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Why New Trainees Should Start Slow - Using sun tanning as an analogy for volume

So let's say you have a trip to the Miami and you want to get as dark of a tan as you possible so don't get sun poisoning again because your too stubborn to put sunblock on like the first time you left Indiana (you in this analogy is me). So your trip is in 10 days and your pasty AF. It's time to go tan for the first time and you tan for as long as the people running the tan beds will let you go(10 min). So you come out burnt to shit and in so much pain you can't tan again for 4 days. And in that 4 days most of your skin has peeled off and you got only a little darker. So round 2 of tanning you think “only 5 days left better get it” so you go for another 10 min. Yup you come out red as shit, hurts to shower but it only last 3 days this time. Day 9 comes around less of your skin peeled off you got a decent tan this time so you go for another 10 min (total 30 min) Come out burnt once again You get to Florida and have to spend the first day inside like a loser letting your skin recover. Orrrr you could…..


(Better strategy) the first time you go tan you go for 4 min, you will get a slight burn but by the next day your skin will have recovered and adapted and now you're a little Darker, and in no pain so you can go back on day 2 and tan for 4 min again. because you already have a tan you don't burn at all but you got darker. on day 3 you up the time to 6 mins you get a very slight burn, recovery fast and are able to tan again the following day. At this point you will have a pretty good tan so you go for 10 min and only burn slightly Recover fast, and now you can handle doing 2 more 10min tanning sessions(total 50min) before your trip without burning or peeling or being in unnecessary pain and go to Miami looking like the snow birds that never came back to Indiana.


How does this relate to exercise?

This is a lesson that is lost on a lot of personal trainers or people helping in others fitness journeys. DON'T SACRIFICE YOUR NEXT 3 WORKOUTS FOR THIS ONE. What this means is don't do so much volume that you are in so much pain you can't train productively for the next 4 days. Repeat that cycle 3 times and you have only trained 3 out of 12 days . Start slow. just enough to feel like you did something the next morning. That way you can train again much sooner, One day off and your ready to train productively again. Repeat that for 12 days and you have trained 6 days out of 12. That's more workouts, more volume, more gains, and little to no pain. I understand the mentality of I wanna do as much work as possible, but it's important to only do as much productive work as possible. You have to work your way up to high volume training if you want it them be productive.


So besides just being in pain for days, over shooting your volume in the beginning both with sun tanning and weight training have another big downside. And that is that you create to much damage your body will use all its resources for recovery and not adaptation. Because your body uses the same limited resource pool for recovery and adaptation, and because recovery has to happen first if you push yourself to much to early with weight training There’s a good chance you make worse gains if any at all. Just like if you tan for to long you just peel off a layer of skin and don't really get any darker.

No one likes to do more work and go through more pain for less results


- Xylon Poynter


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