I have been training people for over 20 years and have had a great vantage point in which to watch many people train. With all the information out there, it really is a wonder that anyone knows what to do. If you look at some magazines, it’s amazing how you can read one thing in the first half of the magazine telling you to do a great training style and near the end of the magazine, it will tell you how very bad that same training style is. What are we supposed to do, who are we supposed to listen to? What style is right for me?
The problem with respect to weight training is there is an expert at every gym, many actually, you just have to ask them and they will give you their two cents worth, whether you need it or not. The problem is they don’t even have to know anything about the subject in question. I think you know the guy’s I am talking about. A tactic some people use is; the tried and true; ask someone who is in better shape than you, style. This only works if the person you talk to knows something about what they do. I know girls who look in shape, eat anything they want and do not exercise at all. They just have a high metabolism and good genetics, so following their fitness system might not work out so well for most of us. This still bring us back to the fundamental question. “How do we train the right way?” What are we supposed to do, who are we supposed to listen to? What style is right for me?
If you researched training methods you would find literally hundreds of methods ranging from super slow to split variable super sets. There are as many training styles are there are people to use them. There are also, as many pieces of fitness equipment for us to train on or with. Do you want to use free weights, machines, how about boflex or bungee cords? What if we just use our body weight or balance balls? Even the fitness professionals themselves can not agree on what method works the best. Sometimes it’s because they only know one style or because at their gym they can only do one style, so it automatically becomes the best style. With all these variables so far, we have not even touched on the fact that we are all different shapes and sizes. How does that affect the type of style we use or the equipment that we choose?
Am I making things clearer of just muddying up the water? What I am trying to show you is that you have options, but with options comes choices and with choices comes right ones and not so right ones. I started working with a lady in her late 40’s; she wanted to get her waist line back, it had gotten pretty thick. I asked her what she had been doing training wise up until now. She told me she just got done a cycle at the gym where the owner had just put her on the Bulgarian Bulking Program. She told me she loved it, and she could leg press 400 lbs now. I smiled and asked her if she was happy with her body shape. She sheepishly looked at the ground and said no. We need to remember that it is not the person that needs to fit the program but the program needs to fit the person and their goals. A good program for one person may not be the answer for another.
Some trainers give there clients what they think they want, not what they are asking for. Is that what you want? Wouldn’t you rather get what your body needs?
Let me try and explain. A client came to me with a picture of a lady body builder and told me, this is what she wanted to look like. I said;” ok, do you know how much this girl weights?” She said “no”, I said;” around 190 lbs”, and she said;” oh my goodness.” I asked her if she knew how much she ate. I explained to her all that went in to this body builder’s look. I said I would help her get this, if this is what she wanted. It wasn’t even close to what she wanted. She liked the athletic look not the bigger look. So again, I could have given her what she thought she wanted or taken the time to listen to her, ask questions and give her what she really wanted. It takes more time for a trainer to do this, but it is time well spent. Then the client gets what they really want and the trainer gets a happy client and a great referral. So to answer the questions, what are we supposed to do, who are we supposed to listen to? What style is right for me? I think the short answer lies within us; we have to take the time to look into ourselves and find out who we are and where we want to go?
There can be a problem when we go to a trainer and we do not know what we want. Because he will put you on the program he wants. Then when you do not get the results you think you should be getting. Who is to blame? The trainer is not a mind reader and depending on his background and how much he cares about his craft, he might not be able to help you, or even care if he helps you. My answer to the questions, what are we supposed to do or what style is right for me? Is, all of them are right for you, in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason. It might sound like a cop out but it is not. I use all different styles all the time, because one size doesn’t fit all and letting your body adapt to any form of exercise or style can be death to your body’s growth.
Work smarter, not harder. Avoid adaptation at all cost. Save your joints. Use weights to burn more calories. Increase your heart rate. Decrease your rest breaks. Pre-exhaust your muscles. Time under tension. Form is the key. Reps to exhaustion. Use the right weight. Focus, is a must. Save your self time.