A big reason “flexible dieting” is so popular is that it dramatically reduces stress.
All food is now suddenly fair game.
More importantly, from a practicality and sustainability perspective, on-the-fly changes, travel modifications, and restaurant meals become SO much easier—just as long as you “crunch the numbers.”
It seems a little wiggle room makes things easier in the real world, eh?
But did you know you can have the same flexibility with your programming?
Here are just a few examples I use with clients:
* SCHEDULE FLEXIBILITY
You don’t have to stick to a Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri or whatever weekly split like it’s set in stone. Simply getting in the required number of sessions is the priority.
And yes, you can train chest the day after training triceps. It ain’t ideal, but such is life. Just get the workout in and return to the proper schedule next week.
* STIMULUS FLEXIBILITY
Some days, you show up and really don’t have it. Yes, you could go home and try again tomorrow. But having an alternate workout is a good idea.
For example, you can have high-intensity/low-volume and low-intensity/high-volume workouts. Then, when you’re feeling tired or mentally “not there,” you can switch to the higher volume workout and tackle the heavier weights next session.
The key is ensuring that BOTH sets of workouts have progressions built-in so you can keep inching toward progress.
* EXERCISE FLEXIBILITY
I’m a staunch advocate of exercise variety for development and injury prevention—just not in the same training block. i.e. It’s better to stick with the same lifts for 12-16 weeks and focus on making meaningful progress.
But in a commercial gym, you can’t always do what you want, WHEN you want—especially when there is only ONE of something, like a RACK.
For example, if your program calls for squats and the line of people waiting to curl is out the door, don’t feel “bad” about subbing squats for leg-press or hacks. The key is having logical/functional alternatives that you still TRACK and PROGRESS session-to-session.
Remember, stress is the killer of progress in and out of the gym.
Manage it, or it will manage you.
– Coach Bryan