Good day to you all! This article is just going to be a quick type up. More of a food for thought on how to improve your training rather than a list of exercises but I believe it will be just as beneficial to those of you who take it on board, so let’s begin…
First of all a very quick bit of background on me, I work in a gym as a Gym Manager and then I train a number of clients on the side. If anyone asks I tend to say I’m a PT. Not because it’s a cooler job which, which it is, but because there is something immensely satisfying about taking a client and helping them achieve whatever goal it is they set themselves. Yet herein lies the problem with most people’s training and, in my opinion, it is probably the number one reason why so many people do not achieve their physical goals; the complete lack of a specific goal. During my PT course I was taught to help people set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timed. These are a good set of ideas to consider when deciding what you want but how many of you just set some abstract post in the middle of nowhere and start?
“I want to get fitter”
This sentence is one that I hear every single day in potential clientele consultations. There seems to be a consensus on the abstract concept of fitness that I was not let in on. FITTER!?!?!? Define fit for me. I’ll use someone I know really well as a quick case study here, me! Anyone who looks at me or has trained with me would probably describe as fit (not to be mistaken with attractive, that’s just a pipe dream of mine!) and in certain tests of fitness they would be right. My bodyweight strength is pretty good. I can human flag, do free standing handstand press ups with a clap. I’m a half decent sprinter. I weigh in at under 90kgs but I can squat 200kg past parallel. All these things would probably consider the things a fit person can do. Yet, if you asked me to run a good time in a marathon you’d be forgiven for thinking I was a lifetime smoker with one lung and asthma…..who was drunk. In fact ask me to run a good half marathon or even a half decent 5 mile time and you’d still think I’d never trained a day in my life. Should I therefore consider myself unfit? No, of course not, the task of running a marathon in a good time is only a relevant test of fitness to those of you who want to be marathon runners!
Let me use myself as an example.
I play American football, Linebacker. My position requires me to take off as quickly as I can then manoeuvre myself onto a collision course with my mark and attempt to, within the rules of the game, end his life and orphan his children. This is all done, on average, in less than 7 seconds of play. It will then be repeated 30 seconds later, until my defensive series is over and I get to go have a 10 minute sit down. So when I do my conditioning why on earth would I concern myself with 3 mile runs and hundreds of repetitions while resistance training. I need to select exercises that best cross over to my chosen event.
You will not all have sports to train for. This is fine but the approach should be the same. Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to bench a tonne? Do you want to jump over a house? Climb a mountain? Training to “look good” is a way of telling me and yourself that you can’t decide what you really want to be able to do, that you’re training without conviction. Pick something and get your ass in gear. Most pro athletes look pretty good. Not because they train to look good but because they’re body is adapting to a task. The exception to the rule is body building. A sport where the very idea is to look good and if that’s your only conviction then crack on but bodybuilding is one of the most frustrating disciplines when it comes to measurable goals. As you don’t grow nearly as fast as you think you’re going to when you start. It takes years to become a decent bodybuilder. Start with a basis in strength and power. Maybe through the power lifts or other weightlifting disciplines.
Train SMART people. Achieve your physical goals and I promise your physique will take care of itself.