Never train yourself tired! My 70% rule.
This isn't a rule as such but just the name I give this training method, it isn't for everyone, sometimes it doesn't even suit myself, I’m always having to tell myself this is what's better for the long run, and that’s what I want to be in this for! That said: I would always encourage everyone to try and be better than myself so if you can follow this method and it works for you all the time and benefits your long run consistently, that’s what it's all about!
The simple idea of the 70% rule goes down to simple mathematics of training overtime, let's just say we train two hours per day, 4 four days in a row and the normal method we tend to use in training is we give it our 100% every single day, if that is even possible? We all know: probably not. What usually would happen is if you go 100% one day, the next day you won’t be able to hit 50% as your body would be burnt out and the day after that it would be 25%, resulting the final day you are probably going to need to take a rest day rest. The math would result in 175%, over 8 hours over 4 days.
Whereas, by changing your training method to use the 70% rule - in which we also train two hours per day, 4 days a week, but with a quite simple change, now we only give each session 70%, this way we don’t ever finish a session completely burnt out, from my experience training this way you can always train the next day, being able to give 70%, again, and again, and again.
Let's do the math for that: 2 hours a day, four days in a row, with each day giving 70%. Over the same period of time, you would get a 280% output; which is clearly much more than the ‘giving it your all’ method most of us train by.
I understand that we feel we gain more from giving our all; there's just something about pushing for our limits that motivates us to break past them! That method works but, giving our all also depletes us, especial when done over time and that is why it is sometimes it's better to be smart with our training, save our bodies to focus on consistency and longer-term progression.
This isn't to say: you don't ever need to know how giving 100% feels, we need that to, without feeling and understanding what 100% is, it's hard to judge what 70% would be. Judging 70% is also a skill that needs to be developed and something that can only be developed through practise and comparison to that 100%.
I find it's also very important to know what 100% is like for when you actually need to perform it, be that a show, competition, etc... This is why I propose: when using this 70% method, you set one day a week with focus on giving that day's training session your all, 100%, leave everything on the floor, leave that session needing a rest day and grant yourself just that, take a rest day the next day and for all your other training sessions that week, aim to use the 70% method.
Doing this would not only reduce injury risks as you won't be pushing your limits constantly and it is usually on the edge of your limits that dangers is at its highest, but it also, and more importantly maximises the amount of time you can train, you work for more hours at a consistent rate, beating the burn out all in method; and finally: it's obvious but doing which ultimately increases your potential to increase your overall performance over time.
I know from experience, this training method can be a little difficult to stick to as there is a beauty and addictive quality in the “giving our all method”, our want to achieve more is always tricking us into believing it is the quick and easy path to everything we want but if you do have a strong mindset and are willing to plan your training sessions correctly sticking to what seems the long road may: get you to your destination more safely and quickly, using the 70% method - I know it seems crazy but through this method it is possible to increase our performance through what seems like working less, but at a more consistent and efficient rate, all we have to do is understand the math, trust the process and stick to the plan.
For me the most beneficial thing I have found from this using this method is that: that 2-hour session is used in my example can actually be pushed and pushed so much, I personally can keep up giving 70% for 3 to 4 hours per session whilst not slowing down or feeling weaker throughout. And then additionally I add this method to a split session training program: where I train multiple times per day, each day – training in the morning, midday and then evening, taking important rest periods between each session. Giving 70% multiple times for increased hours per day over split sessions, most of the time totalling around 6-9 hours of consistent and efficient training per day getting the results of that 70% input per hour as my outcome without ever feeling like my body is being burnt out as each day passes, recovering well each day overnight – I do put a little focus into my nutrition and recovery methods (sauna, ice baths, massages, etc) to make this possible. It has taken me a long time to build myself and my body up to this stage of my training and that’s why I wouldn’t recommend people to jump into taking on this kind of training within an instant – these things need to take time to build up and through building up to it anything will be possible.
I would say it is a necessity to eat optimally for recovery, eating well and supplementing well each day to maximise our bodies repair throughout the night and I would suggest this to be of equal importance with any training method you use. That said I am not going into any detail or talk about diets, supplements, etc as I am always learning that myself but I can say that there is so much information out there for all those who are willing to put in the time: you can find some much research and scientifically backed methods out there regarding this and that do it safely, there's even things out there to help whilst sticking to most dietary requirements or food preferences each of us may have.
I hope this blog has helped!
Photo credit: Paul Hornsby
About the Writer:
Tommy Boost is a Professional Breakdancer, Executive Dance Coach and Dance Industry Consultant from Wales, UK. He wrote the book 'Dancing with purpose - a guide to finding purpose through dance' that will be releasing early 2022.
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