Fun Coaching fact from me, from a couple years ago:

Screenshot: "The reason people over 40 tend to respond better to shorter workouts has less to do with declining recovery/hormones and more with having way more important shit to do every day than your typical 20-something."

A tad cheeky, and sure: it’s lacking nuance. But the fact remains that after puberty the aging process is a relatively slow decline.

And yet the typical life can look completely different in a very short period of time: see any “lucky” bodybuilder who went from single at 32-35 to married with three kids by 40.

Hell, I only have one kid and in a lot of ways my life is unrecognizable.

The biggest change involved the amount of time available to dedicate to training, as well as what’s almost never talked about: the depth of mental bandwidth available for training.

Decorative. Image of cables for internet connectivity and bandwidth.

Now, I know VERY good bodybuilders who made it work single and STILL make it work with busy families, just by being mercenary with time management (and having awesome spouses).

But to do it, they all “lost” the ability (or need) to micro-manage the irrelevant noisy details.

Can’t train today, kid is sick, gotta pick him up and take care of him. Their younger self would deal with having to miss a day by spending time juggling their schedule, maybe plan to do a little extra chest this day, ya know… spread out the volume…

Current version?

Kid sick. Can’t train. This is why I take two days off a week: I’ll make it up on one of those days. The body is built to survive far worse traumas than occasionally training triceps the day before chest.

There are dozens of examples of this.

Only got 30 mins to train? Old version would be pissed off.

New version? Watch me crush chest in 20 and still have time to hammer triceps.

The further you go up the developmental ladder, the more mental bandwidth matters. Not that you need more of it. Instead, you need to be smarter about it.

First, even busy, advanced people will MAKE time to plan diet & training well. If they have hiccups, they have hiccups — no sweat, no unnecessary bandwidth wasted — but they’ve carved out some basic times for taking care of their fitness.

Yes, there certainly some high-level aspects that DEMAND a lot of thinking, but outside of peak week in bodybuilding it’s a very short list. Shorter than some might want to admit.

In many cases, most people training at a high level (i.e., going for a pro card or a modeling contract) will still off-lead that bandwidth by hiring a coach, so they’re free to focus on the doing.

Even if for the majority of people who aren’t doing this full-time, this is kind of thing is an option, since their own mental bandwidth is affected by career- and family-related commitments. Indeed, this is why most of my clients contact me.

But the larger point is, even if you’re single, you have high-level standards or aspirations AND you still prefer to coach yourself, I would still take a good hard look at the mental bandwidth you dedicate to a lot of the little things you do every day.

I get it, for a lot of folks all the complexity keeps them engaged and bought into executing the plan.

That does have value.

But if deep down it feels like minutiae, even when you’re young and single, then it probably is — and you’re probably better off not thinking about it or even skipping it entirely.

Cause for 90% of recreational lifters, when life changes — or “worse” — kids arrive, your days of asking/arguing/ask-holing on the internet about 1,001 bullshit topics are basically over and you will suddenly just need to GET WHAT MATTERS DONE.

Punch the clock.

– Coach Bryan