How many times have you seen someone make a post about how hard they went in the gym that day? We've all seen them, #beastmode, #killedit, #iworkedharderthananyoneinhere and any other hashtag you can think of which would describe just how much effort these people put into their training. My hope is that there is a whole lot of truth behind those hashtags so that their physical potential can be reached. Unfortunately for some, the type of training they actually perform and complete would be better described as #youcallthathard? When you see true, gritty, hard and relentless work ethic in the gym, it is so recognizable simply because the person doing it is often alone at their level and very few if any can match them in intensity making those people rise above the rest. What I want you to do now is take a good look at your approach to training and compare what you do to the following success criteria for a high intensity workout and see just how close you are to actually training at the level needed to be successful in this sport.
Success Criteria #1: CNS Distortion
Our central nervous system is the governing control centre for everything that happens in our body. When it comes to dealing with stress, it cues the fight or flight response and our adrenaline then compels us to do what we decide to do next. With regards to the stress from training, our ability to handle the physiological and biochemical processes that occur as a result of training all out can be a significant sign for determining if what we did was suffice. If you truly did go as hard as you possibly could in the gym, you should experience some level of CNS distortion. By that, I mean you should feel a little messed up. Maybe you feel nauseous, maybe you feel weak and shaky, you could experience acute fatigue or you might puke your guts out in the locker room. Whatever it looks like for you, and it could be different with each event, if you applied extreme intensity to your workout you will know and feel it.
Success Criteria #2: Nothing Left in the Tank
The goal for every training session you complete should be to leave everything you've got out on the gym floor and finish up by saying I've got nothing left in the tank bro. If you complete your pre-planned training program to the very last set and rep and still feel like you could keep going, you did something wrong. That wrong is you didn't really go as hard as you could and you simply went through the motions with no regard for true training. You should be sweat soaked, gasping for air after each set, barely able to catch your breath to spot your training partner and hardly able to walk out of the place on a good leg day. Forget about doing some cardio post workout if you applied to appropriate level of intensity to your weight training session because it shouldn't be able to happen. You need to ensure that you give every last ounce of energy you've got to completing every single rep with as much purpose as possible so that you eliminate your chances of not experiencing success.
Success Criteria #3: People Stay Out of your Way
This one is a sight to be seen, let me tell ya. When you see someone who is laser focused on what they are doing and are applying every single bit of energy and determination they possess into their workout and are steadfast in completing it the best way they know how and nothing will get in the way of their success that day in the gym, you better just stand back and keep out of the way. This level of intensity is frightening to the timid, is scary to the beginners in the gym and is admired by others who partake in this level of insanity. When people offer up their machine or whatever piece of equipment they're currently using because they see you have set your eyes on it too, you know you're working at the right level of intensity. When you see this, respect it, learn from it and then use it on yourself.
We all want to think we're working to our fullest potential and busting ass each day because it makes us feel good about ourselves. But I'm telling you right now, there are levels in this game that we all play and some of us are just always above the rest, very similar to when you compare a Heyday Footwear model like the Super Shift to a Chuck; Heyday is just always a level above. When you think you're in high gear, dig deep and find the next one up. It's there, trust me and when you do find it, be prepared for the greatness that will follow.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.