April 26, 2015
So your training has been going pretty ok the last year or two.Your feeling “fit”,you hit the group workout 3-5 times a week,sweating buckets and buckets,working your ass off but you start to wonder are you getting that much better?You seem to be handling the group workout withease.You start to question things?.Are you progressing?Have you gotten better at the true basics?Forget the complex TRX fancy move,the tonnes of burpees you can do or even the high speeds you can hit on that spin bike.Has your strength improved?Body composition improved?Have you got a basic full range push up or body weight chin up?Haven’t even mentioned body weight back squat or double body weight deadlift yet?Hows your mobility and flexibility coming along?Or maybe you have progressed so far with the group class and you have found the programming/workout quite easy and now your back down on the gym floor in the corner training alone.
Now your starting to think right……
Believe it or not I see this quite often.People thinking that they are super fit from all the spinning or bootcamps they have been doing but then ask them to do a basic full push up and all goes toflop.And I was there too myself I was a huge endurance junkie running/spinning all the time considering myself doing it really well and super fit but then I couldn’t even do 1 basic chin up,now that’s a huge hole in my fitness(I was a trainer at the time too, embarrassing stuff)– so I got to work.
I’ve decided to do this small post purely from recently working with newer clients that really want to get good at them basics mentioned above and improve their own strength and fitness while measuring their progress.They have been in the group training environment for a while and have taken a step out of it for a period of time.Now I still respect group training like Bootcamp, S&C, TRX, spin,BodyBlast or whatever you want to call it.I worked in that area for years and once its done well it has its place,and there is some super group models aroundDublin.Its great to see it popular as ever,everyone loves the competitive element of group training,the accountability factor,competing against your fellow members, comparing times or scores and seeing where you rank in the pack but is it really giving every individual in the group what they really need?
Think about it for a second if I had these 5 people in my group class 3-4 times a week for 3 months and Mary’s goal is to get better at push ups,Joans goal is to loose weight,Sara’s goal is to “tone up”,Marks goal is to improve his mobility,Peters goal is to improve his strength/size and Paul is training for a marathon in 3 months.
Would I prescribe the exact same workout for them with the 60 minutes sessions I have with them together?Perhaps not……..So now I need to get a plan to assist them hitting their goals and keep them all happy!And that’s only 5 people,So how does a trainer with 30 faces in front of him cater for everybody’s goals?Big Big Task….
And we definitely need to look at measuring progress too.Your spending a lot of time on the gym floor or in that group setting and perhaps you don’t know if your performance is improving.Startlogging your work or this is what we do.Everybody that trains with me has a chart they work off like the picture below.(If you want to learn more about why we keep track just read my article here I did on that). That is really going to measure your progress when the numbers you have to hit are in front of you.
So am I saying stay clear away from group training and go to your nearest PT and work with him instead?Absolutely not.
What I’m saying is ensure that what ever training path you have gone down always ensure the 3-5+ hours a week,the hard earned money you are spending is all taken quite seriously and that its catered for your own personal goal.Sorry to be spoiling the party but if your goal is to improve your strength or “tone up” what most people say and you haven’t got a prescribed personal weight training plan with the correct exercises, cycle time,% etc then its just not going to work,or if your goal is to work on mobility and improve flexibility and your group warm ups don’t consist of foam rolling,inch worms,couch stretch,pigeon stretch etc then your certainly on the wrongroad.Trust me that’s not a good road.
Anyway hope this small piece can help you out and always think of the bigger picture,speaking of pictures let me leave you with this to think about.
What path are you going to choose?
I’m sure most of you know my answer to this…..
Hope your training is going super,and if you ever need any advice please give me a shout!