Training Less For More GAINS?!
I was reading a section out of Tim Ferris' book "Tribe of Mentors" this morning, which a guy described how he started training fewer times a week and saw more of a benefit to it. This is something I often think about because your health is a result of a lot more than just your training program.
Health is about many variables and choices. What is your sleep like? How is your nutrition? Do you try to spend time outside? Do you go for walks? How do you cope with stress? What is your social life and relationships like? All of these variables and the choices you make surrounding them matter a lot more than whether you train or not.
Often times going to the gym and training feels like the most important variable we should take control over. All of the fit and healthy people you see crush it in the gym so so should you. However, what you see on the surface level isn't always the best predictor of health.
Excessive training can start to mask some of these other variables. You could not sleep well, you could be super stressed from work, your diet can start to slip, but hey, you made it to the gym four times this week! This is when I believe training can start to actually become a detriment. Your adding more stress to all the stress that you haven't been able to manage, and your body starts to adapt accordingly. Meaning, less gains.
What would it look like if you dropped your training down a session or two a week? Could this help you focus more on your sleep and nutrition? Could this allow you more time to go be social with some friends you haven't gotten the opportunity to hang out with in a long time? Could you actually be more adept to managing major stressors in your life?
Your body has a hard time differentiating stressors. Some times we need to find ways to manage our stress than to just continue to add more when we don't realize we're adding more. That's what training more just for the sake of training more can do.
Maybe you don't need to train less, maybe you do. The only person that can truly answer that is you. Just understand all of the variables associated with health and that your training can actually effect all of the other variables that can be equally as important. No one cares if you train five days a week but don't see results because you get two hours of sleep a night.