A Personal Training Session Should be Judged by the Results It Produces
Some people think my personal training studio in Boonton moved, no I’m still here and don’t plan on going anywhere. That was Impact Fitness that moved, and yes I was surprised since we moved in around the same time.
It happens I guess, I wish them well.
Years ago when I was developing my performing strongman career I had enlisted the help of Dr. Rob Gilbert to teach me about motivational speaking. Dr. Gilbert has a success hotline, and podcast where he produces a short daily motivational message, and the other day he spoke about why coaching is one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
Here is the link if you want to listen yourself, it’s only 3 mins long https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/why-coaching-is-one-of-the-most-difficult-jobs-in/id1532154557?i=1000553246960
It’s funny because personal training seems to be the exception to this rule. Sometimes when I talk to people I find out they already have personal trainers, and they like to say that he/she is really good.
Great! (the world needs more good personal trainers after all) What are the criteria you use to see whether or not they’re good?
They’ll usually say something like, I’m always sore, they push me really hard etc.
Ok, but is that the reason you signed up with them? To be pushed hard and get sore?
If that’s the reason, fine I guess but many times when people hire them to do it’s simply because they think that is the ticket to gains in strength, muscle definition, and dropping body fat.
In fact, one of my clients from years ago hired me to yell at her. I told her I don’t really yell, but perhaps what she really needs is a more effective program. She was actually working as a personal trainer herself, and I completely changed her paradigm to one of progress instead of screaming “faster! harder!” (that’s what she said)
There is more to effective programming than simply working hard.
Now it could be you hire a personal trainer just to keep you consistent. If they’re keeping you consistent that’s great! Mission accomplished!
However, you may be looking to them for actual progress. And that’s a different thing entirely.
Indicators of progress for how it transfers to every day life would be things like you’re able to do things you weren’t able to do before, you’re looking better and feeling better etc. In the gym, I look at it mathematically. Are the numbers themselves improving?
As an example, there are multiple variables to be measured when it comes to progressive resistance training. The standard ones are load (amount of weight) volume (total amount of sets and repetitions performed) and density (load x volume/ time). It doesn’t need to progress every single workout, in fact wave loading style periodization goes counter to this. But in the bigger picture if the numbers are increasing over time, great! You’re making progress.
Now if you are trying to decrease body fat if your weight is staying the same, but you are repping out with weights you previously struggled with, you know you’re leaner because you don’t turn a 1 rep max into a 10-15 rep max without gaining a bit of muscle. You can often see it in the mirror or in before and after pics. Daniel gained 25lbs of muscle while decreasing his body fat with this approach, feels way stronger and is more capable and looks way better too. His bench numbers are almost twice as heavy as when he started with me. That’s progress.
I never once yelled at him and rarely does he feel sore after training. I push him yes, but not farther than he can effectively recover from. The important thing is the way his personal training program is put together and progressed.
Another personal training client of mine did chin-ups for the first time in her life for sets of 3 when she previously couldn’t do any. She also did her starting 1 rep max in squats for a set of 15. Those are all signs of progress.
Another personal training client of mine (a personal trainer herself) got her lifetime first chin up, and later that day welcomed her 2nd grandchild into the world. That was a big day for her and she felt accomplished.
So when you are looking at your program, ask yourself why you started it, then ask yourself if you are getting what you actually wanted out of it. If you aren’t, it may be time to rethink the way you look at it.
And if you need help with this, I offer a free trial at my personal training studio…still on Main Street in Boonton. Send me a text at 973 476 5328 and introduce yourself to get started.
Eric Moss is a personal trainer in Boonton and moonlights as a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, and motivational speaker. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, associations, nonprofits, government entities as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.
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