Training frequency and recover
One of the common mistakes keen trainees make when arriving on the Soi is thinking more is better. We understand you want to maximise your time here, but your training is only as good as your ability to recover from it. Remember during the workout is not when we are making progress, just creating the stimulus for progress to be made, it’s when we get outside the gym, we start the recovery progress and make the positive adaptions we’re looking for such as improved fitness, strength levels, muscle mass etc.
From a calorie burning standpoint more classes will burn more calories initially however try to look at the week as a whole not any single day, going in hard doing 3+ sessions at the start of the week will most probably be too much to recover from affecting the amount of sessions and the quality of them later in the week therefore causing less calories to be burnt over the week as a whole.
If you do want to train more than 2x per day I recommend doing some light active recovery so gentle cardio, stretching, mobility work etc. Also a few sessions a week spend doing corrective work or prehab work goes a long way here to staying niggle free and performing at your best.
Don’t underestimate how different this is going to be here vs back home!
The National Academy of Medicine recommend 2.7L for the average female and 3.7L for the average male. Remember foods such as fruits and vegetables can be high in water and contribute alongside other beverages such as herbal teas. We can Probbaly add the best part of another 1L to that daily target for every hard session we complete. Increasing the density of electrolytes in the water by adding sachets to the water can be a great tool if your struggling hitting this new higher water target. Focus on consuming plenty of greens, mushrooms, nuts seeds, oily fish such as sardines, potatoes, pumpkin, herbs and dark chocolate within your calorie and macronutrient targets in order to also be consuming adequate electrolytes from food.
Let’s use a quick case study example for this point.
Meet Dave, he’s 85kg and 20% BF. Back home he has dieted a couple of times losing 10+lbs but always gained it back. He is now about to head over here for 2 weeks and kick start the journey again. Dave knows back home he usually diets on around 2000 calories per day roughly a 500 calorie deficit for him. He trains 4x a week on average and doesn’t do many steps throughout the day with his desk job and sedentary lifestyle. Now let’s compare that to out here where he will be doing 8 classes a week and 10,000 + steps per day walking up and down the Soi from his accommodation to the gym and restaurants.
Does this sound like a familiar difference?
We could be looking at an easy 1000 if not more like 1500 calories extra per day being burnt from daily movement and exercise however most people don’t match this new higher calorie output to their intake and still aim for the same amount as they would when dieting back home. Sure consuming 2000 calories per day in this example would create a huge calorie deficit initially and lead to some speedy fat loss but just like in point 1 more is only better if you can sustain it. I see people everyday who pus through because they think they need to be more disciplined and the harder it is the more it’s working. These same people are so fatigued, hungry and stressed by the end of the week their weekends become huge blow outs with thousands and thousands of extra calories being consume for 2-3 days. Not only is this unhealthy for your relationship with food and will make things harder further down the line it normally averages out to maintenance calories or even a surplus. So you’ve just undone the last 5 days hard work where as eating more throughout the week and creating a smaller calorie deficit would set you up to sustain it through your stay here.
Please remember even 1 day can have a huge impact on your calorie intake there is nothing healthy about the ‘cheat day’ mentality.
Set goals and prioritise
Another common issue here is the lack of direction, clarity and goal setting. Most people come here knowing they want to lose roughly X pounds of get fitter but these are general and don’t set you up to maximise your time here. Instead try and set a SMARTER goal for your time here.
S – specific. Set a specific goal such as I want to drop 3kg of fat mass in 3 weeks. Not I want to lose weight.
M – measurable. How are we going to measure this and see the progression? You can’t measure ‘getting fitter’ but you can measure a 1km run time improving or your resting HR first thing in the morning and see those improve.
A – attainable. Is your goal attainable or realistic? Especially for weight loss people have unrealistic expectations. Remember weight loss and fat loss aren’t always the same thing. The scales can fluctuate so much based on a lot of variables.
R – relevant. Is what your doing relevant to your main goals? A lot of people come here and try and do everything, whilst it isn’t wrong to try new classes and learn knew skills, of course we encourage that! There is only so many sessions you can recover from. If your main goal is to maintain or even build muscle mass whilst losing some body fat you’d Probbaly find it hard to eat enough to replace 2-3 high intensity sessions per day. I see more guys come here with muscle gain goals, go home with the same or even less muscle then they started with, than go home with more.
T – time frame. Let’s work towards a date, this one should be easy here the first-time frame for most of you will be the duration of your stay.
E – evaluate. This is where most people go wrong, they never check in with themselves or a coach to see if they are making progress. You have to evaluate how everything is going, are you moving in the right direction, are you recovering, are you enjoying the plan, any issues creeping up? Set time aside every Saturday to ‘check in’ with yourself on how the week went or better yet work with a coach to help you evaluate and adjust.
R – readjust. Based on the last point we then need to adjust the approach. You Probbaly won’t get it right from week 1, to many classes, not enough food, too much food, wrong type of training etc. It’s ok! Don’t be scared to consider it wasn’t the perfect approach from the start and make the changes needed.
Spend 5 minutes now turning your goal into a SMARTER goal and let me know what you come up with. Contact details below.
Manage expectations and have an exit strategy
It’s ok to come here with big goals, we are all for helping people achieve more than they ever thought possible! However, it’s important to manage your expectations with your rate of progress going back home. Whilst here making progress and everything needed to do that is probably the most important thing to you. When you go back home your hierarchy of importance will most Probbaly change, family, friends, work etc get back into the mix and now health and fitness move’s down to maybe the 3rdor 4thmost important thing.
That’s perfectly normal just understand that as the amount of attention you give your goals decreases so will your rate of progress slightly. Losing 0.5 -1 lb per week of fat mass back home is still great work don’t be disheartened when you aren’t dropping weight or getting fitter as fast as you where here. I commonly see people go home and do this, 2-3 weeks later they message me saying they’ve given up and now in a cycle of self-sabotage because they where expecting to still make rapid progress.
Therefore, having an exit strategy for when you leave is so important. Revisit the goal setting task, look at the difference between your calories burnt daily here vs back home and change your nutrition as needed. Make yourself a training program and carry back on where you left off when arriving home.
I hope this article helped and at least 1 of these points is relevant to you, as always knowledge without application is useless so please don’t just read this and forget about it. If you aren’t sure how any of these points applies to you or how to implement them, please contact me and let’s get the most out of your stay here.
Written by coach Leo Tyson.
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