Our focus for our clients is always helping them reach their goals. For many of you, one or more of your goals is focused around building strength, power, and/or lean muscle mass.
When designing programs for our clients, it is very rare that we jump right into power and strength exercises. To reduce the chance of injury, it is crucial before beginning any power or hypertrophy (designed to increase muscle mass) training, that you lay a sturdy foundation for your body to grow from.
Where We Begin - Assessments
Before beginning any program, it is important to assess your current abilities. This serves two functions:
It tells us your current strength, endurance, and stabilization levels
Gives us a measurable figure to compare to track progress
How We Start Training - Progressive Method
The first step to training is building strength endurance and stability. We must ensure that your muscles, and most importantly your core, are prepared to support the demands you will place on it during future phases.
We will put you through exercises that challenge your base of support with unstable ground and single-leg patterns. Strength exercises will focus around building a strong core with an emphasis on your transverse abdominis muscles - your innermost muscles connecting to the spine.
Next Step - Phase 2
Only after ensuring your trunk is sturdy and prepared for heavier loads do we begin to add in or increase weights. We move from Phase 1 with low loads, low sets (1-2) and high reps (12-20) to Phase 2 with moderate loads, moderate sets (3-5) and moderate reps (8-12).
Tempos also vary between phases. In Phase 1, when we are focused on building your muscular endurance, we use a very slow and controlled 4/2/1 tempo. This is comprised of 4 seconds for the eccentric contraction, 2 seconds for the isometric hold, 1 seconds for the concentric contraction. Once you transition into Phase 2, your tempo, while still very controlled, adjusts to a 2/0/2 tempo.
Get Ready to Reach Your Goals
After putting in all the hard work to prepare your body, you are ready to move into your more targeted, goal specific training - whether that be power or building up your muscle mass. It is key to not jump straight into this to prevent risk of injury and overuse.
Working With A Trainer
It may seem simple on instagram when you see someone sharing a handful of exercises supposed to get you to your goal, but what you don't see is all of the months or years of prior training and preparation that person has undergone.
When working with a trainer:
You are ensuring that the program you take on is designed using progressive methods and loads to not only get you to your goal, but to do so in a safe and sustainable manner.
Your program is more than 5 exercises or a 7-day program. Trainers customize and build your program looking 3,6, 9, and 12 months ahead to best train you for reaching your specific goals.
You ensure that the program is designed with your starting abilities in mind, including any mobility or prior injury concerns.
When working in-person, you get immediate feedback on form and tempo to ensure you are targeting the correct muscle groups and preventing the chances for injury.
You have a support person there to ask questions to whether it be about equipment, exercises, or nutrition guidance.
What Is Your Goal?
How often do you stop and evaluate your performance? Are you setting challenging, yet attainable, goals to ensure you are continuously improving and striving to be better than you were yesterday?