Thursday, March 31, 2011

Working Hard vs. Working Smart....


"I had an awesome workout yesterday, I almost passed out and I'm so sore I can barley walk!"  That could be a phase that someone you know has mentioned regarding what they feel, is an effective training session.  I've had people tell me, "My trainer kicked my ass yesterday, I had such a good workout".  I'm always a little curious to find out what was so "good" about the workout, so I have to ask them, "So, what did you guys do?"

Usually the response I get makes me think their trainer threw a bunch of exercises in a blender and just tried to do anything possible to reach a state of physical fatigue.  Most of the time these workouts, or training sessions have no rhyme or reason - they are just done to "beat down" and exhaust  the client.  Is this effective training? I think not.

Here is an example of a BAD but exhausting training session:

Do each exercise back to back with no rest between exercises
20 reps on the leg press, 20 lunges, 15 squats with shoulder press, 20 lunges with lateral raise, 20 squats with front raise, 20 reverse lunges with bicep curl, 15 squat jumps, 15 rep on the leg extension, 15 reps on the leg curl, 15 reps on the hack squat, 20 lunge jumps (repeat 3x- rest 1 min between entire circuit )

This workout will leave anybody exhausted and your legs will be sore for a few days, but is it effective?  Of course not. Think about the exercise order, think about the amount of reps performed on each exercise, and most importantly think about the potential for injury.

If your trainer puts you through that type of workout, look for someone more qualified.

There are plenty of good, effective, and exhausting workout protocols if you want to beat yourself up in a beneficial manner.  That sounds strange, doesn't it?

Check out:

-Complexes for Fat Loss by Alwyn Cosgrove

-Complexes 2.0 by John Romaniello

-stupidgymshit.com by Bryan Francis (he has a few superhero workouts that were intellegently programed)

What is the purpose of an effective training session?  To get desired results.  If someone wants to lose weight or gain muscle, there should be an effective order of programming and exercise selection.  Preacher curls are pretty much a useless exercise to an obese client trying to lose weight.  If a trainee is trying to gain some muscle, there is NO reason to to tricep kickbacks while standing on a BOSU ball.  (I personally hate the BOSU ball, it's misused 99% of the time!).
"ENGAGE YOUR CORE!"  What a "ground breaking" statement.......


Follow a training program that is designed with your goal in mind.  There is no reason to waste valuable time in the gym doing ineffective exercises and a bogus program.

I am BIG believer in pushing your body to it's physical limits. It just needs to be done with some thought and proper recovery time.  As far as being sore, it happens, but it's not a sure sign of an effective training session. Sometimes your midsection can be sore after a night of throwing up, but that doesn't mean you got a killer ab workout!  

We can all work a little harder from time to time and increase the intensity of our training sessions. We also need to realize when we should give ourselves a break to regroup and recover.

Push yourself to the limit now and then, just realize sometimes a hard workout isn't a smart workout, it all comes down to proper programming.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Damon, great post and it's so difficult at times to get through people's thick skulls, that soreness doesn't equal a great workout. This is what so many people use as their gauge of an effective workout and then you get terrible fitness professionals that create ridiculous and non-scientific training protocols. Couldn't agree more with how you stated it and thanks for the link brother!