Year-Round Training: Planning for the Seasons

At the time of this writing it is July 29, 2020.
The summer is coming to a close and soon the rush of back-to-school, sports, and holidays will consume nearly everybody’s lives.
Shorter days and colder weather will come to pass.

Now it is time to batten down the hatches; prepare for the onslaught of attacks against the lifestyle of health that you’ve worked so hard to cultivate over the past few months. If you attempt to fly by night, foregoing any planning or preparation, you will undoubtedly dust off the same tired, old excuses and slip back into your lifestyle of lethargy and indolence.

Make ready your training methods, meal plans, and chore lists.
Construct an overarching plan to protect your time to train.
Though 15-20 minutes to workout may not seem like much right now, “justifications” to take that time away will creep into your life.
You need to know your enemies in order to defeat them.

Over the next few weeks, declutter your house, starting with your kitchen.
Organize your food so you know exactly what you have and where it is.
As time is sacrificed to other responsibilities the temptation to eat fast food will be nearly impossible to overcome.
Sit down with your wife and take stock of what you have and propose a meal plan each month. Avoid processed food as much as possible and focus on healthy, whole foods.
Be realistic, with fall comes the slow cooker, hearty stews, and soups.
Holidays and family gatherings are an important part of the human experience. Work with them instead of against them.

Create a plan of action for the seasons’ responsibilities.
Duties around the house with change as the weather changes.
Your kids’ activities and schedules will differ from the lazy summer days.
Most importantly, make time for quality time. Don’t let anything interrupt you from dinner until you put the kids to bed. And then, make sure you have time to spend with your wife.

All of this will affect your training schedule. That’s not a bad thing. Life happens in seasons, it’s cyclical, and it’s best to work with the seasons instead of against them.
While you sit there with your wife, work with her to make sure everyone’s schedules allow the appropriate amount of time for work, rest, play, pray.
In my experience, I thrive when I can be in bed at 10pm, awake at 4:30-5:00.
That allows me to train, drink some coffee and get my reading done, shower and leave for work on time. Meals are a prepped at the beginning of the week so I can just grab lunch and go.

Finally, remember that as the seasons change, your training should change. Winter brings heavier food, holiday desserts, and dark beers. Your garage will be freezing cold every morning. Don’t try to fight it by focusing on fat loss and six-pack abs. You will lose that battle, I guarantee it. Focus on short, heavy workouts. You’re consuming more calories, use this as a time to focus on strength and size. During the spring and summer you can look to other goals.

As summer fades and time is stolen, excuses and rationalizations will multiply. This need not be the case. Take time now and come up with a strategy, a battle-plan for the coming months. Work closely with your spouse and be clear about protecting your training schedule while also honoring your other duties. Be realistic about your goals and work with the seasons rather than against them.

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