Let me first start off by saying that I am not perfect and there are tons of things I was doing 5 years ago that I wouldn’t even think about doing now when it comes to training myself or my clients. Heck, there are even things I was doing a couple of months now that I wouldn’t be teaching my clients. We are all human, we all err, and the better professionals in any industry are the ones who are able to admit their mistakes, correct them, and continue to improve. In my opinion education is the key and bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and great certifications (just pieces of paper) are only mere bricks in the Great Wall of China.
One thing I do to stay on top is to stay educated by immersing myself in as much good, reliable, and cutting edge information as possible in not only the area of personal training but nutrition, physical therapy, sports conditioning, psychology, and many more. I focus on reading two solid books a week, watching webinars, taking notes, applying new techniques, and basically standing on the shoulders of the giants in the industry. I have created my own addiction to knowledge and turned myself into somewhat of an information junkie. I really wish that this was the case in college where instead of information I immersed myself in countless nights of boozefests and probably drank close to a million Keystone Lights along with Rubinoff Vodka. But hey, we all make mistakes.I am trying to post more frequently for you all but am having trouble finding material to post. Not that I am lacking in topics but almost the exact opposite as there are millions of ideas in my head and squeezing one out at a time is pretty painful (not really). I am a personal trainer, not a writer (shocking right?) and am working on developing my writing muscles. As with exercise the more you do it the easier it gets and the more proficient you become. Imagine if you could lose weight by writing, would you write a novel or a pamphlet?
With that said, I am now going to use Mondays to educate my faithful followers on some of the mistakes I am still seeing and hearing people make as well as clearing up some more exercise myths. Honestly, you’ll read and hear just as many bad pieces of advice as good ones (if you’re lucky). So, right off the bat, consider that only half of what you hear or read will actually help you. If it makes sense, use it. But only give the advice three weeks. If you haven’t reaped any benefits within that time frame you can be pretty sure that it’s not what you need. One of the first mistakes I am going to hate on is following the same program or adhering to the same parameters for too long. Your body is smart, it adapts and chances are you probably aren’t working hard enough in the first place if you can continue for more than a month. I’m sure you have all heard me say it before but exercise MUST be progressive to challenge your system in order to get results. I’m not talking about completely changing your program every week but rather changing the parameters.
One way to change is to simply change your hand position for upper body movements or your foot position for lower body movements. Another option is to switchfrom dumbbells to a barbell, or vice versa, for your movements. But the best option is to change your reps. The human body will adapt to a specific rep range quickest, so if your gains stagnate, change the number of reps per set by at least three (e.g., if you’ve been doing 3×12,switch to 3×9 or 3×15).
If you are doing the same exercises you were doing in 1989 then it may be time for a little upgrade. Even if you are doing the same stuff you were doing last year it may be time for a little upgrade as the science and research has greatly improved in the past couple of years. A great book I have found that simplifies what you should be doing is called “The New Rules of Weightlifting for Men” or “The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women”. If you have any further questions on what you should do to upgrade your program please contact your favorite personal trainer. 🙂