There’s still a place for cardio. It goes without saying strength training is vital for a stronger, more resilient body, but cardio is also important. I’m into energy system development (ESD) – a form of cardio training that focuses on improving the body’s three main energy systems. This type of training will enable you to work more efficiently, recover quicker and ultimately handle more volume. A simple way to build ESD into your workouts is to add them into the end of your session as a finisher or accessory cardio block of work. It can also be useful to establish your baseline levels for various energy systems, so you have something to improve on. Determine your fitness goals and identify which energy systems you want to target. For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you’ll want to focus on your aerobic energy system, while to build explosive strength and endurance, include high-intensity training or sprinting.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Nail the basics – learn how to squat, hinge, push, pull and control your core properly – and then overload through reps, load and time under tension. Aim to ensure the last few reps are always a challenge. When it gets easy, add more reps, load or volume. So many guys forget about nailing the basics and end up trying to build from an unstable foundation.
We can all benefit from eating more protein. Most clients I see undereat protein. If you want to look and feel better, eat more protein. Aim to have a protein source with every meal and watch how your recovery, appetite and body composition improve. As well as helping the body build and repair tissue, protein assists in energy metabolism and cellular processes. It’s also used as important building blocks of bones, blood, skin, cartilage and muscles. We can all benefit from upping our nutrient intake, too. I encourage my clients – and myself – to eat as much quality food as possible, with as many nutrients as possible, while meeting their body composition targets.