By Joe Vessella- Cranston, Rhode Island

As this is my first article for RI Fit Magazine I wanted to write about something that all athletes at any level can relate to; commitment and recovery. Throughout the 16 years that I have been powerlifting, the one thing that has never changed is my commitment. Methods, techniques, styles, capacity all have changed but my commitment has remained the same. l am constantly thinking about training and when I am not training I am trying to learn how to train better. Regardless of what sport it is that you are participating in, you have to be committed if you want to be the best.  This is the case even if you are not a competitive athlete but you are training to lose 10 pounds;  you have to commit to your diet and your training or you will not get the results you are looking for. This one trait, commitment separates the average from the elite. If you commit to whatever sport you are involved in you will succeed 100% of the time. It is necessary to learn to be patient and stay committed and you will definitely see a ton of progress. Stick with it and be committed.

Now that you have committed to whatever sport you are training for or your specific goal you are reaching for you need to understand the biggest and most underrated part of training which is recovery. It amazes me to this day how many people I talk to about their strength training who tell me that they haven’t made progress in months. When I ask them what their training schedule is like, they tell me they are training 6 days a week and train 2 hours every workout. Every great powerlifter I know, or I have read about train no more than 4 days a week and train in under 60 minutes. Some of these men are squatting over 800 pounds.  People wonder how they do it; the answer is recovery. There is an old adage, “ less is more” and I believe that to be very true.

Everyone needs at least 8 to 9 hours sleep every night as well as an additional 15 to 30 minute power nap during the day. You have to stay hydrated at all times; drink 10 to 12 8 ounce glasses of water per day. In my own training I found that when I switched from 4 days of training to 3 days of training I was much more refreshed for each of my workouts and I was much more enthused and excited to train each workout. Like I tell people, I would rather workout for 45 minutes and know I accomplished something than train for 2 hours, burn myself out, and not be recovered for my next workout.

At the end of the day stay committed to what you are doing. Learn to train optimally, meaning get the most out of your workouts and focus on recovering from your workouts. If you stick to these basic rules you will have no problem succeeding. Remember you need to simplify things. Commit, train, recover, repeat. If you follow these simple rules your goals will be met. These little tips can really help you go from average to elite or JV to Varsity or maybe losing 15 pounds instead of 10. Above all, please enjoy your workouts, have fun and switch them up. Try new things and evolve into a great athlete who is very versatile. That’s what we should all strive to be.

Joe Vessella is the owner of Elite Strength Training in Cranston, RI.
He is a certified personal trainer and a competitive powerlifter.  His best lifts are a 630 squat, 445 bench and 650 deadlift. He is proud to have made these accomplishments as a raw and drug free lifter.

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