For Fitness & Performance Goals Avoid the Peaks and Valleys

Hi there: If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time you’re aware that I’m all about providing you with the best return on investment. I want you to realize the best results with minimal investment in time, finances, sweat or any other sacrifice you may have to make. But this isn’t about seeking out the ‘magic bullet’ so no hard work has to be done ever again. Instead it’s about finding ways to get in sync with your body and its environment so every effort results in forward momentum.

And along the lines of forward effort and forward momentum there are times when we may slip back slightly. Think of the progress you make as the peaks you climb and the setbacks as being the valleys you fall into.

Now here’s the trick.

You don’t want your peaks to be too steep or your valleys too low. Notice I referred to the peaks in terms of steepness rather than height. I’ll explain more about why height may be more crucial than steepness in a moment. But first consider the following.

If you think of the expressions we have for when things are working well for us we refer to ‘smooth sailing’ or ‘everything is on track’. On the other hand when we are having troubles we consider this a ‘shipwreck’ or ‘off the tracks’.

Let’s look at how your rest, nutrition and training apply to the concept of peaks and valleys.

Rest – We know that the body needs around 8 hours of sleep a night. And if we deviate up or down from this number significantly we run into problems. For example we can’t stay in bed for days on end to make up a sleep debt. And we can’t get by with 5 hours a night thinking we’re fine. We need to be consistent with our rest and get 8 hours each and every night.

Nutrition – We know the body requires a certain amount of calories to function. And we create problems when we try and go without the required energy or try and supply it all at once. Small, frequent meals spread evenly throughout the day is the only option.

Training – The body will respond to physical stimuli. Too much stimuli and the body responds accordingly with stiffness, soreness and restricted movement. Too little or infrequent stimuli and the body loses some of its abilities i.e. strength, power, fitness.

With everything we do we need to understand what is the threshold for our bodies. Mine might be a little different from yours.

I know I need 8 hours a sleep a night. And my sleep quality is better the more hours I get before midnight.

My body burns upwards of 4000 calories a day so I know what I need to supply it with calorie-wise to meet my goals.

And I know what type, frequency and intensityof training works best for my body.

Once you know the thresholds for your body you will be able to realize the best results minimal efforts. You will be able to flatten out the mountain and valleys and have smooth sailing towards your health, fitness and performance goals.

Sometimes we end up in a valley and forward progress is delayed.  What are your valleys? And what causes you to fall into them? Tell me and I’ll provide solutions to them in a future post.

Your coach,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                    ‘always moving forward’

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7 Responses to For Fitness & Performance Goals Avoid the Peaks and Valleys

  1. Anny says:

    Very thought provoking and a great reminder for all things in life!

    Thanks Chris,
    See you Soon!

  2. Sandra says:

    Hey Chris,

    Might be a good time to address this particular ‘valley’ in regards to coming off of being ill with flu and integrating work outs back into daily life.



  3. Gretchen says:

    I agree with Anny, thought provoking. I thought I had a balanced approach to my health and yet I recently learned a big lesson. The Bodybugg system that I have been trying for the past week illustrates that I over estimate the calories I eat and underestimate the calories I burn. For example, on wednesday I ate 1262 calories and burned 2296, a deficit of 1034 calories. This is not good. This results in dwindling performance and binging on non-optimal food cause I’m starving. Always learning! Thanks so much!

  4. Dave says:

    I felt the effects of 2 of the factors you mentioned, lack of sleep and lack of proper nutrition. I played hockey last week and decided to join some of the guys after the game for a late night snack. I didn’t make it to bed untill 1:00 ish and probably didn’t fall asleep till 2:00. I ended up with about 5 1/2 hours of sleep, and although I haven’t had a drink in 8 years, I felt like I was hungover from the lack of sleep and was a write off for the rest of the day.

    I felt the effects of poor nutrition this past week and a half as well. Things got very hectic with work and instead of taking time for myself and eating properly, I resorted to quick, empty calorie meals to “get me by”. Huge mistake, I had zero energy, was crashing by mid afternoon, and just felt horribly overall.

    A couple of reminders of what my body does and does not need. Time to get redialed in.

    • Chris says:

      Dave: Thanks for the feedback. Last week is in the past. Get prepared ahead of time with some quality meals to go for when you get busy. Think quality and timing instead of convenience for your nutrition. Put your efforts where your recognize your weaklinks are to make the strongest gains.

      Chris ‘always moving forward’

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