In Intervention Dan John uses the somewhat annoyingly American catchphrase “WIN” which stands for the very important phrase “what’s important now”. See arranging your training in a hierarchical fashion, is a very good idea indeed. For me, the priority looks like this:
- Feel good. This is about mobility and prehab. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the most important part of my training, as everything else depends on it.
- Get stronger. Getting stronger is the reason I train pretty much. Strength is high priority because it takes a long time to develop.
- Cardio. A bit of cardio done right has a ton of upsides. One of those is that it can be really fun as well as stress-relieving in a different way than strength training. Building cardio to a decent level can be done in a month, so it’s not a huge priority. Training with weights with high intensity will maintain a decent capacity as well.
- Experiment. As I’ve gotten older and have begun coaching other people, I try to experiment a bit with different exercises and formats.
Now prioritizing something doesn’t necessarily mean that you spend the most time on it. Far from. When my body is feeling great, I keep 1. at a highish, but reduced level. If on the other hand, I have a niggling injury, I’ll up the level.
Timewise, I’d say strength pretty much always takes up about 60% of my weekly training, but it’s not always a clearcut case of an exercise belonging in one or the other category.
My current base warm up for lower body days looks like this:
3 rounds of 5-8 reps of the following: rollover into v-sits, mountain climbers, fire hydrants, tactical frogs.
3-5 rounds of: 5 KB squats, 15 KB swings and 1/1 half get-up.
While the first circuit is warmup and mobility, the second is for warmup and patterning, which in a way is strength training.
As I move on to the exercise specific warmups, I superset with more prehab. All pressing days for example start with 3×10 with the bar supersetted with band pullaparts, YTWLs, Y’s bla bla bla. Upper back and shoulder work. On a lower body day this could be light corework, legswings, more activation or even some light upper body work.
Integrating strength and stability work into your warmup and extending the warmup is a great way to get the little things done while fresh (so you dont’t skip them) and get you really warm for the first lift of the day. Most people have their most important lift first, but end up doing it before they’re really warm, which is obviously detrimental to performance.
Your list may look nothing like mine or it may be exactly the same. Having a list of priorities and following will make your training much more enjoyable, so get at it.
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