Welcome to an insightful episode where I, Turo Virta, dive deep into the world of smart training with a focus on periodization and adapting your workouts for optimal health and performance. After a personal health revelation post-COVID-19, discovering an enlarged heart, I was propelled to reevaluate and adapt my fitness journey. This episode is all about sharing those adaptations and guiding you through setting realistic, performance-based fitness goals.
In This Episode:
I share my expertise and personal experiences, offering tips, anecdotes, and encouragement to help you train smarter, not harder, as we head into 2024. Let's make this year about focused improvements, healthful adaptations, and enjoying the journey of fitness together!
Hello recording in progress Hey and welcome to this fit fitness podcast. Today's episode I'm talking about how to train smarter, not necessarily harder and how to create your workout program with periodization. So, this is some topic what most of the people are really struggling even. You might think that you know how to train or what you should be doing and you have goals like getting stronger, you go to the gym, and that you want to improve your endurance or cardio and at the same time, you might have some other goals what you're working towards, and, and even you know what you should be doing, do in order to reach all those goals. You are not necessarily following periodization and using this, these principles in your workout program and, and today, what I'm talking is how to actually make it make your progress faster in long term, and a little bit when and how to use periodization. So this is some topic one I really have to have to top it's close to my heart as in my personal fitness and health journey I had to have in recording this episode I had been days ago I had a visit with my cardiologist and unfortunately, I have found that I have my our ties enlarged. And that was something what what they found after COVID Most visiting cardiologist after having COVID And they found that my heart is enlarged and that is something like that. First of all, I've obviously it was a big soak in the beginning, but it's still it's not too big or too dangerous at the moment, but it's something to be aware and to be honest, I was in thirst that's like over two years, two years ago when I first got that diagnosis, and now I haven't been I have been it has been in my like kind of in my mind, but I haven't been adjusting my workout programs up to today. And now I feel that I have to do it because unfortunately my my hours have enlarged even more within past 1314 months. So so now it's time to take action. And first of all, even it's a big soak. I feel like that why this has to happen for me. But on the other side. I'm very grateful to know to be aware about this condition and when you can still do something about it and that is with everything basically like that was a I was talking with my family members and they said do you really want to know about those things? And so of course I want to know like, it's not like that we there is barely nobody who is perfect who have everything left no issues at all. Like if you are not aware of these things, you have no idea and this is like in this situation if you don't know what it means. It means just basically that my art is little bit enlarged. And there's a risk that at some point, maybe even at an early age like 5560 you get a heart attack, and that's going to be mortal. So it's very scary to think that if I have made the 1520 years left and then it's it's you get targeted back and without basically recognizing anything and it says that you are gone and now now this make me to make assessments for my own workout program. So what it means this my condition means that basically, I need to avoid everything what makes your our picker or increasing my blood pressure. And for example, exercises like all like kind of isometric exercises where you have to hold your credit for longer for example with the weights, all heavy weights when you if I if I do some heavy squats or deadlifts or something where I have to hold my breath to be able to use heavier weights those I have to avoid or exercises like planks or pushing towards and holding your breath at the same time. So those are all exercises, what you should be avoiding and obviously if you and I talked with the doctor it's all about all kind of weight training, but that if you understand the principle it's it's basically all heavier weights. It's not that was I feel that I'm at the moment I'm not able to I can't like strength training after starting it. Two and a half years ago I feel better than ever. And now when somebody's telling that I have to stop it. It feels it feels it's such a big thing. And I was like that. First how I saw how I reacted it was kind of like okay, now I'm not going to do any strength training. And now I'm kind of thinking like that I have to access what I'm able to do and at the moment it means that still some form of resistance training so kind of like do not make exercises so you keep going so you don't need to hold your breath means using lower weights using pants using suspension trainer, that kind of libraries that not necessary to hold your breath for too long. So it's kind of like all kinds of cardio activities like swimming, walking, running, that kind of stuff. It's only doing good as you still train your heart, but avoid all kinds of light which says which exercises or movements which you have to hold your breath. So when your art is getting bigger and with this condition, I have to access my own workout program unfortunately will wake it but this is something that you know, you can always do something or focus on something and observe I'm going to incorporate incorporate more like an mobility movements, which are at this age and during 42 When this episode is coming out in couple of days, so so it's it's like I talked with my mom and doctors that you know, I'm not 20 anymore, so I have to be really careful what I'm doing even I still feel as like a 20s or even better actually, when I was in 20s But now it's time to make assessments. For my own workout program. But even you have to make some adjustments when based on your age or health conditions. It doesn't mean that you can't do anything even like I said, even for me that was the first thought do that. Now I can't do it. So I just don't do anything or or I do something just what is relatively easy. But that's not the case because there are so many things what you can still affect what you can do. And it's just basically all about accessing