your body properly and taking advantage of the physiologic chaos that takes place with training, your body will respond better, thus taking less time.
When you look at training in the most simplistic way, it is your body being exposed to a stimulus and adapting to meet that demand. Adapting can also be thought of as recovery. As you walk away from a workout your body goes into recovery mode. To me, this is just as important if not more important than the workout itself. I believe wholeheartedly in the following statement: “train hard, but recover like a mad man”! Great recovery allows you to reap most of the benefits of a training session. In addition, if your recovery is done right you will be able to train more effectively during your next session, challenging yourself to a greater extent, and thus leading to greater adaptation.
It is important to take a step back and evaluate your current training recovery protocol and see where you can make some improvements. I am willing to guess that your nutrition is the place you can make some small changes to get the most gains.
For some guidance on how to maximize your training please reach out! – Josh G.