Homemade Barbell, Huế Imperial City

I have been training every day since the day I met Dan John. I have encouraged most of my clients to do the same. As a result we have all gotten stronger (without getting sore) and I have amassed a modest amount of experience with the Grease the Groove, Even Easier Strength, Easy Strength, 40 Day Program paradigm of daily strength training. I even braved a workshop in Reno about it. Here are some of my tips for how to do daily training right.

  • Read the programs. I shouldn't have to write that but no one ever does it.
  • Go lighter than you think you should. If it feels heavy, it's too heavy. To quote the super-awesome Karen Smith (who trained for the Ironmaiden Challenge using only Easy Strength), "It should feel like you're cheating."
  • Don't be embarrased. If training at 50% of your 1RM is embarrasing, then train where no one else is looking. Train at home or in a corner of the gym. Then come back in 6 months when your 50% is more than anyone else's 100%.
  • It's not a workout. Don't think of your daily training as a workout. Most of us think of working out like this: "ok, I gotta drive to the gym, park, change, foam roll, stretch, do my correctives, activate my glutes, do a few warm up dynamics, 100 swings, 25 squats, a few pull ups and push ups, hydrate, Easy Strength, a kicker, a cool down, hydrate, metabolic drive protein recovery drink (or choclolate milk), shower, change, and drive back home." If you think of it that way you won't do it every day. Hell, that was exhausting to type! I've banged out an Easy Strength session while double parked with my flashers on. And that's because...
  • It's a habit. Daily strength training is like brushing your teeth. You should think of your training like this: "I just brushed my teeth but I don't need to leave for work for another 15 minutes. Oh! Easy Strength!"
  • Make it as convenient as possible. Be smart and preview your pitfalls. When I got busy with school, I switched my program around so I could do it in my living room. When my clients travel, I write them a program using daily bodyweight exercises.
  • Don't sweat. These daily sessions should be 10-15 minutes long and so light that you don't even break a sweat. The genius is in the weekly volume, not the daily intensity. Not sweating also makes it way easier to schedule.
  • Integrate it into your day. Since the rest times don't really matter, you can either choose to bang the reps out as fast as possible or do other stuff in between them. My wife calls her daily training "The Faffing Workout" because she can do chores around the house between sets. It takes longer, but she loves it because she feels like she gets more accomplished than "just working out."
  • It's about getting strong. Daily strength training will probably not make you less fat. It might not improve your conditioning. It will probably not fix your anterior pelvic tilt. It will not wash your car, do your taxes, or paint your fence. It's a strength training program. Plan your other training accordingly and do not depend on your strength training program for entertainment.
  • And finally, once the weight feels light... add more weight! Otherwise it's not a path, it's a rut.

 

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