IN A PREVIOUS article, I mentioned how we now have so much information one click away to help us out on the right health and fitness path. Long gone are the days where one size fitted all and we had to search far and wide for the correct information for our goals.
The goal of today’s article is give the majority of the readers some guidance that will help them with some of the main factors to overcome I see when working with new clients. These are the most commons obstacles I see on a daily basis when working with new clients coming through the door. A lot of these are simple fixes and I will give you a solution for all the points highlighted.
Mobility needs some workA movement and mobility assessment is always the first thing I do when working with any client for the first time. Without a doubt, the biggest factor I see with the majority of new clients is that they are quite weak with regards to their mobility. Mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry promote this. The industry rarely sells patience and a lot of the time, its attention is on youth, vanity and intensity.
However, I am a huge believer that your mobility is one of the number one areas you should focus your attention on and should perhaps be one the most important pillars of a workout plan. The more mobile you are, the less restricted you will be when it comes to performing certain movements such as hip hinges, squats and other staples of a training programme. As Gray Cook, physical therapist, says: “You can’t put fitness on dysfunction.”
Source: David Last/YouTube
Here is a simple mobility assessment for you to try. The video is not to show you how poor your mobility is but to help you weigh up where you are at, combat any weak areas and give you that little bit more guidance with going forward with your training. I have compiled articles here and here which give you a lot of the advice you need to know if you fell down on any of the drills above.
Core and glutes are generally quite weakAfter a simple movement assessment, the two most common areas that nine times out of 10 show up weak are the glutes and core. These are perhaps two of the most important areas you should have dialed into your gym program.
We spend so much time in the seated position which in turn can force our glutes to become a lot weaker and inactive. My best advice is to incorporate some glute activation drills and strength building movements into your daily routine.
When it comes to assessing core strength, a lot of people fall down here initially. I would regard core work as something you need to be working on almost every time you exercise. Core work is so important and in general I would consider function and performance to be the priority over aesthetics. A lot of the time when I ask a new client what their goal is they mention wanting to improving their core and it seems as though a lot are mixed up between having a strong core and having visual abs, which can be very different things.It seems as though when we mention core they are looking to have a flatter stomach. If you want those abs, yes, you need to do core work but mostly it’s going to come down to your nutrition end of things.
Most are chasing intensity over consistencyAs I highlighted in a previous article, the way fitness is packaged and sold to us is far too extreme. Everything and anything nowadays has to be tough, full of high volume and intensity resulting in blood, sweat and tears. Many of us really have bought into this style of training and it seems as though “go hard or go home” is the only successful approach.
For sure, having certain forms of high intensity is great but you don’t want to have this approach with your training in every session. My best advice to anyone that I guide with their training plan is to aim to have an approach that is sustainable with a consistent approach. A good step here is to follow a properly designed program, listen to your body and keep it varied, fun and effective.
Here is a typical 3-4 days per week training template in video format that I would suggest for you to look at.
Source: David Last/YouTube
Have a goal and the right plan mapped outAs soon as I get over the assessment stages complete, I then ask the most important question and that is “What are your goals?”
The key here is to truly find your why — your goals and your reasons for getting after it. It could be physical, mental, anything really. It could be to lose weight, to feel better mentally or it even could be to complete a certain event. Whatever it is, list them off and go after it the right way. A lot of the time I see people make goals and never get to that destination. There are many reasons for this but the most common one is not having the right plan mapped out.
Log your weekly goals and every day write down what went right and what could have gone better. Remember the goal here should be to get 1% better each day. You don’t need to be perfect every single day.This article will help you get more focused and help you achieve your fitness goals
Nutrition/lifestyle approach is a bit of a rollercoasterThe single biggest mistake I see most people making is not tracking their calorie intake so they rely on guesswork as opposed to using an app like My Fitness Pal. Calorie intake is the primary driver to weight/fat loss. On top of that, most just are not getting the basics right with regard to their lifestyle choices. Their quality of sleep ,water intake or even days where they should try to chill and recharge the batteries after a tough week being “switched on” is simple stuff to fix and at the end of the day yet are the big things that really affect us. What I typically see when I look at a client’s food log are:
- We tend to either be relatively on track Monday-Thursday and as soon as the weekend kicks in, it’s a total overhaul — eating too much with the extra calories coming from either too much junk food/alcohol, and then starting all over again on Monday.
- Most clients I see initially don’t really have a clue what sort of calories they need to take in on a daily basis for their goals.
- Most clients generally will fall down on hitting their daily grams of protein.
- Most think they are drinking enough water but really aren’t when you break it down.
- Some think they need a special supplement to get them to their goal.
David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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