As a coach, one of the dead horses people beat repeatedly at our feet is this notion that because they are regular men and women that maximal training is irrelevant. This is manifested in a number of different ways including but not limited to, “I’m not looking to move a bunch of weight, I just want to be fit. I’m 40 now and this isn’t my twenties, am I right?” or “I used to be an athlete so I know how to train hard, but now I just want balance, you know?”
Given that you’ve just stated you’re forty years old this, in fact, “isn’t your twenties” anymore. You are right. Trust me, I know. And, I do know what you mean by wanting “balance.” These truths, however, don’t remove the relevance and importance of maximal training in and of themselves.
Here are two reasons why increasing top end capacity is important for regular people:
- Sub-maximal life is easier with greater maximal potential. That was a nerdy sentence. I apologize. Having top end capacity doesn’t just benefit people that use top end capacity in their lives. Light work when you’re just doing normal life things is easier when you have the potential to do really grueling work. Or, simpler yet, life is easier when the tasks in your life are 20% of your ability than when they are 60% of your maximum ability.
- Being “better” makes you more resistant to being worse. OK, give me some slack on that one. That sentence was cryptic, but powerful. “Maintaining” isn’t a thing. You’re either getting better and you’re getting worse. Not pushing the outer boundaries of your performance makes decreases in performance, body composition, health, and other markers easier and more eminent. Turning that ship around to improvement town? Well, that’s a different story. Increasing your capacity not only does the obvious, but it makes it harder and harder for you to fall into poor health and fitness. More maximal capacity means more insurance for life.
I know it seems scary to be responsible for improving your top end performance, but, hell, it just doesn’t make much sense not to. And, since you’re already in the gym, you might as well get what you came for.
1 Minute Wallballs (14/20)
1 Minute Dumbbell Snatches (35/50)
1 Minute Calorie Bike
1 Minute Rest
*Score is lowest rep total across the five rounds.