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Old 12-30-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post

I forgot to mention, another trainer who heard of Dave's results told me seriously that he must be taking steroids.
"Steroids? No, just squats and milk."

I don't think the trainer got the reference, they insisted.

I got annoyed and offended and said, "So what you're saying is that none of your clients have ever got results like that?"

I don't think I made a friend that day.
Why do people automatically jump onto the roid wagon when a proven method once again works?

A "Trainer" who does not know who one of the most successful trainers is?

You would think they would have an Oprah AHA moment right about there. Hey! what I'm doing isn't really working all that well.

Probably not that big a loss if you didn't.



Seems like a lot of people have forgotten the old saying about work smarter not harder.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:05 PM   #12
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Why do people automatically jump onto the roid wagon when a proven method once again works?
Because, as I said, most people in gyms are not engaged in progressive resistance training. Whether they're doing curls or squats, 3x5 or 6x8-12 or whatever is just not important - because they are not progressing the resistance, they change exercises all the time and/or do the same weights and reps over weeks or months.

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Originally Posted by lou72
Seems like a lot of people have forgotten the old saying about work smarter not harder.
On the contrary, they feel this is smart, changing exercises all the time and doing funky isolation and split routines. Whereas doing the same exercises and adding weight or reps every session or even every week or month, well that's hard and seems dumb.

When I get a personal best lift, my first thought is "yay!" and my second thought is "I have to do more next time, fuuuuuuuu...." It would help to be a bit dumb. I can understand why people wuss out with the 3Cs, the cardio, curls and crunches.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:44 AM   #13
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We were talking about this the other day:



I can always tell someone who has a strong potential to be successful. Instead of spending their energy trying to re-invent the wheel, or breaking down and dissecting a program, they spend their energy in the gym doing the program.

It's not that I want someone to not question anything, but rather an insight into one of the qualities that leads to success. They trust the program and the process, and trust that their hard work and investment into the process will pay off.

And it does.

Along the journey (years) of doing the program, they learn their bodies, and carve their own philosophies.

In opposition to this is the lifter who learns all the theories, and then tries to piece together workouts based on theories. They often tweak, tweak, and tweak, instead of starting with the basics and allowing themselves to learn in the gym.

Anyway, sorry to derail Kyle's great thoughts...

I feel like I'm going to remember this wisdom for the rest of my life; I'm SO that guy who wants to quickly learn everything and then try to carve my own way; thank you for showing me the proper way to do things- simple works best!
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:36 PM   #14
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Well over a year ago while still at PT school I wrote this,
Seems Crossfit is just another thing that's new for the sake of keeping clients interested. Over on a bb.com thread about why PTs don't teach the basic lifts, many answered, "but then what would we do for the other 11 sessions?"

Setting aside the issue that it takes a heap more than 1 session to learn half a dozen big lifts, this shows the idea of novelty for the sake of it. "But won't my clients get bored by doing the same thing all the time?" I would say, if they're bored then they're not lifting heavy enough.

For example, doing Tabata thrusters the other day, well squatting down and then standing up with my arms in the air with kettlebells on is not particularly interesting. But I was too shagged to be bored. I was too busy sweating and swearing to be bored. When I think of doing it again, I don't feel boredom but dread.

Whereas, when I think of bicep curls, I feel only boredom.

It seems to me that Crossfit, like fitballs and a zillion other things, is just there as novelty for the sake of it. "Look at this fancy new thing we're doing! Look at us flap our arms and legs!" Yes, thankyou Richard Simmons.
Consistent effort over time gets results, I always say. The above talks about effort. But consistency is key, too.

This has come up in conversations I've had with a trainer who asked me to mentor her in strength training (she is specialised in other areas). She was surprised that for most clients I'll have the same 3-5 exercises in every session, every 4-6 sessions I might introduce a new exercise if they seem interested. They don't need variety to entertain them, they need progress.

If I leg press 120kg 3x10 today, and squat 60kg 3x5 tomorrow, is that progress? Did I do more? Who knows, they're different exercises. But if I leg press 120kg 3x10 today and 125kg 3x10 or 120kg 3x11 or 120kg 4x10 tomorrow, well I know that I am doing more, that's progress. And progress makes us feel good.

Consistent effort over time gets results. Telpelin rightly brings up the point that many of us find it hard to stick to one routine for long enough to get results. The "consistent" part ain't easy. Are some exercises and routines better than others? Undoubtedly. For example, if you are physically capable of doing it without pain, then squats are definitely better than leg press. But it's better to do a leg press in every session and do more weight, reps or sets each time than the last, than it is to leg press one day, squat the next, lunge another day, and so on.

Pick a routine, stick to it, progress the resistance. Very few people in gyms are doing progressive resistance training.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:20 AM   #15
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Pick a routine, stick to it, progress the resistance. Very few people in gyms are doing progressive resistance training.
AMEN to that

Carl.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:21 PM   #16
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A little story to show how training looks right in the beginning.

Another trainer Gina has asked me to train her. am more familiar with strength training than she is, her own goals are to get stronger, she works in group settings with older adults and that's where her current expertise lies.

