Stop Being So Specific And Accumulate

The word simple comes up a lot in my day to day life, when prescribing exercise I find there is too much confusion as to what you need to be doing to get good results. There are basically two things that in the early stages of getting into shape that are important. Technique and Intensity, an exercise without proper technique is pointless its like trying to write a book without first correctly learning the alphabet, secondly comes intensity, without this your body will not have the correct stimulus to adapt. Adaptations to correctly performed exercise with good technique are things like weight loss, muscle building, increased cardiovascular output, strength gains and a whole host of other wonderful stuff.

So after you have got your technique sorted and realized how intense a workout should be, comes the question how do I structure my workout session to benefit me the most, I now come back to the title of this blog, stop being so specific and accumulate.

When you are in your early stages of your fitness journey pretty much anything works, structure of sessions does not need to be incredibly specific your main task is to accumulate a load of the basics with good technique and at the correct intensity. I suppose that makes my job kind of pointless right ? if its all that simple ?

Well for some people the need for a personal trainer is unnecessary, and for others its the only way, it really depends on your relationship with exercise and food. A good trainer will first educate on technique whilst amusing there clients, they will then gradually increase the intensity, at all times it is essential to motivate, amuse and distract the client from the things that they do not like much. By this I simply mean if you told someone who initially does not like doing squats or burpees to simply do 200 of each they are not going to enjoy it and be immediately put off by the huge task at hand and eventually go back to there old ways. The trick here is to combine things and do them in manageable segments. Here is an example of what I mean.

1. 2 Burpees

2. 2 Punches of the bag

3. 1 Squat

Loop the above workout raising the burpees by 2 reps for every round so 2-4-6-8 until you reach 20 burpees, keep the rest of the movements at the same reps.

So the above workout is a prime example of accumulation of an essential movement with an element of distraction, if you do the maths on it you will see that its 164 burpees.

Motivation is a very large part of my job, and this comes in all sort of ways, at first its all about keeping a client amused and finding the correct triggers that will help them working harder. After a while it becomes about performance and that is where my monitoring comes into play, in my gym I monitor everything that matters, each clients has a white board on that wall and it has all the relevant statistics with regards to there progression. When a personal best is beaten the board is updated and when a particular goal is achieved a new objective is written giving them something different to work towards. This simply gives the client feedback about there progression and that in it self is great motivation.

So the next time you are trying to work out how best to programme your own workout why don’t you just simplify it, forget doing that super complicated multi movement regimen that you researched on the internet and just say to yourself by the end of this week I am going to accumulate a 1000 squats, pushups, pull-ups and row 30,000 meters on the rowing machine. Find a way to break this up into managble segments, pay attention to your technique and get the job done. I can assure you that in the early stages of your fitness journey this method will help increase your total workload and your results will be far greater.