I had mentioned that I was going to write this post on common mistakes I witness around the gym, but there were others topics that came along and pushed this to the back of the list. However the extra time just lead to me discovering that there was much more to cover than I first thought. I have been working in gyms in capacity since 1998. In the 11 years I have seen so many funny stories, touching (not criminal touching) moments, and numerous acts of stupidity, but have never documented them. In those 11 years there have been many frustrations and little annoyances and I wanted to share a few.
- You see no results from your training and in most cases I can boil this down to a few common reasons.
- You are a program jumper. You spend each week doing a different style of work out, from total body one week to high intensity the next week, with no consistency in any one program you take on. Consistency is a key component of a program that is commonly taken for granted.
- OR… You have been on the same program for a number of years. The human body is an amazingly adaptable organism and is it commonly understood among the professionals that a program should be changed or tweaked every 4 to 6 weeks.
- You have no clear plan when you come to the gym. Many, and I am going to categorize here, guys’ come to the gym and lift. They know they are working (insert muscle groups here) but there is no plan of attack.
- Pair with the above comment, there is a lack of documentation of the progression. Buy a $2.00 notebook and watch the progress. By that I mean very few individuals will track the weight they have lifted from session to session. I will say from anecdotal evidence, that I have used the most random of programs, but consistently tracked the weight I used from session to session, insuring that I was lifting more weight each time I performed the program, and you know what? I made gains. This is not a difficult concept.
- Yes, I know you see a trainer three times a week, an hour at a time. This does not ensure success. Now take it that the trainer should be giving you the tools to succeed when they are not there, but many do not take the responsibility on away from the gym. You see a trainer for 3 hours a week, what are you doing for the other 165 hours away from the gym?
- Training is not an activity in itself. There are those who you ask, what do you do for activity (i.e. Road cycling, snowboarding, climbing… whatever) and they answer, “I go to the gym.” I have a different view of this. I go to the gym because I do other things (i.e. Road cycling, snowboarding, climbing… whatever). The gym and your training are to supplement the “other things you do. They are to make those other things more enjoyable because you are not sore, fatigued, whatever it may be, after you have completed those activities.
- Nutrition will factor in something like 70% of how you look or progress though a program, yet many will never see a nutritionist or even adapt their diet to their training. But I am going to go one step further. It is lifestyle that will factor something like 70 – 80 % of how you look and progress through a program. Yes, there is eating, but what about your sleep pattern, your stress level. The guy in the gym is built like a brick house, or the girl on the treadmill has a likeness to a Greek Goddess, yet they are sleep deprived, binge drink on weekends, or are going through a terrible break up for example; are they healthy? They are akin to my idea of steroids; steroids may make someone look good on the outside, but slowly they are breaking down from the inside out (if you have questions about this comment, please ask and I can elaborate more). These people are not well on the inside and are more fragile than you think.
I could be here for quite some time but I want to keep the post brief and not to inundate everyone with a great amount of material. Little changes at a time, right.
Next post is drafted, and being edited as I tackle the egos in the profession.
But until next time,
Yours in Health and Performance
Jeff Osadec, MKin, CEP, CSCS