Thanks to everyone for getting along to the gym last week. Wednesday surely was an absolute scorching terror of a day – and it isn’t as if the gym is the coolest place in the universe…it really is quite inspiring to see everyone in working hard when the conditions are less than amazing! And whilst the whirly birds and fans make ‘a difference’, when the difference is that the temp is 403 degrees rather than 407 degrees, well…anyway, what can I tell you – the effort is pretty inspiring to watch!
Last week I did 27 PT sessions. This week I did 25. That feels like ‘a lot’. I’ve been thinking about PT quite a lot lately – for a long time I point-blank refused to do it, but once the bandaid was ripped off (I wanted to help one long-term member get ready for her wedding) it all seemed to snowball and it often feels like my client load (on top of class load, programming load and running the gym load is completely out of control).
So – in my thinking about it I started to wonder exactly WHAT was driving all these people to pay what appears to be good money to be continuously pushed and challenged by me. And I’m not delusional enough to think it has a single thing to do with my looks or personality…so maybe it has to do with the activities we DO. So – setting aside the “I’m doing PT because I want someone to hold me personally accountable for every single rep I do – here’s an abridged list of the stuff I regularly have people do in PT sessions that they rarely/if ever do in classes.
I love getting people to run as fast as possible. It challenges every part of the body – and mind – and research tends to show it has an amazing impact on both fat loss AND muscle production. Both of which are good. So…the question is, do you need ‘me’ (meaning me or one of the other trainers) to add some sprints to your life? Of course you don’t. You can do them on the treadmill (set the belt to an uncomfortably heavy speed, at an uncomfortably steep incline) and run as fast as you can for 20-secs…take 10-secs rest and repeat. Even better if you want to sprint ‘for real’ – mark out 40m (hint: from the back of the grass in the strength gym to the start of the bitumen!) and build up from 60-70% to 90% over 6-8 efforts (but – of course – be sure to recover between efforts so it is a SPRINT rather than a slightly faster than normal run).
2/. Partial reps, Tempo Reps
I love ANY sort of partial or tempo activity that increases the time under tension for the muscle group in question. It makes the muscles BURN. I mean, we do this stuff ‘a bit’ in the classes (Boxing people think of the instructor led pushups/fence-pulls etc, Funky people think of the barbell tempo work) but in PT I do it ALL THE TIME. The question again? Do you need ‘me’ to do these? Well…not REALLY. I mean, these are best done as part of an integrated program but no matter what extra you are doing – and you can do tempo work extremely SAFELY in the Hammer Strength area – you can very easily add some of this to your workout by simply SLOWING down your reps – either up to a count of 5, or down…or both!
3/. Super Sets, Drop Sets, Waves etc
OK. Some of this stuff is the ‘funky stuff’ that is hard to do in a group environment. Some of this stuff is I guess WHY people do PT…maybe? You can certainly do these yourself – I mean way, way, way back when we run the muscle plan I even put up a “How to do Drop-sets” video which much to my embarrassment is still on youtube here: https://youtu.be/1_mNwUnUG7g – but I would have to say that this ‘sort’ of stuff needs a little bit of pre-planning in order to do them. We have used WAVES in the Funky classes from time to time (and will continue to do so) but if you want to add some of these elements to your training, maybe reach out for some PT or as a minimum some assistance with program design. Any of the trainers will happily put a program for you to follow for the cost of a PT session (depending on the complexity of course…the guys do need to be paid for the time it takes to do something!).
4/. Using ‘ODD’ Objects
Yoke carries, pushing a sled whilst also being attached to a harness, doing band resisted core work…it goes ON and on. There are really an unlimited number of things that we could include here – and the limitation is only the imagination of the trainer. Some things are done because they are targeting a specific muscle group, others because they are a mental challenge that will really push the athlete to a new (and uncomfortable) world. This is the sort of stuff that you COULD probably do by yourself (just copy some of the lunatics on Instagram) BUT without really looking over it and trying to understand where it could go wrong, well…anyway, if you want this stuff in your life, grab a coach for some PT OR grab yourself a like minded buddy who wants to have a go and at least try to do it in a supported environment.
5/. Exercise progressions (Skill Based + strength based).
Want to squat 100kgs? Want to do a strict pull-up? Want to do some Olympic lifting? You *MIGHT* need some 1-on-1 help for this stuff. The group classes are amazing for getting you fit and strong but oftentimes you will receive 1/20th of the instructors time (‘cos there are 20 people in the class)…and if you are chasing a specific goal then 1/20th wont cut it. Can you do this stuff by yourself? Of course – with a bit of determination and a strong work-ethic, you can do pretty much ANYTHING. BUT. If you want to be able to skip over some of the “I’ll just try this – oh, that didn’t work…I’ll try THIS…oops, not good, what about THIS…” (etc) then some one-on-one coaching really helps.
I guess this is the obvious one. People do PT because they want to do 30-mins of dedicated padwork. I mean – it’s fun, it really (really) hard cardio and you get to throw punches at my face…what’s not to love??? Can you do it by yourself? Well….not REALLY. BUT you can use an app (like my fave, CyberBoxing – https://apps.apple.com/mu/app/cyber-boxing-pro/id736720903 ) to have a trainer call combos for you…this app also integrates body weight exercises, speedball, abs etc to create a pretty comprehensive boxing based workout. You DO need to understand basic boxing ‘coding’ though (1=jab 2=cross, slip, weave etc) or you are going to be super frustrated.
That’s about it…that sort of covers it! 6-things people come to do PT for! If those things sound like stuff you might like to do (you know, those big goals you have for 2022 that you think you might need some help with), please don’t be shy about letting us know!
Anyway – I really hope you enjoyed the read – see you in the gym.
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