THE PURPOSE OF TRAINING IS TO CAUSE ADAPTATION(S). This is the first and constant concept to keep in mind on your first day of training and every time you step in the gym thereafter. Success in any endeavour first requires a clear understanding of the purpose and objective of the endeavour. Once the purpose is known, you can then define the metrics (what you can measure and record) to determine success. This is the key to steady improvement.
The reason it is so important to understand the basic statement:“The Purpose of Training is to cause adaptations,” is that you need to keep your mind clear and focused in the gym, so you can stay committed to your training program. You’re not training to entertain yourself or others. You’re not going to the gym because it’s trendy and hip people are “just supposed to go.” You’re also not there to show how tough you are to others, or to prove yourself to yourself.
All of these things might and probably will happen when you’re on a good training program, but they are not the primary Purpose of working out. If you keep following a good training program and focus every session on driving adaptation(s), you will probably feel entertained and entertain others with your performance; you’ll certainly look cool (trendy), and you will look and feel tough (you really will be); in fact the best way to prove yourself to yourself is to determine a purpose and be disciplined about sticking with it. These are all positive side effects of following a rational training program with focus and dedication. These are consequences of a clear Purpose, but they are not themselves the primary purpose..
Far too often, people hit the gym without this fundamental concept in mind and end up wasting countless hours, days, weeks, months and even years in confusion as to why they never seem to see the results they desire. Without a clear understanding that every single instant of effort in the gym (or any training area) is performed only to cause adaptation(s), the amount of effort will almost always be too little (this is the case when someone is in the gym just for entertainment or to be “trendy”), or too much (this is the case when someone is using exercise on an misguided personal trial).
Optimize Your Adaptations
In order to drive adaptation(s), the magnitude of the training load should be optimal. This can apply to a single training session, day, microcycle ( a week), mesocycle ( a month/group of weeks), periods and year. Normally, it’s best for most training units to have an optimal load, but you can do a workout/day/week/month in which the load is heavy (more than optimal), which must be balanced with a unit of the same temporal size with a light (less than optimal) load. This way over time the load is always averaged to the optimal. The way this is laid out in a training program will depend on your current training stage(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced). This is why you must keep the concept in mind not only every time you hit the gym but also when laying out or choosing a training program, and when reviewing and regulating it.
The key takeaway here is that anytime you hit the gym, or even think seriously about working out, you must keep in mind that the purpose of training is to cause adaptation(s). This concept is crucial for clearing away any mental obstacles created by doubt, in the gym and staying focused over the long haul, and this is the cornerstone of success.