Here are 5 factors influencing your fitness that you possibly hadn't considered (but should).
Whether you are following an online program, an "off the rail"package, you're a gym rat or budding coach, when you take into account these 5 key points, you can expect to see improvements in both your health and performance. Now who wouldn't want that?
So lets get in to it.
Biological V Chronological Age
Have you ever noticed how some people don't seem to age, that they can out perform someone half their age in the gym or their sport? Or what about the person who seems to have aged beyond their years - I'm sure you can think of someone like this.
Your biological age is often a better indicator of your ability to perform, than your chronological age. Even with genetic testing and blood tests It is often difficult to pin point, but here are some indicators of a person's biological age,
The key here is to modify your training appropriately. Recovery is king, remember your long term adaptations are made in your recovery. Make this your priority. Plus make ensure that you are getting the right frequency and volume of training for your needs.
This has actually got nothing to do with your age as such, and more to do with how many years, or months of quality training that you have under your belt.
If your training age is older, it is likely that you have a considerable base to build on, and can participate in more specialised training sooner than someone who has not had as many years experience.
For someone with a lower training age, their intrinsic adaptations, as well as their motor skills will not be as well developed as those who have many quality of years under the bar, miles on the road, hours in the gym, or games on the court.
If you are someone with a higher chronological age with a low training age (think the mature lifter who has taken to the gym later in life for whatever reason) then you will want to spend some time building a good base with varied training, that provides a challenge both physically and skill based, before moving on to something more specialised.
Your training history will influence your capacity to adapt to your current training program. (Illness and injury not withstanding) Someone who has gone through a considerable amount of base level training before, is likely to have developed fitness levels that are able to tolerate high training loads, compared to someone who has not got as an extensive training history, but this is not always the case.
If the volume of training, in your training history went beyond the tipping point it can make you more suscpetible to injury when the new training volume is applied.
So when you go into a program take into account not only your training history, but map it against your injury history too.
This one is pretty obvious. Whether you are injured, have a short term or chronic illness - be it a physical or a mental one - all these things will impact
Not only that, but it is also true that all of the above can, or may impact your condition. So when undertaking training, especially "off the rail" programs you'll want to factor these things in and adapt the training appropriately.
This is where the help of a Coach and / or a trained medical professional is important; especially if you are unsure of how to adjust the program..
Stress And Recovery Rate
Your body's ability to adapt to the demands imposed on it and improve in performance, is directly related to your stress and your recovery rate.
Believe it or not, not all stress is bad. Training itself is a form of stressor.
The problem occurs when we shift from eustress (beneficial stress) to distress (dysfunctional stress). There are many factors that can swing the balance to distress. Here are but a few
This list is long but not exhaustive. To get optimal health or performance, you will want to adjust your training according to your stressors that you have in your life. Sometimes a reduction in training load is warranted, or even frequency.
Consider these 5 factors more like a valuable assessment tool, rather than a definitive guide. If you do, you can expect to see an improvement in both your health and performance.