So a while back I got asked my thoughts on a few Fitness Industry type issues. Actually some pretty good questions, and of course some excellent answers! I thought I’d share with you all.
Do your training programs differ among untrained, intermediate, or advanced athletes?
Yes and no. An effective program needs to cover the whole body, and all of the different movements that a human body is designed to perform. If we include pushing, pulling, bending and extending movements in different directions, we know we are developing all of the major muscle groups. This basic principle doesn’t change, but the choices of exercises will vary from one client to the next based on their ability level or other factors.
What do you recommend as an appropriate amount of reps to do per exercise?
This will depend on the particular exercise, the client’s goal and their current level of ability. One rep range may be said to be more suited to produce a specific result than others, but that is not to say you should necessarily choose that range at the exclusion of all others. I believe in utilising a variety of options and reaping the benefits of all of them.
How can someone determine how to select the right amount of weight for a particular exercise?
Simply put, if you are able to perform MORE than the target rep range, it aint heavy enough.
How can someone determine how much physical activity they need to do?
It depends on their goal. Training for sports will require skills training and perhaps a variety of forms of fitness training. This requires more time. For the average person just wanting to be fit, healthy and in shape… up to an hour a day of serious training is perfectly sufficient. Which is not to say that you have to do an hour. If people are time poor and can only set aside 30 minutes a day, they should do that.
What do you consider to be ‘bad’ personal training?
Don’t get me started. Anything that encourages or endorses restrictive fad diets, anything that focusses more on “burning calories” than on productive training methods. Lately I’ve noticed a trend towards tailoring your exercise programs to fit in with the latest software applications and / or marketing systems and I think that is ass backwards as well.
Are there dangers from adopting a training program from unqualified sources?
Absolutely. Does an unqualified person understand how to build a balanced program that won’t lead to muscular imbalance and postural issues? Do they understand how to descend or ascend the choice of exercises to suit the client’s current level of ability? Unqualified people providing nutritional advice is an even greater concern though. The amount of people pushing “healthy eating” plans when they have no qualification and in fact appear to be suffering from an eating disorder themselves is really disturbing.
For a person who is trying to make a drastic lifestyle change, do you feel it is more effective to take a monitored approach as opposed to a self-started regime?
I’m not the most unbiased source to ask such a question! Going it alone is tough and from my observation, people going it alone usually adopt a far more extreme approach than is necessary or healthy. As a result their chances of long term adherence (and therefore success) are not so great. A sensible, moderate approach that is sure to produce results is always the best option.
What should people be sceptical of when they join weight loss programs or follow a new exercise routine?
Everything. There’s a lot of money to be made in diet and exercise, and where there’s money to be made there will be unscrupulous people trying to get their mitts on it. I do believe that the vast majority of trainers are genuine people who do want to help… if they also happen to be competent then that’s great and you should hire them. Be sceptical of anyone pushing a “brand new breakthrough miracle solution” that no one else knows about, or anyone who tells you “this is the ONLY approach that works”. There’s millions of people on Earth NOT overweight and NOT following their diet & exercise program (or mine for that matter).
In your opinion, are high intensity workout routines appropriate or safe for beginners?