your your program. So in the next few minutes I'm going to talk not anymore about my own things, but how you can actually improve your workouts how to get actually results by working smarter and not harder. So understanding that when you are creating your own workout or setting your workout goals, says that think what is your what is in designed workout program you have whatever your goal is like for most people, it's getting stronger or maintaining muscle mass, maybe removing pain if you have back pain or increasing mobility and that for other ones it says that improving their endurance cardio and heart health as that is important too. But even those are all great goals and you're going to exceed them in a long period of time. If you try to do everything at the same time, you are not going to see as rapid results as you would focus on solely on one thing at a time and then doing it like that. If you do two months focusing on cardio, two months for strength, two months for mobility, or two months for something else. So in this way you can get kind of all results within let's say six to 12 months from now is that if you try to do everything at the same time, and you end up Steve probably getting some kind of progress, but progress would be a lot faster if you just focus on one thing at a time and to get started later if you are completely beginner like that you haven't had you haven't been working out for months or years or you have never worked out in your life. Then it basically this all doesn't matter because when you are new in this way that when you when you start to something new, you start to doing something new, it's everything is new kind of thing for your body, your body is going to go in to improve if you want to lose fat. You want to improve your strength improve your cardio, it doesn't matter for for example for workouts what most people what I've seen from so many that you start to simply following some YouTube workouts from some influencer and you start to feel immediately a lot better. And this is something like that. That because it basically in the beginning it doesn't matter. Whatever you are doing, it's going to be a new theme for your body. And you are going to see big improvements how you are going to feel you are getting stronger. But then more experienced you have like let's say that usually those kinds of new begins, how they call in fitness language. They are like maybe six, nine months from the beginning. And after that you have to start using more of these kinds of periodization what I'm talking about this in this episode, so to get to be able to exceed those results also in long term because and this is this is one of the hardest things to understand for someone who is let's say that you pick up some YouTube influencer doing workouts their daily workouts 50 minutes you see amazing results you start to feel better. And then at some point, it says that you are doing the same things over and over again but you don't see any more deathmatch results like in the beginning and then then you are you fell in love for that your influencer, those workouts what you have been doing. But then when coach or someone is trying to convince you that probably that's not the best way or you could be doing burping so much smarter. It's very hard to understand and accept the fact that okay, now I'm in a face that that this all I need to make you need to make some assessments. And and that is just keep in mind that if you are in situation that you have been doing something for, let's say six to nine months and now your kind of progress have plateaued and there is a couple of reasons why that might have happened if it's for example, those influenza workouts they are not designed for you they are made for masses and for most of them are just simply for beginners or even broke. Out might say video that it's an advanced workout, but if they are not following some principles what we are going to talk in this episode and it says that, you know often like I was guilty with this when I was younger post to just posting some random workouts and you know they get attention they get lot of news you get more attention as a coach in different social platforms and then you know you can sell your CD programs or or I hope my programs haven't been CD for sure they haven't been as good as they are now. As as when I look back when I when I started my coaching business eight nine years ago when I look programs what I have wrote in the beginning I'm looking now like holy shit what what I have done and so this is how how you are all the time improving and if you are goals are doing and if you don't if you never looked back your programming, what you have been assigning for your blind, you have never improved or you don't find anything to improve. Probably you are not doing it well or you should probably start to look something else because there's always like some new things when you try with real people. You learn something new, you need to access your programs what you assigned to your appliance to so this now, if you talk a little bit about periodization like like I said that if you are beginner matter that months, so don't worry about it too much. Just get started. Focus on being consistent, finding ways what you enjoy, but if you are in a phase that you are not completely beginner anymore, and you hadn't seen as quick results as in the beginning then this periodization will make a massive difference. So I set those goals like improving cardio, doing like they are all very important. But don't try to do them. Like I said, do it. rather focus on like, let's say maintaining your cardio, improving only I'm getting stronger for two to three months. Then next week, next three months, two to three months. Focus on improving your cardio and only maintaining your strength or you could put focus on mobility because that is something like you could be basically mobility stuff. It's something that most people don't even know about, but especially older you get it's like kind of the joint mobility what what makes you then feel better you are able to use higher or greater range of motion and older you are getting those are that stuff is everything what is preventing you to having some joint pain like knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, that kind of stuff. And if you are not doing mobility, you are missing something. So this is something and mobility is something that you don't need to necessarily focus on hours per week, but it's just the things what you would be doing for example, as part of your warm up cooldown, as mobility is