So, after writing out the Fundamental Nutrition Principles series, I thought I needed to write the fundamental principles of training as well. The interesting thing is there seem to be many different ways to approach this topic while the nutrition principle was much more straightforward.
The first principle I wanted to start off with isn’t so training-specific and can be applied elsewhere. The principle is figuring out the WHY, and to help me explain this principle, I’m going to introduce Jane.
Jane feels like she needs to start working out. She’s been so busy with work it feels like her weeks & months have just flown by. She obviously has heard of all the benefits of exercising and has attempted many times in the past to make it her daily “habit.” However, time after time, she’s back in the same place where her only habit is “thinking” about working out.
Where should I begin in order to stop this cycle?
Rather than starting with WHAT she should do (which is essentially what she’s been doing, i.e. what exercise & what program) Jane decides to start with the WHY this time.
WHY do I want to exercise?
As Jane repeats this question to herself, so many things pop into her head: to be in shape, to be healthy, to feel good… One thing she realizes is that she doesn’t even really know what that means for her specifically. What does it mean to be in shape? To be healthy? To feel good? How does she define them? Jane realizes that her WHY wasn’t specific enough, and she thinks more. She begins to land on specific goals like losing 15lbs, being able to run a marathon, being able to do pull-ups, not feeling the morning aches, and etc. She begins envisioning herself being able to accomplish all these specific goals and you know what? She definitely can consider herself being in a good shape, feeling healthier and better!
But wait, I can’t achieve these goals all at once!
Jane realizes that some of her goals, like running a marathon and being able to do pull-ups, are two very different goals and probably doesn’t make sense to try to do both at once. What Jane decides is to pick her MOST IMPORTANT GOAL out of all the specific goals then focus on that first. Thus, she decides on losing 15lbs because, well, she believes that losing such weight will ultimately help with her feeling better and looking better. And maybe, it’ll even help her morning aches too!
Jane realizes she has never gone through this process before exercising. In the past, she just started to run or go to the gym when she felt the urge or need to go. On the contrary, she now feels like she has a clear reason & purpose for exercising now.
Even though not mentioned in the Nutrition Principles, the principle of finding your WHY is absolutely necessary for your Nutrition also. For example, nutrition for health goals like reducing the blood glucose level, lowering blood pressure, or losing weight, should be and will be different compared to nutrition for performance goals, like muscle gain, power-development, or fat loss. In addition, even a goal like weight-loss (which can be for health or performance reasons) which seem simple and self-explanatory, can actually be broken down into fat loss (what we want) and loss of lean body mass (what we don’t want). Without getting too sciency, all I’m trying to say is FIND YOUR WHY/GOAL (be specific as possible) and it’ll help you guide you in the right direction!