Might not hurt you, but it can sure keep you from making progress. Today I wanted to share with you a little bit more of the science behind training to help you understand why trainers do some of the things we do. Some of these are principles are things that a trainer would learn VERY early on in his education for pretty much ANY of the major personal training certifications that are offered. I find it ironic that we learn them early on, yet they continue to not be spread to the masses.
1. The SAID Principle SAID stands for "Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand". Simply put, this means that your body will make specific adaptations based on the amount of demand that is placed on it. Are you that girl that brings a magazine to the gym, hops on the bike, pedals on level 1 at 40 RPM? Well your body isn't going to change, there is no demand being placed on it. In this case, you literally would be burning more calories STANDING UP to read the magazine than you would sitting and pedaling that slowly. The SAID Principle is very important for those who participate in sports and need to train their body SPECIFICALLY for that sport, but it also applies to everyday people looking to improve fitness.
2. The Overload Principle The overload principle goes hand in hand with the SAID Principal. It simply means that in order to create a positive adaptation, we must give the body MORE than what it is accustomed to doing. Are you that guy that goes to the gym, jumps on the treadmill, puts it on 6.0 and runs for 30 minutes every day and then wonder why you can't lose those last 5 stubborn lbs? Well, when you started your workout regimen and hadn't run in a long time, that 6.0 was a hard effort for you and your body changed. But then you get to a point where that stimulus becomes the norm and the body treats it as such.
3. The TUT Principle TUT or Time Under Tension is what trainers are truly having you shoot for when prescribing you "sets and reps". The fitness mags all tell women "do 15-20 reps to tone" and the men "do 8-12 reps to build mass". Well there is a little bit of truth in that but it only scratches the surface. You may have heard of the different muscle fiber types Type 1, Type 2a, Type 2b. Depeding on the muscle groups you are training you need to do a variety of differnt amounts of sets and reps. For example, "Core" muscles are predominantly Type 1 Endurance type muscle fibers. The main job of Core muscles are to hold the spine in place hour after hour day after day. Attempting to train those muscles with heavy weights and a low rep range thinking your are going to get super strong abs is counter productive because those muscle fibers don't respond to that type of training. Also, everybody has different natural tempos, typically dictated by their personalities. When I train high energy excitable people, they almost always move the weights much faster than calmer mellow personalities. It make take the first person 3 seconds to do 1 rep of an exercise while it takes 5 or 6 seconds for the calmer person. If person 1 does 12 reps thinking they are "toning" the muscle, they really aren't. they haven't kept it under tension long enough, they probably need to go closer to 20 reps. For the person that moves it slower, they may only need to do 10 reps which conventional wisdom says builds muscle mass but not for this person.
Moral of the Story: There are people who do workouts and there are people who train. I'm always happy to see people come to the gym, but if you don't know what you are doing, you are probably dooming yourself to failure. Aimlessly moving weights around is a workout; intelligent planning and program design is TRAINING. Begin to think about what your specific goals are and begin to assemble a training program around that.
Need help? Drop me an email comment below and I'll be glad to help! Do you live here in NYC? I start all new clients with a 3 session introductory package which is designed to give you a thorough assesment of your current fitness level, discuss what your actual goal are, and then begin to put the framework of your TRAINING program together. "Like" Central Park Fitness on Facebook and click the "Personal Training" link on the side and for a limited time you can get this assessment package for $99! You can come to my private facility on the Upper East Side or if you have a facility in your apt building I can come to you. As the weather gets nicer we can even do our sessions in your local park!
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