So yesterday’s entry was about Why Diet And Exercise Doesn’t Work, which seems like an odd thing to for me to say being a Personal Trainer and all.
As we discussed though, “dieting” in terms of just trying to eat as little as possible to starve of some weight is a bad idea and an ineffective strategy. Exercising with no purpose other than “to burn calories” is equally futile. Eating as little as possible while also doing this “calorie burning” stuff? Ugh… just no.
You get the body that you want buy building and sculpting it, not by setting out to destroy the one that you have with a slash and burn approach.
So today I’ll describe how my own system has evolved and how it is designed to produce results through constructive and productive strategies. They say “what works for one person won’t work for another”, but that’s not correct. Psychologically, sure. What is enjoyable to one person might be intolerable to another, and therefore there’s a problem with adherence… but on a physiological level, an effective system is an effective system.
With that being said though, people are all different. They respond to an effective training and nutrition program in much the same way, until you’re really down to that absolute last % of fine tuning at some advanced level. Suffice to say, if you follow an effective system you’ll get results. Where people are starting out from is what varies; their confidence and ability levels vary. So, when I talk about “a system”, I’m talking about a system that takes all of this into account. Otherwise all you have is “a program”.
I suppose what I am saying is; a good program is a good program, but as a professional trainer what you really need is a system that allows you to create the right program for each client. Still, we’re talking about a system to produce results… it’s not just a “calorie burning physical entertainment” program. There are requirements that have to be met!
Let’s start with The Program.
A program needs to be balanced. When training for body composition, resistance training is king and we require a balance of pushing and pulling movements, and a balance of upper and lower body exercises. I also like a balance of power building compound exercises which recruit multiple muscle groups at the same time, and more precise isolation exercises to target specific, individual muscles. We need to consider how we’re going to group these movements into routines, what rep ranges to utilise, duration of rest in between sets, amount of sets, and how long before we need to hit the same body parts again.
This is how I like to structure my program.
- I like opposing movements on alternate days.
For example a push day followed by a pull day.
- I like to hit every body part twice per week.
- Reps and sets, and rest? That depends on the exercise.
A lot of people don’t get this.
What makes it A System?
Exercise selection, progression and regression.
For each movement in the program, there might be a half dozen potential choices of exercise. You’ve gotta start somewhere, so choice a suitable exercise. How suitable did it turn out though? Perhaps we need a more advanced, more challenging variation, or perhaps we need a more basic option to get started with. In some cases we may notice something in the movement that we need to correct by introducing a new exercise to recruit and activate a specific supporting muscle that doesn’t appear to be doing it’s job.
Now that we’ve changed our selection of exercise, we may also need to reconsider our rep ranges as well.
I can imagine a lot of people getting distressed at this point, thinking “it’s all so complicated, how am I supposed to figure all this out?” You don’t have to though. That’s what you hire a competent trainer for.
Now obviously there are limitations to what can be done with an Online Coaching system as I’m not there in person to observe and make decisions on the best choice of exercise for each individual. What I have set up though is an intelligent system that explains the purpose of each exercise, and the suitable alternative choices in order of ascension.
Even in the online format, this is a much more comprehensive and individualised system than you’ll find from many other sources.