something that you you need to do often, but not necessarily long in a in a single workout. So So mobility is something that that is it's very easy for your buddy so that you can do basically it doesn't matter how hard your workout was mobility you can do always. But now let's talk about strength versus cardio. So, so if you didn't get like if you want to improve both, but if you let's say that if you think that what you are trying to tell to your body, when you try to improve your cardio or your endurance, you are you're you're telling to your body to become basically more efficient, so efficient, meaning meaning like that you are going to run faster. And using the like if you think like for example running running is is a great exercise but if you start doing it like you go for let's say you start your brand new, you are going for five kilometers for an evening for 30 minutes. And then in the beginning it's very very hard for your body you are barely able to make it might be sore, but if you keep up the same thing like that you keep going for five kilometers 30 minutes, it becomes easier so your body becomes more efficient. So you have to do always something more so either you go for longer, you run for faster, so your body becomes more efficient and to becoming more efficient. It's it's very hard to build muscle at the same time. So even like I said, In the beginning, it's very possible but the longer you do it, if you try to do like improving your strength, it makes a difference even it's not a big difference, but it's the idea idea that how when you when you try to build your muscle like when you try to build muscle, it means that you are getting stronger and you have you are building muscle and if you cardio is kind of opposite a different totally difference in them than then strength training. So those are kind of a little bit away from another if you try to do them at the same time. So I rather like I'm telling that you can't do if you want to focus on getting stronger that you can't do any cardio. That is that is not true, but but just doing kind of equal amounts of everything. All the time. You aren't going to see you're not going to see as fast results as you would focus on on everything like putting focus on like cardio and maintenance strength on like your main goal or opposite. So this is this is one thing about periodization and for example, if focus is on cardio, I had episodes about how to improve your cardio like what I what is the most effective way to improving your cardio is simply don't do cardio so you are doing you are it's for example for me don't do cardio is rapid walking, and then like at 85 Proceed to do cardio and then dress the 10 to 50 Proceed are going to be like kind of zone for cardio, which is very already hard for your body. It's kind of like interval training, where you are getting out of breath and you feel like you can't do it for long so it doesn't matter basically how you do it. You could be doing it with running you could be doing it with bike, whatever form you actually enjoy, but that's four principles. And then like for example main strength maintenance, you don't need to do a lot but I would say that maybe one maximum two full body workouts and you are maintaining everything what you have and this way you are improving your cardio if it's an opposite your if your goal is to improve your swing and maintain your cardio then obviously that's walking. So simply focusing on walking, maybe adding one interval training as that is not kind of like long endurance training, what you're doing so it's very short and in this kind of intervals you would be using for example for some kind of weights or doing some kind of surf with for with the strength exercises. So you have your your work on your cardio too, but still that your main goal is on improving your your strength and and this is this is these are just principles, like how you think it and it's also for me when I earlier I kind of I wish I had made this mistake. I tried everything I was doing everything. But now when I focus on that periodization and doing different things like usually it's three, three months, four months maximum. One program for example, improving my athletic performance, improving my strength, maybe I have some different goals like or what I had like focusing on three exercises where I want to put my focus and then building kind of my workout program around these goals what I have, and this it makes it so much more interesting, so much more fun, and it's it's a lot more easier to stick with that because you are kind of excited for working toward something new but you haven't been doing and and when you change consistently month by month, your workout programs. It's they still interesting and it's a lot easier to stick with that plan. So these are my sisters and now if I want to I would say about strength training how to build your strength program so didn't get didn't get the these reps. What is important like, I tell you like if you your goal is to do let's say three or four workout three workouts per week. What kind of splits if we talk like if you should be doing like was there are many different variations how you could be doing it like full body workouts, upper lower body, boost, pull legs for example. Those are the most popular things what you could be doing or just simply like one day shoulders one day apps one day less different body parts and what I have found is the most effective way like it depends like this. It's very complicated, complicated topic. But I tried to make it as simple as possible. For example, let's say that you your goal is to work out if you were about two times a week or less. full body workout is the best as you get more volume or more often than doing it like upper lower body and if you do three times per week, I still would go for for most people full that full body workout, especially if you have possibility workout that you have the in between your workouts. It's on most weeks. It doesn't matter if it's one week. You have to work out for some reason Monday, Tuesday and next one is on Friday. You can still do a full party but if you know that from your schedule that you have to you have always Monday Tuesday, Friday, for example are your workout days. I probably wouldn't do full body workout on back to back days but if you have possibility to have a break in between then I would do three times full body workout. And in other cases it would be upper body lower body full body workout. And that kind of split is what I have seen that works the best so you get you get on every at least