I came across the 7 P’s during my very short time in training with the Territorial Army and I feel that the ethos of the “7 P’s” rings particularly true when it comes to physical training. First up let’s be clear about the meaning of the 7 P’s so that everyone is singing from the same song sheet;
“Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”
It’s both fun to say and rings very true when applied to physical training. The following short read will attempt to convince you why both planning AND recording your workouts are, in my opinion, nearly essential to your training progress. Think of it as your training diary. Diaries are basically the next (apparently) feminine item to be manned up (most recently it would seem that man bags and Crocs have become acceptable. As far as I’m concerned, Crocs can get lost!)
First of all it is important that you realise that your training diary doesn’t need to be neat and tidy and categorised. My training diary is a beaten up book with nothing more than list after list of exercises and numbers that correlate to reps, sets and weights. This means it requires a lot of flicking through to compare workouts against each other but it serves the primary purpose of the training diary; I have eliminated guess work from my routines. I no longer finish a bench press set and sit up to wonder whether or not I am getting stronger because I can simply look back to my last workout and compare. If I’ve done more reps/ sets/ weight than before then I am definitely, one hundred percent improving. If not then I know that I am becoming stagnant and then can adopt strategies to combat this, whether it be my training approach or I just get my spotter to refuse to help me so I have to lift the weight, lest I be crushed beneath its mighty load.
Now if you’re the type of person who is organised or loves databases. You can organise your training diary so that similar workouts/ exercises are easily compared to save the faffing around. But the important thing is to record your workouts.
Second we shall look at forward planning. Now in my opinion this is very useful but seldom works out the way you want it too. Ideally, you hit the gym with a plan. You know your exercises, the order in which they are to be executed, the rest periods you will take, the weights you will lift and how many people you will judge along the way for squatting like a retard (on this particular statistic I aim for the high “teens” per workout.) In reality very few of us can adhere to this for many valid reasons. Limited equipment is probably the biggest culprit here with a close second from “too many retards squatting badly.” However, this does not negate the facts that in an ideal training world you would know what you were doing before you got to the gym. Get in, smash it and leave. Professional athletes use a method known as Periodisation. They will have their workouts planned MONTHS in advance but for us mere mortals just planning to improve on a previous workout is enough!
Thirdly we will address “training rage” and “training blues.” We all have these days. Days where you have “training rage” are those days you hit the gym and leave the old you looking like a little bitch, you smash personal bests, require almost no rest, dominate those around you and look sexy as Hell! Then there are the “training blues”. On these days your normal warm up weight is your new One Rep Max, you can’t get going for the whole time you’re in the gym and deliberately dropping the bench press on your own throat just to cut the session short becomes a very viable option. I would encourage you to record your mood/energy level when you train. Personally I draw little faces on pages to indicate my training mood but whatever works for you is fine “=)” <<< check it!
So we wrap up this article with an observation on my part. Since requesting that all of my clients keep training diaries I have seen monumental improvement in their physical testing and their body shape. Some still don’t keep diaries and I promise you that they progress slower than the ones that do. I’ve recently had a female training partner (who has been active in the fitness industry for many years) complete her first pull up just 2 months ago and now we are up to 3 sets of four. She gone from years of trying to complete one pull up, with no structure based around her goal, to suddenly having complete reps for sets! WIN! That is my final point. Remember to structure your training around your goals. (Read my previous article “Training with Conviction” for tips on this)
So get your man diary, put it in your man bag and hit the man temple….. (replace “man” with “girl” if you are the fairer species)
……….And remember, Crocs can get lost!