She is 40yo, about 1.53m tall and 50kg (guesses, we've not measured her). She had never done barbell squats etc before, and in her first session squatted 30kg and struggled to rack pull 40kg (she tried jerking it off the rack rather than a steady pull, women seem to try this but not men), I have not tried her on overhead press, the 20kg barbell would be a maximal effort for her, so I am waiting until she builds up shoulder strength a bit. She's had about five sessions over a couple of weeks. Today her session was,
Warmup [6'00"]
Goblet squats, 1'00"
Inverted rows with knees bent, 1'00"
Pushups, 1'00"
Split squats, 1'00"
Inverted rows with legs straight, 1'00"
Pushups, 1'00"

Barbell squats [12'00"]
20kg 1x5
25kg 1x5
30kg 1x5
35kg 1x3
37.5kg 2x5 (last session 35kg 3x5)

Barbell rack pulls [8'00"]
20kg 1x5
40kg 1x3
50kg 1x2
55kg 1x5 (last session 50kg 2x5)
These are chosen because the gym lacks bumper plates, and thus less than 60kg would be in effect a deficit deadlift, which is too much for a beginner; when the person can rack pull 70kg, they can deadlift 60kg and will progress to that.

Tabata thrusters [4'00"]
aka squat & push press
63 reps with 6kg dumbbells (last session 83 reps with 5kg)
8 sets of 20' maximum reps plus 10' rest.

A good exercise for someone who already has decent cardiovascular fitness but wants that extra push; not suitable for unfit beginners. Women begin with dumbbells of 1/12 bodyweight, men 1/10. If less than 50 total reps over the 4'00" can be performed, drop the weight used; if more than 80, increase the weight by 1kg. When she can do >80 reps with 8kg, she will be ready for barbell overhead press, and will probably be sick of Tabata thrusters anyway.
Squats or split squats, inverted rows and pushups. Squat, rack pulls and thrusters. Do a deep knee bend, pick something heavy up off the ground and put something heavy overhead.

Keep them moving, we only have half an hour. For optimal strength gains we'd need more rest between sets, and thus longer sessions. However for someone squatting less than their bodyweight - they're a beginner, it doesn't matter too much, and anyway they need some conditioning to help them handle the really hard workouts later on.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #17
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Another workout from Gina. She is 48kg.
Warmup [6'00"]
Goblet squats, 1'00"
Inverted rows with knees bent, 1'00"
Pushups, 1'00"
Split squats, 1'00"
Inverted rows with legs straight, 1'00"
Pushups, 1'00"

Barbell squats [12'00"]
20kg 1x5
30kg 1x5
35kg 1x3
40kg 1x5,1x6

Barbell rack pulls [8'00"]
40kg 1x5
50kg 1x3
55kg 1x10

Tabata thrusters [4'00"]
79 reps with 6kg dumbbells
8 sets of 20' maximum reps plus 10' rest.
Progress is progress.

Interestingly, it seems that when fatigued or intimidated by the weight, women will try to jerk a weight in deadlifts and rack pulls. Of course it just goes "clunk" - you have to do a steady pull. Guys don't seem to do this as much.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:45 PM   #18
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In fact we underestimated Gina's weight, we weighed her in today at 49.5kg.
Warmup
Goblet squats, 3x22
Inverted rows with knees bent, 3x13
Pushups, 3x13

Barbell squats
20kg 1x5
30kg 1x5
37.5kg 1x3
42.5kg 1x1
45kg 1x1
47.5kg 1x1
50kg 1x1
45kg 3x5

Barbell rack pulls
40kg 1x5
50kg 1x3
55kg 1x2
57.5kg 2x5

Tabata thrusters
63 reps with 7kg dumbbells
Progress is progress. The 50kg squat was pretty rough in form, but it was to the right depth and anyway this ain't ballet. Not a work weight for her but a maximal effort, I felt she needed a boost, a personal best - and squatting your bodyweight is a respectable milestone to pass. I think we should have her squatting 50kg for reps in the next 2-3 weeks.

She has been lifting for two months exactly.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:46 AM   #19
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The two things I always say are that consistent effort over time gets results, and in every session you should do more than you did before. But these two things are rare and unusual, so much so that when someone actually does them, they are accused of using steroids.
Since writing this some time ago, I still believe that consistent effort over time gets results. However, I used to emphasise the effort, now I emphasise the consistency. Showing up and doing something is more important than how hard you smash yourself in any particular individual workout.

For example, consider two of my clients. both of whom train with me once a week.
  • Client A is a 64yo 56kg woman with a herniated L4-L5 disc. She has been training with me for 6 months.
  • Client B is a 22yo 70kg (she's tall) woman with a healthy back. She has been training with me for 18 months.
One client can deadlift 125% her bodyweight, the other struggles with 100% her bodyweight. Which is which?



The older, lighter, more injured woman can lift more than the younger, heavier, healthy woman. Why? Consistency. Rosemary, who I've written about here, never misses a session, has only rescheduled once, and repeats our PT sessions as her own workouts 2-4 times each week. The younger one is rather less consistent.

Rosemary mentions that her son claims to be stronger than her since he benches 75kg. I replied that in a powerlifting competition, she would beat him, since he doesn't squat or deadlift - her 45/22.5/70 is greater than his 0/75/0.

Consistent effort over time gets results. But the consistency is more important than the effort. And the consistency gets results which - because consistency is so rare - make other people ask if you're on steroids, or claim that you've won some genetic lottery.
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