I have yet to see any downside to being strong. Everything from housekeeping to sport becomes easier when you are stronger.
Whenever a new client starts training with me they, without fail, utter some form of this comment/question.
“I have never trained like this before with any other trainer.”
Nearly all of them have trained with another personal trainer before using a body sport split focusing on high rep sets with low intensity. Judging by the number of inquiries I get daily, this style of training has an extremely low success rate. This typical bodybuilding routine fails for the average trainee for several reasons:
How often a muscle gets trained. A bodybuilder generally trains each muscle group a minimum of twice per week thus doing 10+ sessions per week which is absurd to consider for the average gym goer.
A second reason people fail with this is due to a lack of strength. Let me explain using a shoulder split. The first exercise is standing shoulder press for 3 sets of 12. You can do the 12.5s for 12 on the first set to 10s on the last set with a bit of push press thrown in. By the third exercise, you are doing single arm kneeling presses and barely able to do the fives without leaning to the side to cheat. The problem is the overall lack of volume due to lack of strength. Without an increase in volume, you cannot gain any muscle.
The style of training I prefer is one rooted in getting strong first. A typical day for a new client would look like this
A1 Box squat 4*6-8 @75% A2 mobility work/rehab
B1 horizontal push 4*8 B2 horizontal pull. 4*10-12
C1 single leg 4*8+8 C2 Abs/mobility work
D Isolation/miscellaneous work.
Using a program with days structured similar to this allows us to address several areas. You get total body strength with the box squats. Upper bodywork with the push-pull and we fix any issues with mobility work. When you train like this and eat a diet focused on muscle gain you will ultimately gain muscle and strength.
If you were to train like this for several months and establish a basic level of strength you could move on to a bodybuilding split later on as you would be strong enough to get enough volume into a trading session to spark muscle growth.
Cillian Hurley BSc CSCS
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