That athlete is incredible.
The joy and wonder of watching a really exceptional athlete can be enough to leave you in awe. Myriad thoughts run through your brain: How does she do that? I didn’t know what was even possible. Or just straight up, WOW.
The next thought, at least for me is self-serving. Because I’m human. And selfish. And competitive.
What is that athlete doing to train?
More importantly: CAN I TRAIN THAT WAY TOO?
Years ago, after watching a particularly inspiring athlete, I would have dove head first down the rabbit hole of their training program. Success leaves clues, after all. If I did EXACTLY what they did, surely I’d get EXACTLY what they got.
Except I’m not them. Not EXACTLY.
We all start in different places.
We watch, mouths agape, as a well-known athlete climbs a rope with just their arms or pumps out several deadlifts at double their bodyweight.
It’s so easy to compare yourself to that person. To think that climbing ropes one-handed or pulling semi-trucks behind you are the only things that will get you to where they are. But it’s also easy to forget the YEARS that person put in to get to that point.
No one starts our snatch 150 lbs for reps. No one trains like that every day. You’re looking at a highlight reel curated by someone that has been editing it for years.
Start where YOU are, not where THEY are.
We all have different goals.
That jammer training against that resistance band wants to build leg power to push against a wall of tough blockers. Because that’s her biggest barrier to success.
Will training for pushing power have the greatest impact on your game? Are you even interested in becoming better athletically?
Your goal needs to determine your training plan. The training plan that someone else follows is their goal. Not yours.
We all play different positions.
The fundamental difference between a primarily offensive position and a primarily defensive position is a matter of direction. At least in roller derby. Jammers power forward, move from side to side and are generally trying to get out. Blockers slow the pack, control their speed, and try to prevent forward movement.
Your position should determine the majority of your training. What are you even supposed to be doing out there? What will make you most successful?
Everyone reacts to exercise stimulus differently.
The training program that works for your friend might not work for you. You have different life stresses. You have different strengths and weaknesses. You might need more rest. Or less.
We’re all human. We all have the same systems. And generally, the same things will work. But training HAS to be more than just what you do in the gym.
Take it from me, fitting in training as a mom takes a lot more energy and thought than it did before I had kids. And my body reacts differently to exercise now, too.
THE PERFECT TRAINING PROGRAM DOESN’T EXIST.
There’s only a perfect training program for YOU.
That training plan needs to be adjusted according to how YOU react to it.
I recently hired a personal trainer (and short-shorts enthusiast) to take over my training for me. Every week, I send him an email detailing how my training is going, answering questions about my energy levels and sleep quality, sending GIFs, and making Seinfeld references. In return, Alex sends me back his recommendations for the changes I need to make and spells words with a misplaced u because he’s Canadian.
My training plan changes PER WEEK based on my schedule, but also my goals, desires, level of exhaustion, and practice schedule.
As the two of us collect more data and try more things, the schedule gets closer and closer to perfect. It needs fewer and fewer adjustments. And I see better and better results.
Some day, the results I’m seeing will diminish. My training program will need to change again. And that’s okay.
Because there is no perfect training plan. There’s what works right now.
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Gain the simple tools to create a schedule that optimizes your training time for your best results.