How I Stay Consistent with My Training

Image from Strava’s Press Kit.

Every year, there are new fads, new equipment, and ideas on how to make you faster and stronger. The secret sauce to success that is not often talked about is consistency. It’s not all that sexy or glamorous. You are not going to make steady gains in improvement unless you are consistent. This is very evident in the weight loss world. Every time you turn around, there is a new diet. Some of the diet suggestions may be beneficial but ultimately you must consistently make healthy choices. Have you ever noticed that in life the good things come after a lot of hard work? I’m going to get off my soapbox before I get too deep, but I wanted to share the top three things that have helped me stay consistent and stop making excuses.

Have a Plan

My Dad and I used to go to a family farm and practice shooting clay pigeons and targets. I loved it and had many fond memories. In time, my accuracy improved. It was exciting to see the improvement. Having the targets helped me hone my shooting accuracy. If you want to be successful in training for a triathlon, cycling race, or running race, you must have a target to aim for and a plan to improve your skills. Preparing for a race is much like shooting at targets.

In a past post, I talked about how to make a plan. Making a good plan takes research, hard work, and experience. It took me a few years to learn how to design a plan safely, but I cracked the code.

Create a Routine

I have experimented with training and working out during different times of the day. When working out in the afternoon or evening, I felt as if I couldn’t give 100%. Frequently, something would come up. I would push the training time aside. Then I decided to train in the morning. After hearing about the morning routine of many successful people that I follow, I felt that the morning would be perfect. I found that the morning was the ideal time for me, but it wasn’t easy for me to start the morning routine.

My first plan of attack to executing the morning routine included drinking a glass of water, have a small snack, and begin an easy warm up. This routine worked for a few months, but then I started to dread waking up and training. It was if my body didn’t have enough time to wake up and my training was not 100%. I wasn’t willing to give up on the morning routine. I loved not having any interruptions. Training in the morning eliminated the possibility of missing a training session later in the day.

After more experimenting, I figured out my secret sauce. After drinking my glass of water, drinking healthy organic fresh coffee, and having a small snack, I needed to get my brain and body in the right place. The morning routine became much easier after reminding myself of everything I’m grateful for, reading a short devotional, and doing a quick warm up. Figuring out what works best for my body and mind made me much more consistent. I began to see notable gains in my strength, endurance, and speed. There are times that I’m not interested in waking up between 4:30 to 5:00 AM. During those tough times, I listen to my body and sometimes use tools like heart rate variability to determine if my body is well rested or if I’m giving into laziness. If my body is well rested, then I convince myself that only the first few minutes of waking up are going to be rough, but it’s all good once I start moving. If my body needs rest, then I rest.

The point of telling about the ups and downs of me finding a routine is that you need to find a consistent time and routine to ensure that you will get your training finished. It is not always going to be easy, but it’s worth it. Take the time to figure out what jumpstarts your body and mind.

Home Gym

I used to be a gym rat. I would work out in the gym for hours. Then life got busier. Going to the gym became more of a chore instead of enjoyment. I wanted to be present for my family and have more time to train outside. I knew that strength training in the gym was necessary, but I felt like I didn’t have the time. Before departing from the gym, I decided to shorten my workouts and become more realistic with my time. This worked initially, but soon I became inconsistent. I then decided to make my own gym at home. I know that this is not always possible for everyone, but it was a necessary step for me to live the endurance lifestyle in a way that was compatible and sustainable for my family and me.

My home gym started out very simple. I first bought a TRX suspension trainer. Then adjustable dumbbells, a squat rack, and resistance bands. Little by little, I added to my home gym. I even put my gym and cycling clothes in the gym closet. So, as soon as a walked into my home gym, I had my clothes ready to roll and the equipment all organized. No excuses!

It took time and money, but it was a worthy investment to keep me consistent and efficient with my time. If this is something that you are considering, start small and gradually build your home gym. If you are interested in what equipment I’m currently using, check out the specs below.

If you want to improve your performance and, ultimately, improve you, then be consistent. Set yourself up for success. Having a plan, creating a routine, and setting up a home gym worked for me. Figure out what connects with you and stop making any excuses.

PULL-UP BARS

You have many options for pull-up bars. If you want a serious home setup with the ability to expand, then consider a squat stand. If you want minimal, portable, and inexpensive, then consider a pull-up bar that fits over the door.

 

SML-2 Rogue 90″ Monster Lite Squat Stand

*Pull up bar

DUMBBELLS

When picking adjustable dumbbells, I have had success with Bowflex and PowerBlock. In my opinion, PowerBlock is a more solid choice but Bowflex is more economical.

 

*Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

*PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

RESISTANCE TUBES AND HANDLES

The plans included in the APT app are designed for someone with one to two years experience in recreational racing, with the exception of the “Walk to 5K” plan. This plan is designed for someone new to running. The following are the included plans at this time:

The following are the tubes and handles I purchased based on my strength, so I could easily combine tubes to overload my body.

 

Lifeline Triple Handles

10 lb, 20 lb, 30 lb and 100 lb Tubes

RESISTANCE BANDS

STABILITY BALLS

ROGUE KETTLEBELLS

BODYWEIGHT TRAINERS

PLYO BOX

Your exercise program will require a step for you to jump onto when doing plyometric exercises. At first, you could use a step in your house or an old chair if you are not part of a fitness center. If you want to get fancy, the Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyo Box is a great choice because it is adjustable.

 

Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyo Box

TRIGGER POINT BALL

When selecting a ball to use to work out trigger points, you have many options. Start with a tennis ball. If the tennis ball doesn’t hit the spot, then consider a harder ball, such as a TriggerPoint therapy ball or a lacrosse ball.

 

*TriggerPoint Therapy Ball

TRIGGER POINT ROLLERS

If you know you have a history of trigger points (aka muscle knots), then consider the TriggerPoint Therapy roller for durability. If you are new or find that you don’t need to use a foam roller, consider a more inexpensive foam roller made by Optp.

 

*TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller

*Optp Foam Roller



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