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How to Prioritize Your Training to Get Great Results

Sep 24, 2020

Priorities

When planning my monthly training schedule, I wrote a list of my goals:

  • Rehab my elbow so that I can start training planches again.
  • Increase my handstand endurance.
  • Start doing breath training for freediving (random interest).
  • Improve my pull-up strength.
  • Train my legs at least twice a week, trying to achieve specific standards that I'm working towards.
  • Work on my hip mobility.
  • Build up my shoulder so that I can start training my one arms harder again.
  • Do cardio at least three times a week.
  • Go for a long hike every week.

I looked at this list and I wondered, how was I going to fit all of this into a training plan?

So I thought to myself,

"If I could only achieve one thing on this list this month, what would it be?"

And the answer to that question came to me immediately. Get my elbow back to a hundred percent so that I can start really working on the things that I want to be able to do.

So with this priority in mind, I created my training program that really focused on that ONE thing. And yes, I tried to incorporate many of my other goals into that plan. But the program was set up to guarantee that I did the necessary work for my elbow.

My new plan

Overview

  • Daily wrist and shoulder work
  • Limit training to 3 strength workouts/ week to maximize recovery time
  • Prioritize elbow rehab in workouts
  • Determine success based on whether I completed my elbow work

Details

A really important thing for my elbow health is to keep my wrists and shoulders working at a hundred percent. When they're not working well, my elbow has to take up the slack. So every morning while I'm drinking coffee, I do the wrist and overhead sections of my Handstand Building Blocks program. It is not a shameless plug- it really is a good program for getting healthy joints! Doing this every morning ensures that my wrists and shoulders stay strong, mobile, and stable. And this keeps my elbow happy.

Next, I prioritized recovery time after my workouts. Because so much of my training uses my arms, I made sure that I was getting enough rest between workouts so that my elbow could fully recover before the next time I trained.

Also, twice a week I do some elbow rehab work that was programmed for me by Lucas Aaron (@rangeofstrength on Instagram). In my workouts, that is my number one priority. If I only do one part of the workout, it has to be that elbow work.

After prioritizing my elbow work, I then fit as much of the rest of my goals as possible into my program.

Each week when I assess whether my training was a success, I only look at whether I completed the tasks that I needed to do for my elbow!

How to prioritize your own training

When you start putting together a training program for yourself, think about:

"What's the number one priority for me right now?"

If you are training handstands you might think that on Monday you need to train balance, on Tuesday you need to train line, on Wednesday you need to train tuck handstand, on Thursday you need to train core strength for handstand, etc.

Instead think about what your biggest goal is. What is the priority with your handstand practice? Is it to get a better line? Then spend most of your time working on that line. Is it to get better balance? Then prioritize your hand, wrist, finger work and your balance practice.

Think about what the priority is for you and plan your training around achieving that goal.

 
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