You Need To Know The Difference Between Game Day and Training Day!

Game Day vs. Training Day

What’s the difference?

  • Game day is when you put yourself to the test.  You find out what you’re made of by performing at your absolute highest level of output.  This could be sport related.  Relative to CF, Game Day could be a benchmark workout or maxout day.  If you are competitive then it is competition day.  
  • Training Day is what we do to prepare for Game Day.  Moreover, it is what we do to maintain optimum health.  It is what we do to achieve our goals.  

It is important not to confuse these two.  

Performing a 1 rep max on the back squat is NOT an effective training method.  The damage done to the CNS and muscular system surpasses the body’s ability to recover quick enough for a positive adaptation.  

So if it breaks us down that much, what is it good for and why would we do it?  Though it is not an effective training day, it is an excellent metric for maximum strength.  It is a quantifiable measurement in work capacity within the strength domain.  Furthermore, it gives us percentages to use that allow us to program accurate intensities.  This makes for effective training, thus providing great potential for improved performance when the next test day arrives.  The 1 rep max is game day.

Our bodies fluctuate between catabolic (breaking down)  and anabolic states (building up).  Exercising (stress) slightly tears muscle fibers and breaks us down putting our system in a catabolic state.  These physiological responses to stress placed on the body require rest and replenishment through proper nutrition in order to transition into the anabolic state.  Once that is achieved our bodies repair themselves and come back stronger.      

How can you tell if you are in a constant catabolic state:

  • Chronic soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of strength

Confusing game day for training day is a surefire way to halt progress and may even send you on a backward trajectory.  If you are not allowing your body to positively respond to stress, your body will constantly play catch up.   

This belief seems reasonable; if something is good for me then more of it is better. This is a logical fallacy.  In some cases, more is damaging.  In others, more is just more.  No better, no worse.  Yes, of course occasionally you need more.

5 Ways to ensure recovery

  1. Sleep 6-8 hours
  2. Take rest days
  3. Eat anti inflammatory foods
  4. Hydrate
  5. Consume adequate amounts of protein, vegetables, and low GI carbs

In the Gym training  tips to maximize overall fitness and prevent overtraining 

  1. Warm-up and cool down with some stretches.  
  2. Do not exceed the programmed %. Remember: more does not = better.  These percentages are there for a reason.  They keep us at a high enough intensity to make gains but lower than max effort.  
  3. If you reach failure on a lift, stop. The percentages will not always toe the line perfectly.  In which case, just bail on the lift.  Prevent going to failure as much as possible.  If you hit failure once in a while, no big deal.  So long as you are not training in this fashion day after day.  
  4. Prioritize moving well before moving fast/heavy.  This is the most important performance and injury prevention advise their is.  Own this motto.  Live it.  Take pride in how well you are moving before slapping on the pounds and hitting the nitrous.  With compromised movement patterns and balls to the wall speed, your risk of injury is tenfold and your potential ceiling is much lower than it should be.  Simply put; do not go for speed at the expense of form.  

Above all, keep a clear mind on what is most important now.  As unseemly as it may seem, taking extra time to doing things correctly is the fastest most effecient path to results.

Train safe and get those PRs!
Keys to remember

*more does not = better

*avoid going to failure

*maxing out is a great measurement of strength, not a great training method.  Don’t go at it like that every day

*listen to your body for recovery

*prioritize  proficiency over intensity.  “move well then fast/heavy”