In the short 4 years that I’ve been a father, I have learned A TON from my daughters. Yesterday was no exception when I was helping my oldest (Claire) get ready for bed. She has a stool that she carries around with her everywhere in the house since she still can’t reach the majority of things on counter tops. One of the things that she is so close to doing by herself is washing her hands. Her finger tips can touch the handle that controls the water but she’s not quite strong enough to turn it on yet.

Claire’s bedtime routine looks like this; she brushes her teeth, uses the restroom, washes her hands, and puts on her pajamas. So, last evening while I’m reading, she shouts for me to come help her with washing her hands. I turn on the water and we both start washing our hands and suddenly she shouts “OW, TOO HOT”! Without even realizing it, I set the water temperature to what is “normal” for me. I quickly turned the water temperature down and got her hands cooled off (don’t worry she’s not burned) and we continued with her routine.

This got me thinking, how often with a strength training program do you attempt to jump into someone else’s tolerance level of training? I see people do this all the time. They arbitrarily begin a strength training program that is not in line with their goals. My advice is this, when you begin a new training program, 1) start on the low side of volume 2) the conservative side of intensity, and 3) the low end of frequency. Keep a training journal and assess how you feel after each training session, after each week, and after each month. THEN, you can begin increasing and making the necessary adjustments. When it comes to strength training programs, it is MUCH easier to begin with too little than to begin with too much.

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