You know that time you unexpectedly take two days off from working and you suddenly have to cram everything you planned on doing over five days into three? No? Yeah me neither. For real though I’m still only at 90% or so, please bear with me on this today.
Had a good thought provoking e-mail the other day that made me do one of those old fashioned SWOT analysis in terms of my coaching. I figured why can’t it be translated to your training right? OK for those that don’t speak businessese (look it up it's a thing), SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These are things often gone over for businesses and project ventures.
Things like a SWOT can (should) be applied to your training every few months or so. Odds are that you are not going to be in the same place you were a few months ago in regards to your ability levels, schedule, energy levels and basically every external factor you can think of. Doing something like this, it doesn’t have to be a fancy acronym like SWOT, can help make sure you are still going down that righteous path to being awesome!
Lets look at what you can find in your SWOT so to speak:
Strengths (What are you good at?)
-Physically strong? Good Power? In what areas (lifts)?
-Are you pretty mobile? What areas (squat depth, shoulder mobility, etc)?
-Is your gym schedule locked down not even a cutting torch is going to break it up?
-Is your nutrition game on point?
Weaknesses (Where are you lacking?)
-Feeling weak on a lift? What one?
-Got the mobility of a picnic table? (Foam roll now!)
-Are you hitting the gym regularly and for the about the same amount of time each session?
-Does your diet look like that of a teenage video game addict?
Opportunities (Where can you grow?)
-Maybe your schedule has made it that you only have limited time. Use that limited time to really nail improve that weak point?
-Is a friend or your S.O. also looking to make strides in their nutrition or in need of a gym buddy? Use this chance to make each other better.
Threats (Where can the rug be pulled out from under you?)
-Are you at risk for overtraining? This is rarely the case with many, but it can happen. Those 20 gym sessions might be cutting into your results and an injury could be lurking from overtraining.
-Do you sleep well enough to recover from your lifts? Kind of goes with the one above, but make sure you sleep at night! Instead of watching that 8th episode in a row of (insert trashy TV show) be nice to your body. Go to be so it can recover from your training and you can be ready to rock the next one.
-Are you getting adequate kcals after you train? Same as above, goes with the first point. Too little intake on the food means you will not be a bad ass at the gym or on the field.
-Is your work schedule usually hectic but has been calm the last 6 weeks, what storm might be brewing there? Brace yourself and always have a "break in case of emergency" gym plan.
-Are you hyper mobile, thus exposing your risk to injury as well? Work on stabilizing instead of stretching. Doing anything loaded beyond the actual end range of motion of a joint will only spell injury, stabilize first you little hypermobile folken.
These are all just some of the things to look at when you’ve gone through a month of training. I know I certainly haven’t gone through a few months of training without some hiccups (thanks to this illness I can start that clock over again). It happens, but just try to take a look at how you can minimize issues that come at you.
That's it for today everyone, thanks for reading, go out there and get after it!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS