Training: The Ten Commandments (part II)

Posted: November 7, 2014 by TRU in Fitness, Motivation, Physique


The final 5 of The Ten Commandments of Training has arrived.

  1. Thou Shall Listen to Their Body

At the end of the day YOUR body knows best. While I can give recommendations and share similar experiences I can’t feel exactly what you feel in the midst of an exercise. So let’s keep it simple:

  • If your energy levels are soaring: utilize it by doing a few extra sets/exercises that day
  • If every part of your body is genuinely telling you to call it a day: call it a day.

Don’t overcomplicate things and remember that the pursuit of fitness is a process that requires a fair amount of trial and error, especially in the early stages. Some workouts you go a bit too far and other workouts you pull back too early. That’s the name of the game. In time you will learn to how to dial things in to best meet your goals while listening to and respecting your body in the process.

  1. Thou Shall Have Goals (AND Stick to Them!)

It isn’t easy to walk into the gym each day with the resolve of a virgin at his first frat party. Everything has its ebb and flow and training is no different. However, what can make you more accountable and prevent you from writing off another lackluster workout is a set of well thought out goals.


Make some short term goals that are realistic and some long term goals that are a bit more optimistic. Also have at least one idealistic goal i.e. something you may not entirely see yourself achieving, such a physique with the aesthetic mastery of Steve Reeves.  Accomplishing your short term goals will serve as small victories that ultimately pave the way to your long term goals. If after several years you still haven’t quite attained your idealistic goal(s) then not to worry. The point is the pursuit not the completion.  So set your expectations high and the bar a little higher.

  1. Thou Shall Progress

This tends to be the bane of the consistent gym goer. I’ve seen many people who go to the gym several days per week, 52 weeks per year, but have little if anything to show for it. These are the people who often do the same things over and over and put little if any thought into their workouts. They may have a goal, but it tends to be subdued and vague. Don’t fall victim to this trap and always make a determined effort to excel every session. An easy way to do this is trying to best your last workout in some way e.g. lift a little more weight, same weight for more reps, run a little faster, etc.  No you won’t always have a stellar workout and be able to consistently do this, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk through the door believing you will.

Alzira Rodriguez

Save zoning-out for pottery, NOT your pursuit of fitness.

  1. Thou Shall Commit

A commitment is a close second to the most important of the training commandments. If you think about it, you’ll realize that the previous 7 commandments are quite useless without a genuine commitment to improve your fitness in the first place. I’ve known many a lifter that was more genetically gifted and had greater potential for an aesthetic physique than I ever did. However, if we stood side by side today and compared our physiques I would appear to be the gifted one. Why? They trained sporadically while I trained consistently. They found excuses while I found a way.  They didn’t make a serious commitment and I did. So in the end it was my enduring commitment that has been my “genetic gift.” Success in most any walk of life cannot be had without a commitment and the pursuit of fitness is no different.

Frank Zane

Don’t be surprised if you aren’t receiving compliments on your physique until a couple YEARS of serious training are under your belt.

  1. Thou Shall Enjoy

At training commandment #1, please don’t forget to enjoy. Although you should always keep your eye on the prize you must also realize that being there isn’t necessarily as important as getting there. Don’t be afraid to step back and take a look around from time to time. As stated above, the TRU rewards are in the process. Invariably you will one day be at an age where you are no longer as strong, as fast, as (insert here), as you used to be. Or perhaps you’re there already. Does that mean you shouldn’t continue? Not when you realize that there’s more to it than just busting your ass every workout. So give it your all but don’t forget to have good time doing so.



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