every fifth day you work on same muscle again. So three four days maximum break between the muscle group as instead of going like all in and working on one body part at the same time until to failure that you don't feel it you feel it. very sore. And this is an if you go if you work out four times per week then probably it could be upper body, lower body, upper body, lower body, that kind of split and and but more often you do it then more you have to pay attention but for most people three times per week is more than enough and if you want to go for fourth workout or fifth workout, then usually those be kind of like easier workouts what I have found that they you get the clients get the best results when you've focused solely on three full body workouts. And then maybe In addition, some kind of like just sort of easier. For example, bodyweight exercises mobility and you get faster results because this is one of the biggest mistakes what I have seen is that that there are so many people who come to me and they they are telling that they were broke out bikes every single day seven days. A week or six days a week. And when when I tell them that we start to doing program and I said if we work a little bit less so let's start with the three workouts or doing like maybe one or two easier ones and then they're like the Holy See Tao is how how to help go to school they tell me to work less instead of doing more or something differently and but then when they trust the process and start doing it and it's it's the same thing with me. I used to be athletic who was athlete who was always kind of working. It was the only way to do it was always to work harder instead of working smarter, but when you when you actually start to understand what you're what you're doing to your body because when when you if you work out every day, you are going to produce so much stress for your body. Maybe it's doing good for your mental health. You feel better that you have something but for your body, for example, strength training, if you do it every single day. It's it's going to be stress as what happens when you are you are damaging your muscle tissue when you do strength training and then muscle to be able actually to improve or grow. To get stronger. You are you need to be repaired that makes muscle this you need to be repaired that you do when you are resting when you are you You could be telling that's why I tell that those kind of like bodyweight exercises are great vehicles you are telling your body to become stronger but that stress it's not that you go on the failure. It's just that you are telling that okay now we are doing for example, bodyweight squats that you are dealing with movement, do your body be need to improve to get stronger and it also helps with recovery as it's still the same movement while staying active so so don't work out every single day. So as the do it rather with the good quality quality is more important than quantity. And this This is the principle what most people don't understand because they are chasing that kind of feeling after workout instead of actually listening to your body and seeing and trusting the process trusting a good programming what it can do by working smarter, not harder. And that's that's there was a Santa was a domestic. We talked in a couple of weeks ago. She just misses me that she was the one one person who was working out every single day. And now she started lying to her to go for only four, three times a week. And she was like no, no, no, no, no, I'm not going to do it. And now see it's actually making a lot more progress than ever just simply working instead of seven. times a week, three times a week. So, these are these are just the things when when what good programming can do and it says that also all about trusting the process, focusing on things what you can actually do so when when then how to build your workout program what is important or or how to use that periodization also in your strength training. So what is important that you have, you are using different references. So when building a strength training program you need at some point focusing on like kind of heavy weights, doing less reps having longer rest time. And that goes then there are three different phases of strength training. It's kind of like improving your maximum strength, then there is that kind of like a hypertrophy phase when you are focusing on like building the bigger muscles, the size and that there is like the strength endurance face like that. You are able to hold it for longer and that to incorporate all these tones in your program. What I there are different ways how to do it. So you would be doing it within your workout program within one workout. So for example that you do five repetitions for squats, or some bigger where you use bigger muscles like a like compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, bench press, and use kind of just to do with the higher rate and less repetitions longer rest time and then kind of working on smaller muscles. Different reps. So higher, more repetitions less weight. So you could be doing it within one workout or what I what I like personally to use. I like to use it in my programming. Mostly it's focusing on one month on improving your maximum strength. So it's it means that using heavier rates, lower highs, lower repetitions and having longer rest time in between. And then next month, it's focusing on hypertrophy most like references like from repetitions from six to 12 and then month after that you focus on kind of the strength endurance where repetitions are from 12 to 20. So it's lower weights more like kind of koboko and, and yeah, lower weights, less rest time so you work on strength, endurance and this way I find it for myself and what my clients mostly feedback what I'm getting is that they love it because it's even exercises are more or less. There is not big secrets. They are very basic as those basic exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, solar press, that kind of exercises therapists, but there's always something a little bit different, different variations. And when you use all of these exercises, different amount of reps, even the exercise is same. It feels totally different. If you do the same exercise for example, the shoulder presses if you do four or five repetitions or if you do 15. So it's it's totally different thing. If you do it on using the periodization and this way, it kind of stays more interesting. You are more likely to stick with the plan because it's every month it's something new, and it's always also for your