Training with Intent

INTENT. 1 a : the act or fact of intending : purpose; b : the state of mind with which an act is done

When you go to the gym and exercise/train, what is your intent? That is, what do you intend to accomplish? Do you even think about it, or do you just go to the gym and “do a bunch of stuff” and hope for the best? If so, have you thought about what you’re actually hoping for?

It’s shocking how many people in the gym never think about any of this. Working out without intent is akin to being given a destination to a town somewhere in North America that you never heard of, and told to find your way there without using a road map, gps, or any other device more complicated than asking random people for directions. Good luck finding your way. You might, but it’s not likely.

Intent can be very personal if you actually have any, but I’m going to try to break it up into a few categories; some specific and some necessarily broad and vague, in alphabetical order since importance is an individual decision:

1: Anaerobic- body building/body shaping
2: Aerobic/anaerobic-weigh loss/weight management
3: Aerobic/anaerobic-cardiovascular health
4: Aerobic-Athletic endurance performance
5: Anaerobic-Athletic performance for strength and power
6: Aerobic/Anaerobic-sports specific performance
7: Anaerobic-anti aging
8: Aerobic/Anaerobic-Health
9: Entertainment

Once you’ve chosen the intention of your exercise, you have the opportunity to make an informed choice about what kind of exercises to engage in. Want to train for the next NYC marathon?  Do you want to just finish, or are you trying to see how fast you can finish? #’s 2,3,4,6 apply to you for sure, #’s 9 and 10 might if performance isn’t an issue. Engaging in exercises that adhere to #’s 1,5,7 could prove very counter productive to your immediate goals.

In the coming weeks I’ll touch on training methodologies to best carry out each of the above categories.


My training philosophy

People always ask me what training style I follow. My answer usually perplexes them…
“I’m not a yeller”, I might say, (my spinning adherents might disagree, but that’s a different environment).
“Whatever seems to suit your needs, if it’s within me”, is another common answer I give.
Or, “observational and fact based training”.
None of these answers is satisfying for most prospective clients. That want to know what kind of “system” I adhere to.
One certifying body; NASM (national academy of sports medicine) has actually created a rigid model they expect all trainers to conform to, and all trainees to accept. They are ridiculous, and their concept is ludicrous. That’s fodder for another posting.

Nick Tumonello, a fitness educator, has posted on his blog 7 tips from Bruce Lee that will make you a better trainer. These words of wisdom from the late martial arts master cut to the chase of my philosophical beliefs when it comes to training, and most other aspects of daily life. Click this to read more.