On an almost daily basis I’m approached by people asking about how they should be training to reach certain targets, what rep ranges, how many sets, what percentage load etc etc. Now in the past I have fell guilty of throwing sets, reps and percentages at them and then walking away, safe in the knowledge that I have positively impacted their training and their quest to reach the goal they have set for themselves. That’s what being a good trainer is all about…..right??
Unfortunately training alone will not get you to your goals, whether it’s losing weight, increasing muscle mass or competing in a professional sport….It’s simply not enough. There is a whole support network out there that you need to address and implement if you truly want to be successful.


Now, if you’ve ever spoken to a “fitness expert” about training then they will almost certainly have thrown some stats at you, like “Nutrition is 85% of it man” and I have even witnessed 2 trainers argue, in front of a client, about what is the correct percentage. In truth, who knows, everyone is different, we are all made differently, we all put on and lose weight at different rates, therefore the importance of Nutrition to Athlete A, who loses weight really easily, compared to Athlete B, who finds it tough, will be significantly lower when they both have the target of weight loss. The only percentage I would use in Nutrition terms is 100%, to stay healthy, get the most out of your training and reach your goals you should always be thinking about what you’re eating, treat yourself by all means, but if you’re serious, then so should your eating patterns. If you are a member of The Athlete Centre or live locally get in touch and book in to see our expert Nutritionist to make sure that your eating habits are helping you to achieve your goals.


Often overlooked, especially by female athletes, as they will “make you big”, or “I’m not that serious”, that’s rubbish, it’s common sense. You want to train on consecutive days, then it’s important that you are recovering, and if you’re training hard, then standard diets just won’t cut it. I have been using Supplements for years, kind of know what I’m talking about and thought I had a clue about which supplement companies were the best. Recently I met with Mark Warnecke the founder of AM Sport nutrition and German Breaststroke Swimming legend and he really put things into perspective. The quality of one tub of Whey Protein Vs the next is not always the same, as he explained their products source only the highest quality ingredients, meaning their serving suggestions are much lower than most brands. He gave me a step by step guide as to how I could get the most out of my workouts and most importantly recover ready for the next through proper, quality sports supplementation. This isn’t a supplement lecture so I’m not going to go into how Amino’s are vital for your recovery and even injury prevention, but research supplements, speak to your trainers/coaches and include proper supplements in you daily schedule. It’s no fluke that every professional sports team out there has a supplement company to which they associate themselves with. If you are looking for a basic Supplement selection for your gym bag look no further than some Aminos, Whey Protein and if you’re wanting to up your training intensity then I would highly recommend some Beta Alanin to give you a bit of a kick. Pre and Post workout nutrition is important and vital in helping the body to recover as quickly as possible.

Sports Massage

Before we go into this, I know people will instantly be saying they can’t afford Sports Massage, and yes it can be expensive, however you don’t need to have massage every week. Go once a month, get him/her to work on the areas that cause you the most problems and ask about ways to improve your general mobility on your own using Foam Rollers, Lacrosse Balls etc. Most of our coaches get massage once per week, it helps with their recovery and reduces their risk of injury and whilst they still implement a lot of the Foam Roller and ball work to make sure they keep on top of things the massage can be slightly more specific and hit areas that they would find it hard to manipulate using the tools described.


Physiotherapy is one of those things that you might never need, or at least you hope you will never need, but the sad truth is that bodies are like cars, you can look after them as best you can and they will still break down at some point. Using a good physiotherapist will reduce the time that you are out of training and increase not only the healing time but also decrease the chances of re-injury. You don’t need to see a Physio every week, but it’s worth having a contact so that when the injury comes you can get it seen quickly.


Proper periodised programmes are few and far between and whilst at The Athlete Centre all of our programming is well periodised to get the best out of our athletes this is certainly not the case in most facilities around the country. Don’t get me wrong, you can blag your way to a reasonable physique, and make reasonable strength gains, however if you are not cycling your training, working through Strength, Hypertrophy and Endurance phases then your success will be limited. If you are a competitive athlete then your training periodization should reflect the season, meaning you peak at certain points for competition. If you aren’t a trainer then you will require help, so speak to trainers at your gym and ask them to write you a programme or if the funds are available then get some training.

In Summary

You may have noticed that RECOVERY is one of the most important things we need to get right, and that is because if we don’t recover properly then our workouts will be useless, we will get injured, sleep will suffer and the your training will go backwards. Lots of elements combined will help with your recovery, you need to research supplements, contact a Sports Massage Therapist, clean up your diet and programme for what you want to achieve.
Train Hard, but Recover Harder

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