Hard Work

Hard Work

It took a long time to fully understand what training “hard” means to different people, perception is a big factor. I’ve made the mistake before of training people too hard too soon, the intentions were always the right ones but the timing wasn’t quite right. Motivational quotes are everywhere, but they will not always get the response that is desired because we are not all wired that way.

Training at 100% or the “no pain, no gain” simply is not applicable to everyone because it represents different feelings for different people. I’m not criticising them in any way but it’s just like with any other part of life, choose your words carefully as there’s a time to be cruel and a time to be kind.

What I’ve learned with programming over time is not to rush, you can only go as fast as the client is willing to, and this also goes for other aspects such as nutrition and lifestyle. That’s not to say that they can’t be pushed, but to bear in mind that your 5 out of 10 could be their 10.

Looking at training there are an abundance of exercises that can be used in order to get the results you are looking for. As great it as it would be to see everyone performing the big staple compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and pull ups, they aren’t for everyone, they may have their place in your training down the line, but then again they may not. It is important to understand what is right for the individual at that moment in time.

The 12 week programmes we deliver are a good example of this as particularly with new clients we tend to drip feed phases as this allows us to reflect on how things are progressing, as we can look at whether a client can move forward and progress, keep things were they are for the time being or potentially take a step back to ensure bigger steps are taken forward in future.

Life can also have a big impact on training, in a positive and a negative way. However when things are not quite how you want them to be monitoring the intensity of training is necessary. Even if you are moving into a more intense phase of training say a heavy strength phase, 10 x 10 or a Giant Set programme, you may not achieve the desired outcomes if your mind and body is not in the necessary state to perform at that intensity, you may even increase the risk of getting injured.

Part of coaching involves teaching people how to train hard. It does take time, a newbie may not be ready to push themselves to the limit, and even if they are it may be that they are not competent enough with the exercises they are performing to work with intense methods such as positive failure, drop sets etc. 99% of the time optimal form should be the emphasis as regular poor form will lead to regular poor habits. Some people are not ready to feel the burn and build-up of lactic acid in a muscle during high rep sets and push through it.

They may not be ready to feel nauseous during training, and it can be disheartening for someone new or who has been away from training to feel less fit than they already think they are. Even if the body is ready, the mind may not be, you need to develop both to ensure progress. Essentially you need to really build someone up physically and mentally before you can break them down (but in a good way), know when to push, and know when to back off.