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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Real World Fitness"

  One common obstacle that I constantly run into when dealing with clients that are looking for weight loss is the inability to find time to workout.  My job is to make sure that the client gets everything that they are looking for and more importantly everything that I know that they need in their fitness program.

   After my initial assessment, which includes FMS Screening, VO2 Max Test, measurements, and body fat percentage...I then look to find a way to include foam rolling, correctives, dynamic warm-up, 1 major lift, core, and conditioning. This is all done in 1 hour. Sound like I have to be a miracle worker?...NO WAY ...I have to be prepared and ready to motivate my clients to achieve their max potential during every session that they have with me.
   The secret to my ability to get all of this work done is something called "Timed Sets".  Timed Sets are workouts designed around a set amount of work and rest.  Instead of prescribing the typical workout of 10 repetitions, you may look to set a certain time to perform as many reps as possible and then allow a certain period of time for rest.  The times can be adjusted depending on the fitness level of your client. In most cases, the more fit your client is, the more work:rest ratio you can prescribe. 
   With an advanced client, I would normally set them up with a 2:1 ratio or 40 seconds of work/20 seconds of rest, 30 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest, or the dreaded 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest.  On the other hand, a beginner would not be very successful using these work:rest ratios.  
   A beginner's time can be set at 15 seconds of work/30 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of work/60 seconds of rest, or basically at least double the amount of rest compared to the time of doing work.

So now that we are all done with this fancy talk...let's get right down to business. I utilize the "Timed Sets" in two parts of my programming for my clients: the Dynamic Warm-up and Conditioning. 
   First of all, I always take about 10-15 minutes focusing on their foam rolling and correctives.  These two things are not the most glorious things to do, but definitely an important factor that I know most people are missing from their programming.  After the foam rolling and correctives, we will go right into our Dynamic Warm-Up. I usually recommend 3-4 exercises with a time of 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest.  This will of course depend on the fitness level of the client.
Here is an example of a "Timed Set" Dynamic Warm-Up for a beginner client:
30 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest
1.  Frankenstein Walks
2.  Knee Hugs
3.  Backward/Forward Lunge with Lateral Flexion
4.  Inch Worms
This will last for a total of 3 minutes, plus an addition minute for transitioning to and from this phase, bringing our total time of the workout to about 19 minutes.
   The next piece of the puzzle is our main lift. I will usually recommend to do one major lift for 3-4 sets of anywhere from 6-15 reps. This should take no longer than 6 minutes, now bringing our workout time to about 25 minutes.
   Time to bring back the fun...CONDITIONING TIME!!! I must say that this is definitely my favorite time to bring out "Timed Sets" back into play.  Again the key is to look at what work:rest ratio suits your client the best. 

A "Great" workout does not include killing your client and having them scream your name for the next 3 days. 

A "Great" workout is something that pushes your client to achieve all of their fitness and athletic goals, but still leaving them in a positive physical and mental state. This will allow them to be able to come back and train again within the next couple of days.

Here is an example of a "Timed Set" for a beginner client:
20 seconds of work/40 seconds of rest. After all exercise are complete, you will be allowed an additional 1 minute for recovery. We can start with 2 cycles and eventually move up to 4 cycles.
1.  TRX Suspension Trainer Chest Press
2.  TRX Suspension Trainer High Row
3.  Stability Ball Hamstring Curls
4.  Battling Ropes-Alternating
5.  Planks 
Now bringing our workout to about 37 minutes, I will then allow my client to relax and let them know that all of their hard work is behind them...for today. Once their heart rate is back down to a resting state, the client will be instructed through their static/manual stretching for about 8-10 minutes. 

So there you go! A complete workout from head to toe that involves not only what the clients wants, but still allows us time to add to the program.  This is the key to a "Great" training session, and getting the most bang for your client's buck. 

Someone once told me that if you want to get to your goals, you need to get 1% better every day, in every way. This goes for your clients as well. Help them become 1% better in every way, every session. This means not just coaching or training them, but helping them lead a healthy, motivating, focused, and pain free life.

Fitness Professionals out there....GET TO WORK!!!

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