how to train in a wrong way?

part three:

The first part of "the trilogy" was about injuries, illnesses and training camps. The second part dealt with training in a team and training professionally - athlete's muscle maintenance and recovery. In the last part - for the time being - I am going to discuss about adulthood training, the relation between training and recovery time, the effectivity of training and how to boost your training. This blog post has been written from a perspective of a power athlete (who has also done a lot of explosive workouts during his career). The text is based on his experience from his professional athlete's career. :)

My own training as an adult

I got to enjoy this effective adulthood training only during one training season and REALLY got results during that time. It was a sensational feeling when I made personal records monthly or actually weekly in something that related to my training!

I had done a great deal of quantity training until I was 25 years old. This means that I did very many training sessions during one week and the power input was low or lowish. However, my body had adapted this kind of training already quite a bit, since during the last two years I had reached plateau. I didn't develop anymore and got the same results continuously.

We decided together with my coach that something had to be done differently in the future. We decided to use power/explosive training methods (to a greater extent) for the first time in my career. This meant more impact training ia using leaps, hurdle jumps and actually all kinds of jumps.



This was a radical change and the development was alike. Training season was phenomenal and my self-confidence was huge back then. Furthermore, it was a great feeling to go to the trainings, when you knew you were in a great shape. I knew there was one excellent training session coming time after time. I even remembered to rest... :)

The breaking point of my career was the breaking/tearing of my left Achilles Tendons in the summer after this excellent training season. But in this blog post  I'm not going to talk about that injury or any other injury including the rehabilitations and all the other stuff. Let's just say that my body just couldn't take the hard training that I put it through.

Training, training... or should it be more rest?

Besides this one awesome training season I did a lot of training during several years - too much and in a wrong way. There was a great deal of training sessions and less that developing rest and recovery in my training program and mainly due to my own will. I tried perhaps too eagerly to develop myself and in too many training sessions during the week.

I just cannot remember who top-level athlete once said that when you are an adult athlete, you can only have 1 or 2 developing training session and the rest of the training consist of recovery and different kinds of maintenance trainings. I had this relation vice versa during many training seasons. When you do it in my way, you will reach your breaking point eventually (and get injured).

How to boost your training?

I might have understood something about developing oneself not until after my professional career. I have noticed that I have developed more in some areas especially in strength training now when I'm older and busier. I have had to decrease the amount and duration of training sessions i.e. I've made my training program more reasonable.

I have to admit that the sample size is very small in this matter, but I still want to share the good points in my training. This is the spot where it is allowed to and actually you should disagree, if you think I don't know what I'm saying! At the moment, my life is relatively active as a father of two sons combined with busy entrepreneur weekdays. And I should somehow try to find spots for my own training, so that I'm at least in some shape and stay healthy.

In practice, this means finding time to training sessions is difficult, so time used in training is relatively short. When comparing to the professional career days, the time spent to training has had a significant drop, but at the same time the effectivity has increased a lot. I have had to leave those long exhausting strength training sessions behind, which has been extremely important thing when thinking my own development.

During the old days, I did so much useless exercises and workouts at the gym. My god, we spent hours at the gym / training field - we practically lived there. At least now, it feels so that effective and fast workouts with a lot of micro damage to the muscles is much smarter alternative. Muscles cannot function efficiently much over 60 minutes at the gym (at least mine don't).

What do I do at the gym?

I do strength training 3 to 5 hours a week and the truth is that thefivehoursaweek is highly exaggeration! :) But development strength wise has been significant and crucially faster than as a professional athlete. And now I'm talking about combined exercises such as clean, snatch and bench press. When I usually have 60 to 75 minutes time at the gym, I don't have time to do those futilities or unnecessities. Main exercises and a lot of power in them - works at least for me. In my case power means that recovery time is quite short, load is relatively big compared to maximum, short and no lactic acid sets and fast barbell movements. At the moment, I don't basically do slow strength at all...

Although I have praised short effective training sessions, I still think that professional training includes also professional recovery parts and muscle maintenance in addition to that effective training part (see How to train in a wrong way? Part two; blog post about top-level sprinters' professional training). If I had time, I would most certainly do better recovery parts after training sessions. I then could do the next effective training session earlier, because recovery would be faster. But that's why you can call me an amateur athlete nowadays! Let's keep the effective training sessions effective and short and let's have slow, long and restful recovery parts regularly. Then you can do the next effective body shock earlier.


Final words

What I want to say with this blog post is that think what you want to develop and how, when you are thinking, planning and executing your training. Henrik Dettmann shared a lot of wisdom in the Entrepreneurs' Evening School arranged by Lähitapiola few weeks ago. Learned a lot and many things stuck into my mind, but one idea related to training stuck really hard into my mind. He told that when Finnish national basketball team is coming to do the training session of the day, they concentrate on doing the best training session they have ever done. He also added that they try to develop only ONE thing in that training session - no more. Although my own sport event was decathlon, in which you have to master many thing at the same time, my own training could still have been clearer in many spots. Simple is beautiful!

Another thing that you should think is that when you train like an adult resting and recovery is extremely important. When you are unrecovered there is no point of doing bad training session then! You cannot fit many effective and developing training sessions in one week when you are an adult athlete - as unfortunate as it is. ;)

Remember that "Sometimes less is more!"

Tatu Pussila

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