Pretty recently I was having a conversation with a group of young personal trainers. Smart guys, but young to the industry itself. I love these conversations, mostly because these people are always so excited about the future! Ambition gets me every time! We were talking about workout structures and how to best deliver results to someone who is not a naturally gifted athlete, a person who may have recently gained some weight and needs to get back on track.
We were discussing all sorts of factors related to creating effective workout plans/programs but I was surprised at the thing we focused on the most.
Let’s keep in mind, I’ve been training for a while now. Going on 16 years to be exact. I’ve had great mentors, teachers, clients and coworkers so it’s safe to say that I’m a bit seasoned. This conversation took me off guard, however. They were surprised by my definition of intensity, which surprised me…
This surprised me because these guys are smart. They had all the certifications, worked at quality gyms and had been training for a while! The issue here is these guys, while good at what they do, represent the majority of the personal training space. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means bashing these trainers. We’re all good friends and we often even workout together.
However, their definition of intensity was not representative of anything that might be considered scientifically or functionally accurate, and that’s a problem.
You see, just like most of the general public, they thought my definition had to do with crazy stuff. Jumping around, sprinting everywhere, yelling, no rest periods. You know what I mean? Real drill sergeant stuff. But that is not at all what I meant.
In a proper training plan, intensity represents the ratio between volume and resistance. Without the appropriate volume and matching resistance you will not be able to satisfy a person’s goals with quality results.
To me, this is pretty simple. Tough workouts should be tough because the intensity is progressive, measurable, and representative of the person doing the work. Without these things there is no purposeful plan, which means the workouts don’t mean anything when grouped together. This doesn’t make sense to me. Why pay for the guidance and expertise of a gym or trainer if they do not have a plan that is tailored to you? Why not put your money into a trainer and a program that IF executed and followed correctly would produce results almost automatically? Is that not the point of the professional?
I suppose the real issue I am highlighting here is that professionals and consumers alike often fall victim to the same things: exciting, overly hyped up marketing and propaganda. Instagram, some might say…
The issue here is everyone wants to feel like the answers MUST be something they can’t possibly understand. It MUST be so crazy, so exciting, so sexy that I would KNOW what good effective training looked and felt like. I would feel it. “If I’m not so sore and basically crippled, I must not have worked hard enough.”
Wrong. Just no.
The best results often come from the exact opposite thing. The boring work. The day in, day out, not sexy grind.
You never see this stuff on instagram, mostly because it isn’t “cool.” It’s just work. The problem is that it is effective.
To sum this up, look deeper than what’s cool. Sometimes the answer is the most obvious one, the most simple one.
We work and live in a flawed industry full of misinformation and hype. Do your research and ask questions. Don’t fall for the hype of social media training and fake results.
Get yourself into a real program that is all about you, your progression, and your results.
If you are that person who’s had a bad experience with this type of training in the past, please reach out to us here at Compass & Anchor Fitness and Performance. We would be happy to sit and talk with you about how we can help you get the results you deserve. If you’re not located near us, we’re happy to work with you via our online coaching platform OR we will happily refer you out to a coach or team of coaches whom we know and trust.
There are people out there who genuinely want to help you. Keep asking questions. Don’t give up.