body, new signal, new way to adapt so your body's not adapting and going into a plateau but if you do keep doing the same workout program over and over again, probably at some point even with the shrinking even you try to increase weight your body is going to adapt because our parties unfortunately they are very good at adapting. And you have to be smarter than your body when building your workout program. So, this is these are just the main principles how to build I have another episode in my podcast for about strength training, going more into the details what you should be doing, what kind of exercises you should be doing. But basically, it says that if you work on your whole body like you need to have all kinds of like different movement patterns like Bush baller kind of row exercises, those all kinds of things. I'm not going to explain it now in this episode as far as I don't want to go into the do the specifics. But I have episodes if you are interested to learn how to do it by yourself. Or then the other option is that you because this is something what most people it's very time consuming. If you try to kind of figure out yourself what you should be doing creating a plan, but hiring a coach or getting some kind of program that makes sense. It's it's a very good investment. Like I rather focus on also I save my time spent my money for something that I saved my time. I don't need to think about it. I know what to do. So getting some kind of program that all coach who is doing that program for you so you know exactly what to do. You don't have to overthink what you should be doing when you should be doing so you know exactly what to do and this is something I'm about to do. In my upcoming eight week challenge. It's starting on January 8. So I take all the guesswork away from you. I create a program for you where I'm going to create it for individually every single one depending on your background training history. If you have injuries, what equipment you have access to if you work out at the gym if you work out at home what kind of if you have access for dumbbells, times whatever I create the program would make sense for your current goals work for your current activity level that it's not getting because it's very tempting, especially in the New Years or when you are starting new that you are starting to do too much and when it's not going to be sustainable, you're not going to stick with it and then you feel bad about yourself and as you're not able to follow the program and then it's time when you are quitting telling that I'm not able to do it. I don't have time. I don't have motivation. But when you if you start especially in the beginning a little bit less what you would in your best days or ideal time do. But you are able to do it you feel so much better about yourself instead of trying to aiming for five six times a week. And then when you hit three variables which is still great you feel silly about those missed workouts instead of being celebrating yourself that you were able to do those three workouts and this is something that I what I talk often with my clients is that rather you do something extra cost there's a huge difference how you are thinking if you are if you let's say it if you are not sure if you should be doing two or three workouts per week, and as that if you start with the two and you are able to do those two, you have still always ups and to do kind of extra workout, that third one and the difference is that how you're going to feel yourself about yourself if you aim for three workouts you are able to do two you are beating yourself up because you missed one workout instead of being proud of yourself and doing two workouts and instead if your goal is to accomplish two workouts you're able to do both of them you feel proud of yourself or even if you are able to do extra you're like whoa holy shit and rocking and rolling this workout program as I'm still doing even some extra. So it's the mental thing, how you're going to feel about yourself and then after if you have stayed consistent for a month. You can always add more if you still feel like though now I feel like I have time I'm feeling good about it. I can go for him for three and that's the time when to start to aiming a little bit more but first is consistency beats perfection. So focus on becoming consistent keeping promises you make to yourself before aiming for perfection. So like I said, I hope that you get something out from this episode. And if you like ghosts, this breeding vein of robot programs, it's it's there's a lot of science behind. It's very time consuming churching exercises, but if you want to die, they all go through probate. I give you my upcoming challenge. Also interesting guidelines. grading your workout or protein goals, calorie goals, what you should be aiming for the ways how you could be getting like I have because for most people asking what they should be I have hundreds of receives received books, strategies, how to increase your protein intake how to when to make assessments for your calories, protein, because ultimately, you never you can't be sure what is working what is not working but when you have the right ways how to measure your progress. You know what is sustainable, like what expectations are realistic, and then it's starting from somewhere not making it perfect. And then accessing when you are going because there's not single calorie calculator poets who can tell that this is the right amount What do you can go from the beginning without knowing what actually works but then when you see you What do you have been doing? How long since consistent Do you have been? And when what kind of results you have got? Is this good enough or do we need to make assessments so this is something what I'm going to provide you what I'm going to help you are hanging out there in our Facebook group, accountability group, posting therapy tenancies, and a lot more people have been it's, I love that community as people are so supportive, they're taking action, because we are in the end we are all working towards same goals, improving our health, improving our fitness and when you are to surround your people with the same minded people, it's more likely that you are actually going to stick with the plan. So that's why I put the link in the show notes. So Janice is hoping for it is racing. It's we are obviously going to start January 8, and I hope to see you inside. So if you have any questions always as always, DM me on my instagram or shoot me an email Turo at FIT meter comm so thank you for listening and talk to you. So