Fitness training has 3 main pillars: Intention, Iteration, and Intensity.
When you have all these three together, training becomes more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.
What will the purpose of your training be? Better health, losing weight, and getting ripped are all too vague and will not direct you to any particular training method.
A more actionable purpose would be “To strengthen the hamstrings to balance the quads and better align the hips.” Your goal does not need to be that specific, but get as accurate as you can.
Effects of Intention
- Intention makes it clear what you will be doing in the gym or place of training.
- Intention allows you to better measure the success of your training program.
If you have a particular purpose in training, you will get through training quicker and not wander around contemplating what to train next, and you will be able to test and measure the effectiveness of the methods you use to get to your set goal.
Your training needs to be progressive. You cannot jump into complex and rigorous movement if you are just beginning.
Simplify your movement as much as possible. This helps to identify exactly what muscles or muscle groups are becoming involved in the movement.
If the weight load or level of difficulty is too high, you might not complete the movement safely nor with intensity.
Add on complexity and difficulty as you train. This will ensure active learning, as the movement will always be complex enough for you to be able to perform.
After you’ve set a purpose and have understood the value of simplifying in order to iterate, you have to add in the fuel.
In fact, the intensity is not something you do actively, it is a side effect of having the other 2 pillars.
Once your mind is set on what to accomplish, and your body is prepared to handle what you have set to accomplish, you can flip the switch and be as powerful as possible in your movements.
The other 2 pillars don’t guarantee intensity, they allow for it. You still have to make that mental switch to go after your goal purposefully and safely.
Side Note: Risk to Reward Ratios
An important thing to consider in your training is how safe a movement is, and what is the reward of the movement. All movements are inherently risky, and they have varying degrees of reward.
Here’s an explosive pushup:
An explosive pushup is not something I would train, it is just a cool move. Why? There is far too much risk for the reward. Here are the risk factors: A rapid pulling of the chest when landing, wrist injury, shoulder injury, and other factors.
The reward? Maybe a stronger chest, but the risk is too much. A simple pushup, bench press, or cable pull can be much better alternatives in training.
Hovhannes Mkhitaryan from The LA Trainer