I wanted to put this together for my clients – to get a better understanding of why we do the things we do…..to help you get more out of the sessions and hopefully push a few more pieces into place for you in this ever changing virtual reality holographic jigsaw that we pretend is life….oh, and of course this article will be full of pseudo-philosophical BS innuendo and rabbit warrens….not quite David Lynch but a little more abstract than Tony Abbot or what ever suit is running the government at present.
I have quite a few ‘articles’ (ramblings) up my sleeve right now that I want to express…..this thing we have these days called the ‘fitness’ industry has become a very very interesting beast….it’s awesome and it’s amazing and it’s also filled with flaws and glitter and narcissistic tragics….like me.
One only has to take a quick gander on Instaporn and you will see a blurry field of ‘fitness’ freaks and specialists doing workouts in their underwear and rambling out how important our “inner world” is to our happiness….hope ya choke on your endorsed supplement shake…just sayin’….but you know as we say at our EA meetings (that’s Eugenics Anonymous for those unenlightened ones)…the people that get attracted to and buy into that sh*t well……overpopulation is a bitch….
Ok….tangent no.1 reverted…..
Here are my key elements when putting together a program….oh man the excitement….my clients used to say to me…Bryan, do you sit up at night and put this sh*t together…..well, actually I did….now…not so much….
oh Pablo…you turn me on brother…. (tangents, tangents….focus man….no one wants to know about your mis-fires)
1. RESULTS – ok, it’s easy to get distracted in this world as a fitness coach. Results is my mantra…..at least 90% of what I put together is based around getting results for my crew (and myself)…..in an efficient manner.
I am pretty sure this happens in all fields…the pathway goes like this….you start out by running relatively simple fitness sessions because you are still learning, experience is low, knowledge base mediocre, confidence levels low….
……..then you quite quickly escalate into complex, borderline crazy moves and bombarding your clients over information focusing on specifics and what I call ‘perimeter’ stuff rather than continually hitting the essentials. We want to show off as trainers/individuals and flex our egos…look at what I know, look at what I can do, look at what I saw on instagram…we get distracted and think everything has to be spicy and covered in glitter….and…and…and….the client gets confused/injured/reduced results…..often all 3….
….then it all comes full circle back to simple….keeping focus on the key movements….big “bang for your buck” movements that work….no more need to flex the ego….that gets long term fulfillment now….give me results any day…these days.
2. OVERALL FITNESS – my group sessions are put together to compliment and enhance my client’s lives….so they can be better at what they do…… with these areas as key…
- Movement & Mobility
- Low Risk of Injury
- Injury Prevention
- Posture/Structural correction/reinforcement
3. FUN – self-explanatory
4. CHALLENGING – Whilst i am aware and encouraging that not every session should be four to the floor….a significant element of challenge is required for progress, great results, satisfaction and over time, fun.
5. FLOW – Running large groups….workout must flow well with minimal downtime, careful sequencing of exercises and structured ebbs and flows….with a distinct feel for the group as a whole as well as the individuals within.
6. VARIETY – always important but never at the expense of all of the other points in this list. 10% play area with the actual movements….most of the variety comes from the structure of the session and intensity levels.
7. THE PRIMARY FOCUS IS ALWAYS ON KEY MOVEMENTS AND MUSCLE GROUPS – I always make it a priority to train the body in the way it was meant to move. There are some crazy exercises I see people do and promote that just serve no purpose apart from feeding ego and a bit of fun…..but they should never be the focus or basis of a good workout.
The temptation as a trainer is to bring in exercises just for the sake of variety…this does not make one a good trainer…and definitely not an effective one. Do not look for 15 different ways to train one muscle when it was only designed to move in 2 different ways. (Check No. 13 for more on this) You will inevitably injure yourself and it will likely be a long-term injury. Be smart….lose the ego!
Training the key muscles (i.e. the big ones) is paramount to effective and quick results. The general rule of thumb is the bigger the muscle the more energy required to “use” it…..this ‘burns for calories’ than smaller muscles for those that live in the paradigm of calories in/calories out.
8. FAT BURNING – Most (not all) clients are pretty keen of fat burning/reduction as a focus for their workouts….not quite sure you really want to burn muscle though…I reckon that would hurt a fair bit…and lots of people do not like scars….cosmetic surgeons excepted.
As in above, utilising the big muscles groups more often than not and building higher and higher elements of intense ‘bursts’ into the workout gets a big tick.
9. ABILITIES/PROGRESS – with large groups especially it is very important to cater to individuals of all levels…make it possible for beginners and continually challenging for the pros is the name of the game.
10. DURATION – the rule of thumb is the body’s stress levels elevate considerably after 45 minutes at a decent level of work rate….then we get ‘not so’ awesome things like cortisol rising in our bloodstream….so best to limit intense workouts to this duration.
11. RESPECT THE RULES & THEN BREAK THEM – Just as my man Pablo has already told you…..Man (and Woman) was not meant to follow the rules all the time…screw that….what is this School, Church???
12. CONSISTENCY TRUMPS ALL – In a nutshell, 3-4 workouts each week at 80-90% intensity…..trumps 1 at 100%…..or 4 1 week, none the next. Remember No. 11 above though….sometimes you need to mess with that sh*t.
13. WORK THE BODY AS A COMPLETE UNIT – You’ve heard me talk about this before….us humans because we are so so smart want to isolate things..break them down into “physical” components and work them by themselves…we build machines and equipment that further enhance this..and god forbid, I have a couple of those pieces of equipment….slap me….you can probably work them out by the lack of times I put them into the program.
Our body is designed to work as 1 complete unit and that is a key key focus of my training methods. Too much isolation of body parts and muscles creates significant imbalances over time….and to put it into something truthful to hit you hard…imbalances inevitably lead to PAIN.
One muscle needs to work in conjunction with other stabilising muscles and supportive tendons and ligaments. That’s why a lunge and a squat quite frankly sh*ts all over leg extensions/leg curls and leg presses…the body is working in its natural supportive manner. If it feels weird and ‘un-natural’ there is usually a reason.
The exception to this rule is fighting against the effects of modern living..primarily too much sitting time.
oh…and there needs to be a David Bowie .gif here to say my thank you for the impact he has had on my view of life. Thank you Mr. Bowie.
“I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring” – David Bowie