Welcome back one and all to the wonderful and revamped world of Faultless Fitness! To celebrate the return of this cache of marvellous information I have decided to share something that I have been using with my clients with some real success over the last few months.In the gym; keep it primal!
If you’ve read previous posts from me then you’ll already know I am a huge advocate in training for a purpose. I believe the clearer the goal then the easier it is to walk the path towards it. You can manipulate exercises, reps, tempo, time under tension, rests and many other variables towards your specific wants and measure your progress on the way there. The downside to this is that I have learned that many of us do not have specific goals, nor are specific goals particularly relevant to our lives. For example, the most common “goal” I get asked to help people achieve is “I want to get fitter”…….. shock! Help me out a bit here…
Fitness is relative, what constitutes fitness to a marathon runner is completely different to what a power lifter needs to do. Would they train the same? No, of course not….by the way if you’re running 10k’s every time you hit the gym with the goal of increasing maximal strength or maximising muscular hypertrophy then you are seriously handicapping yourself…..and you’re retarded! My point is that everyone has a different idea of fitness. What I’ve also learned is that the vast majority of the gym going public don’t actually give a damn about “fitness” they care more about their aesthetic qualities. Which is totally fine, no shame in that at all. Is it a little vain? Sure, but I’m a Personal Trainer (or under my new job title, a “Fitness Coach”, fancy huh?) so I’m in no position to judge. So to the point!
Since starting as a PT I’ve tried to encourage people towards the basic movements. Squats, Pull Ups, Overhead Press and so on. The pattern I’ve noticed from this is that most clients get quite the kick out of heavy resistance training and some explosive body weight work. I’ve also noticed that alongside a decent diet it does wonders for the physique. I am fairly new to this industry and at the time of writing this I’ve only been doing this as a career for just shy of 3 years. But I love my job. I have spent so much time in the last couple years sacking off social events and other hobbies to knuckle down and learn my stuff; I get hold of research papers, do my own studies with clients, etc. What I’ve found most useful is looking at other coaches. Studying the technique and programming of some of the finest Strength and Conditioning coaches in the world taught me more than anything else and I’ve noticed a similarity between their programming and mine. The use of the basics. The application of plyometrics, sprint work and heavy resistance training to training plans not just for athletes but for the common gym rat. Which by the way is the most beautiful of the species 😉
This has led me to come up with a hypothesis. Since applying it to the training of my clients who don’t have a particular sport to play I have seen results come in much quicker. So let me lay it out for you:
“Train for your primal, evolutionary purpose.”
Our psychological development as a species has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple thousand years. We have learned to rewire how we think. We have invented and discovered much. But our physical form is not all that different from when we were smashing rocks together.
We still have the body we evolved into and it is one of a predator. We are the hunter not the prey. So act like it. Train your body to act like the predator. You would not hunt and kill over a 10 kilometre run, it takes too long for one and, for another, you wouldn’t be able to see your prey! You would attack something within your eye line, something you could take with the element of surprise. You would not jog over or even run towards it but you would sprint! You would hurl yourself forwards with maximum pace and slam into it. You would not then proceed to slowly kill it, any animal fighting back is one that could get away. You would pulverize it. Aggressively and decisively. Your body is built to be FAST. Teach it to accelerate the way you were built to do and you will reap the benefits.
If you were building yourself shelter, back in a time where our minds were more primal. You would not pick up a thousand little rocks and pile them up to build your wall, you would lift the biggest boulders you could handle and pile those up to give you your protection. So why do I still see people regularly lifting weights for sets of 15 plus reps and expecting to get bigger and stronger? Think about it! Keep your training primal. Think of your evolutionary purpose when you step into the gym. Treat it like the weights are your prey and your building blocks because that’s all they really are.
Obviously, variety is the spice of life, some of us love grinding out a stupid number of reps out with no breaks and pushing our bodies to cardiovascular failure and now and then of curse, shock your system, force adaptation. But think of what your body has evolved to do naturally and treat it like the weapon that it is. You will not be disappointed with the results you see.
One last word. It is an honour and pleasure to be back up and live. I am looking forward to boring you all senseless with many posts in the future 🙂
If there is a topic you’d like to see me swear at and provide a little help with. Hit me up on Twitter @XzenFitness
Now, go hunt…
…..not in anyway that breaks the law!