It’s nearly Christmas and I’m so looking forward to it! Spending time with loved ones, chilling out and enjoying some of my favourite treats including Yule log, short bread and mulled wine… yum. I can’t lie I’m a sucker for festive treats, they have sentimental value and as I’m just a big kid at heart I don’t need much persuading to indulge.
It’s pretty safe to say I often consume a few more treats this time of year, which means some days I will likely consume more calories than I normally do. I don’t see this as an issue because I simply adapt the type of training that I do as you will see in the video below where I discuss increasing conditioning based work in the gym which will include a good dose of HIIT, circuit based training, reduced rest periods and more reps. I don’t spend any longer in the gym, I don’t train anymore often I simply work at a higher rate aiming to burn more calories whilst I am in the gym.
I do this because I’m a big fan of periodisation, where you structure your training in phases focusing on a particular goal such as hypertrophy, strength or conditioning. An example might be 8 weeks hypertrophy, 8 weeks strength and 8 weeks conditioning depending on the training life of the individual and their ability level. Just as a rugby player has a training season and an off season during which they will train in a very different ways. In the off season a rugby player may focus on packing on more lean muscle, followed by increasing strength, then conditioning and skill work before tapering off a little when the season kicks off and going into a maintenance phase.
Using these examples I ensure that I structure my training so that as Christmas approaches I am well into my conditioning phase which means a higher work rate, more calories burnt and the extra treats taken care of 🙂 It’s worth noting I don’t just do conditioning once a year because I want to eat more, I’ll do at least 2-3 other conditioning phases during the year.
It’s also important to mention that I only opt for this style of training if my sleep is good, my nutrition is sound and stress levels are low. It’s essential you address these first before going all guns blazing in the gym.
This strategy allows me to enjoy a few festive treats, love my training and the waistline remains in check. Enjoy the video and let me know if you have any questions at all.