Too much water kills the plant: Rule 1.

November 22, 2012

Christiano Ronaldo is the influence behind Narnia training rule 1.  Ronaldo has one of the fittest bodies in the business. This is a man who is in touch with his body. This is a man who knows all about Narnia training. He never get’s injured. His performance is always high. Not too mention he has the kind of body behind a smart exercise program. In a nutshell he looks and feels damn fit. His results show that spectacularly. While a player with Manchester United, he was training with his team mate Gary Neville during a particular intensive sprint session. In the session, Ronaldo absolutely gave it in 5 of the sprints and then chilled out for the remainder. Gary Neville, a true red and lad known to give 110% shouted at Ronaldo asking him to try harder. But Ronaldo quite wisely replied “too much water kills the plant.” This is rule 1 of Narnia training. Do not over do.

Too much water kills the plant. Unfortunately, for many, when working out it’s all about more. The biggest mistake I see with training is over doing. The training of over doing starts young. For instance, last night I was watching a conditioning session with 9 & 10 years olds. It started off well. The kids looked sharp, enthused and the quality was there. However, the coaches kept the session going. And going. Soon these same kids who looked sharp and athletic and sporty, now looked sluggish, and slow and not very athletic. The session went far too long. Sure the kids kept going, but the only reason they could keep going was the training intensity diminished and only this diminished intensity allowed the athletes to keep going. Whatever goal the coaches had at the beginning was lost as soon as they pushed past the point when quality dropped. In other words the coaches had killed their plants.

To enter Narnia training you must do the opposite. You go hard with great technique and intention(give the plant some water) and when you feel it is time, you stop.

If you are exercising regularly and find results are not happening the way you want: it might be a good time to take stock. Maybe you should reduce training output in favor of training quality. Concentrate on the exercise technique instead of just going haphazardly through the motions so you can do more. If you are a coach, maybe you should you learn to say enough, instead of kill or continue.

One of the myths to achieve a great physique is you have to brutalize your body with hard core death routines. This is indeed a super myth. Instead, you just have to be smart. For instance, in your next upper body workout instead of rushing through the session do the most controlled tempo/ heaviest bench press you can absolutely do. As part of this lifting program do 12 of the highest quality chin ups and feel satisfied. Then stop. Don’t do more. Don’t do multiple sets of 10 with continued diminished quality. Just do 4 sets of 3 with the best form and power output possible. If you have the ability to do 10 consecutive chins with multiple sets, instead wear a weight belt and load up. However, make those 4 sets of 3 count. Slow down and emphasize technique over just completing and moving on. If you are in a running session, warm up & complete the fastest sprints possible and when your pace begins to slow down:stop. Or wear a heart rate monitor and do not start the next interval until you are properly recovered. Try to run faster, not longer. You would be surprised how many times advice like this get’s ignored. Many clients just don’t believe it because over the years (sometimes starting when they were kids) exercisers have been conditioned into the 50 shades of grey mentality of pain = results. And if it’s rushed pain even better. This is a shame because there is another easier truism out there. By living the training philosophy of ‘too much water kills the plants’ an individual will achieve the best body, feel the best, move great,have minimal injuries, diminish cravings, and look athletically good.

Any doubts, just look at Ronaldo.