These are the four words that I, the Training Geek, have learnt to live by.
These are also the four words that I will continue to remind myself with each and every situation I am put in daily and this is how you can apply it to your daily training.
To cope is to "face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner" (as defined by Dictionary.com).
In training, we face many challenges and struggles both physically and mentally. The program may seem too daunting, you may not have the drive to push through your session or you feel sore and lazy to even start your session. Most of the time, the issue is that training is not pritoritised as much and is seen as something that can be substituted.
So in this sense, to cope is to put training as one of your priorities. Putting it into your schedule no matter how tight it is, having it on your mind despite the countless thoughts that you already have. How tough it gets, if you prioritise training as one of the important activities in your life, no session would be too daunting, no session would be too tough, and you will not find any excuse not to train because you have learnt to cope with it being part of what you do daily and you just go get it done.
When you are put in a situation where you can't do what you usually do, you have to learn to do things under the new circumstances. In training, this could be in the form of a new program, or simply just a different environment that you train in (e.g. travelling or different gym). Working under the new circumstances, you have to adapt to still be able to maintain the intensity of your training.
Look to understand the movements you need to perform. By thinking of the movements instead of specifically the exercise, you can easily adapt based on the type of equipment you have available. For example, if you are travelling and you do not bring any equipment along with you, you can focus on using full body movements with bodyweight resistance. Or if at a gym, you do not have dumbbells available, switch to using barbells but with the same movement. Variation gives your body a different stimulus and allows it to handle different forms of stresses more effectively.
Perseverance is the act of persisting through what you have set out to do despite of the struggles and difficulties you face. (Somehow, everytime we train, we seem to experience that don't we?)
The training session might be tough. But you gotta tell yourself one more rep each time, or one more minute each time. Break the session down and pace yourself. That is how you push through a tough workout! Take each set, each rep as it comes. Another aspect is looking at your entire program. Feel like you are not getting the results now? Training does not give you the desired effects straight away. You only recover and get stronger when you recover. You are only able to notice the differences after a consistent period of doing the program. You are not going to see the adaptations overnight. So be patient and persevere through the program to see the benefits of it at the end of the day.
This word refers to the fight or flight reflex in our body. When we are put under a high level of stress, there are normally two pathways taken by the systems in our bodies: Fight or Flight.
Flight simply means taking off and avoiding the stress. This means giving in or giving up due to the sheer amount of stress you are placed in. A breakdown of your body or shutting down of a certain part of your body. Fight refers to the body putting up a resistance against the stress no matter how much it is and pushing through the pressure it is put in.
Through a program, we always get increasing amounts of intensity to allow us to have training adaptations. When we really struggle to get the last rep or push a new weight in the program, we need to have some fight in us and get the training down and not give up that rep or that set. By putting up a fight and finally being able to get the weight lifted and the training done, then we are able to progress and see improvements in our training. If we do not fight and just give up, we will not get anywhere with our training.
So, this is briefly how I relate these four words in training. Same way as you progress through a new program, getting a new program, you cope with it because it's something new and you are getting new variations of stress on your body. Then you learn to adapt and start getting used to the movements. The next step is to push through the program and keep going at it by persevering and knowing that you will see the adaptations you want at the end of it. And lastly, when you finally reach a point when it starts breaking you down, you fight against giving up the program and eventually see the improvements you made from it.
There's a whole other meaning to the four words in relation to my personal life but that is another post for another time.
Stay Strong and Keep Training,
The Training Geek.