How to Stop Exercising and Start Training. Step 1. Test Yourself.

When you decide to approach your workout routine as training vs. exercise, there is one thing that is super important. Testing. It sounds boring, and sometimes it is boring. But here’s the thing, testing is what will drive you to blast through plateaus and get to the next level of performance and body composition.

If you’re spending time in the gym, testing is what will make that time effective and goal-oriented. How will you ever know if you’re getting better without testing? How will your coaches know how to push you if they aren’t aware of the outer bounds of your capability?

At Accelerate, we turn the everyday exerciser into an athlete. And part of that is through testing. The information you get will immediately show you where you are weak and you are strong. It also dictates your training.

Let’s use a common example; the hip thrust. For a client who has the objective of building her glutes she will want to go through periods of hypertrophy and progressive overload to build weight on the barbell hip thrust. During testing, we will push clients to a 1 rep max on the glute builder. From that point forward, training phases will take a percentage of that number. For example, a hypertrophy phase where we build muscle will indicate a growing scale starting with 65% of the 1RM (rep max) weight done in testing for a certain number of reps. Now, the client (with the help of a coach) can do quick math and figure out where she should be training to hit her goals.

This is also useful with conditioning goals. If a client wants to improve on the EchoBike (devil’s hotseat), we must know through testing a max wattage. This gives the mental imagery of what you can hold for a short period of time, which serves to push, motivate and add accountability. Also, when we train again in a few months, clients can quickly see whether they are improving.

Everyone has weaknesses and we should not be afraid to expose them to ourselves, each other and our coaches. These weaknesses are the biggest opportunities for growth and improvement. With just a few tweaks, based on knowledge from testing, we can craft a much more focused training plan.

If you aren’t testing, you aren’t training. You’re exercising and basing your results on how you feel day-to-day. This is fine, unless you want consistent improvement. For consistent improvement, either in performance or physique, you must bench mark where you are, tailor your training and push to get better.

Next week at Accelerate is test week. It’s a great time to join if you’re on the fence. Testing at the beginning of a training program is an excellent way to see progress over time and ensure you are getting the most out of your daily workouts.

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