Training progressions are designed to make you stronger, better, faster, longer. When training, we must employ strategies that align with our personal needs. Needs are often confused, and at times, completely replaced by wants. These wants often promote the immature cry of “now now now”. You may still act, dream, respond, and finance like a child; however, training like one will result in repeat disappointment, or the inevitable learning through injury. Tissue type can give you an idea of how respecting progression can yield long-term bulletproofing and lower the likelihood of injury.
Noted below are some rough guidelines of how long it takes tissues to remodel themselves, and then mature further into brand new usable tissue. The tissues realign themselves along the lines of stress. Typically this is built through the development of collagen fibres that help lay a new foundation of structural resilience. These are non-negotiable biological limits, however, do differ slightly amongst individuals (genetics, hormones, sleep, stress etc...).
The well vascularized tissues we depend on for movement: skeletal (our primary focus), cardiac, and smooth. We often evaluate our progress on this adaptation alone; not to mention, our recovery. And why wouldn’t we? A well developed, supple, and strong tissue of this kind is responsible for great feats of strength, movement, and, well, looks. There is a plethora of information and press about this tissue; people get obsessed with its development alongside focusing on specific groupings (things like hamstrings, glutes, quads, biceps, triceps, and chesticles).
Muscle Remodelling Cycle = 3-4 months
Within about 90 days we can restructure this sexy visible mass.
The most abundant tissues in your body we depend on for support: proper, cartilage, bone, and blood. Think of the ligaments, and tendons as the cables holding that bridge together. These are often less focused on, usually by those unfamiliar with its importance. They’re not as visible and sexually invigorating as their muscle counterparts; however, they are responsible for holding you together: bind, support, and protect. Well developed, these tissues can lead to feats of strength and aesthetics, while keeping you together for the long haul.
Connective Remodelling Cycle = 7-36 months
It takes about 200 some days to restructure this vast and plentiful tissue, with tissues like bone pushing the later time period.
In other words, there’s a chance muscle tissue has developed beyond the connective stuff. Structurally speaking you may have to make up some ground, and respect the road to doing so. There is a reason I am so passionate about prerequisites (you should be able to do X amount of reps before trying this). It's a bit of a numbers game, but your not always trying to increase the amount of reps you can do. You must continue to challenge yourself, but there is some real value in allowing something to be easy for a little while. A steady state cycle can allow for some time to pass with a particularly easy progression, and thus give your connective tissues time to remodel and adjust to the stress. It may feel like 'death by ring rows', but there is some real magic happening here.
Sometimes it can feel like your walking the plank, blindfolded, only to find out you've run out of room to walk while your being torn to bits, and drowned by a hungry shark. Coaches can be really useful in helping you manage your development, understand your limits, and remove that blindfold for some true understanding.
Let some of that stuff catch up and try not learning the hard way all the time. Trust the process, love the people you're doing it with.
More on this next week,
Emile Maxwell Connaughton