The view from my office window on a Wednesday night 🙂
So I train this guy – let’s call him ‘Matt’…
‘Matt’ has been training with me now for the best part of this year. When he started using my services it’s fair to say my programming style was new to him, and he spent a bit of time getting used to shorter rest intervals than he had been used to and lifting heavier weights than he had been able to.
I have consistently written programs for him that have worked simultaneously towards building relative strength and changing his body composition – lowering his body fat percentage while increasing his lean mass. He follows the program through out the beginning of the week and then I train him on a Friday.
The common theme of all of these programs has been that they are ‘hard’. (Sometimes he uses more colourful descriptions of them than that).
So you can imagine my bemusement when he told me that day three of his latest program was an ‘easy’ day… When I wrote the program I expected him to find all thee of the days equally difficult.
As it turns out, last Friday – the day I train him – it was time for day three – and it immediately became clear why he found this day so much easier than all the others.
He wasn’t doing it right.
Lighter weights than what I had expected he would do for almost all of the exercises, less reps than what I had intended for one of the exercises, and a completely different exercise to what I had put in his program for the last exercise.
So after the first set – done correctly – and a quiet acknowledgement that day three was, in fact, hard, I felt that ‘Matt’ was ‘educated’ and in a much better position to gain the intended benefit from this phase of his program.
Be honest – how many times have you looked at a program written on paper, or downloaded one off the internet, and thought “That’s an easy program”?
It’s an easy mistake to make – doing something completely differently to what the author of a program had intended and thinking the program was too easy. Or thinking you are working to your potential when, in fact, you aren’t.
This is why it is so important, not just for newer gym members, but for all gym members looking at changing gears and working hard to achieve a specific goal, to invest in some face to face time with a trainer or coach that specialises in what you want to achieve. If online training is an option you have elected to go with, spend time clarifying your program and expected outcomes with your coach – make sure you understand what part you need to play in each phase of your training in order to get the result you are after.
I hear often that this trainer or that trainer has provided a person with a program that hasn’t worked… Maybe the reason that it hasn’t worked is that you haven’t fully understood how to do it…