One of the most common reasons I’ve found that people don’t stick with a workout plan is that they go too hard too fast.
Imagine trying to qualify with the M4 at 500 yards the first day you put your hands on the weapon. That’s exactly what many people do when it comes to fitness.
We’re going to change that today.
Note: I’m going to recommend that you read through this introduction, but if you want to skip to the action and sign up right now, click here.
You’ll never be proficient at 500 yards if you can’t hit the target at 30 yards.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell/released)
Before you discharge that weapon at distance, you need to drill how to load it, zero-in the sights, clean it, support it in the different firing positions, use your breath to help your accuracy, and a hundred other things that contribute to solid marksmanship.
Likewise, when it comes to fitness, you need to drill a solid foundation first. You have to learn:
- What your 1 rep maxes are
- What muscles respond to high volume vs high intensity training
- How your endurance is affected by muscle gain
- Proper form for the various lifts so you can maximize their benefits
- The best time of the day for you to workout
- Where the best equipment in your gym is located
- How fast and efficiently you recover from certain workouts
- How changes in your diet affect your performance
- Muscle memory of movements
All of these things are individual to you, and they are constantly changing.
High and Right
Biceps curls and the treadmill… classic sign of a foundationless approach.
When you start hitting high and right on a target at 100 yards, it may only be off by an inch or two. But when you move out to 500 yards it is now off by feet and probably not even hitting the target.
If you try to jump into a hard-core program that has six 2-hour lifting sessions a week without establishing a baseline, your accuracy of the movements, ability to recover, and overall muscle/strength gain are going to be high and right. This potentially means injury, or more commonly translates to a level of muscle soreness that prevents you from making any actual gains.
That soreness, also called DOMS, is often enough to make you say “fugg it! The weight room isn’t for me,” or to decide that you’re meant to be flat-chested and have chicken legs forever.
Don’t let this happen to you in the gym by biting off more than you’re ready for.
I’ve seen the equivalent on civilian ranges countless times. Some ding-dong shows up with a weapon he’s never fired. He starts by trying to hit the target from the furthest distance available, fails to hit the target, gets frustrated, starts firing at a rapid pace (against range rules) like an obese Rambo, and gets kicked off the range for being a jackass.
Don’t be like that in the gym by doing too much too fast and quitting due to excessive soreness and a lack of fundamental understanding of what makes lifting weights a therapeutic art. Both lifting and marksmanship can be forms of meditation if done correctly–which is completely lost on your local bicep-curling gymrat and the average gun enthusiast who knows the nomenclature of every weapon in Call of Duty but consistently loads rounds in the clip backwards.
Let’s get you zeroed-in.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Robert B. Brown Jr.)
So how do you make sure you aren’t the maniac Rambo-firing at the gym?
The MIGHTY FIT Plan is the first program at We Are The Mighty dedicated to this pursuit.
All too often, people try to make a lifestyle change or get ready for a new military school by firing from the 500 yard line while standing. This is a foundationless approach.
Build your foundation over the next 2 months with The MIGHTY FIT Plan.
This plan is for those who are ready to start taking control of their fitness with a proven method. Just like the rifle range, you need to set an accurate baseline by zeroing in your weapon, doing some dry fire drills, and firing test rounds at a close distance.
Your body is your weapon. This plan will zero in your body to become efficient and effective at all the lifts.
There’s always a way to train once you decide to execute.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jonathan Wright)
This plan is designed to:
- Introduce you to the main compound movements and their proper forms
- Establish and progressively increase your ability to recover from workouts
- Build a base level of muscle that will enable you to thrive in all your other athletic pursuits (including unit PT)
- Allow you to figure out how to fit lifting sessions into your already busy schedule
- Learn your body and how it responds to training
This article originally appeared on We Are The Mighty
More From We Are The Mighty