David Ball PT

Storm Fitness PT

The forgotten art of training smart

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I was training early on Saturday morning and started with a simple but tough upper body superset. 6 reps of barbell bench presses and 6 reps of a supinated row, simple but very effective when you get the weight and rest interval right.

The gym i train in is always quiet at that time but on this day a few other people were in and one guy who’d just been on the treadmill came over to the weights area and picked up a couple of 8kg dumbbells. He began throwing them around in the most ridiculous manner, everything from lunges to bicep curls to squats and kickbacks, all with the same weight and all with terrible technique, but I haven’t written this blog simply mock his efforts because that’s the one thing I cannot question. He kept going when visibly tired and got through a hell of a lot of reps with little rest.

So what is this blog about, well it’s about training smart, not training hard for hards sake. In no time he must have done 200 reps I had completed around 24 reps, yet I was equally as out of breath as he was. I was focussing on strength for my lifts, it was a weight that I knew would be a real challenge for me too get every rep of every set and had a real focus on holding my shoulder position to ensure the right muscles were working every time. This took a lot of focus and drive. My training partner simply seemed to be focussed on how many reps he could do in as little time as possible, the more sweat he created the happier it made him.

Working out doesn’t always have to be one hundred miles per hour, circuits with little rest and interval protocols that leave you crawling from the gym. Anyone can come up with a workout like that, whether it’s doing you any good is another matter entirely. If this gentlemen could put the same level of effort into a superset of lunges and bicep curls, used the right weight for each exercise, then focused on which muscles were working, he would have had far greater results and be just as out of breath.

Obviously workouts need to be tough and challenging, but make sure you’re training smart first and foremost, not just grinding yourself into the ground. Is the session the smartest way to get to your goal. Remind yourself of the reason you train and does the session reflect what you’re about to do. Is your diet plan set up to work alongside those goals? For example, a constant low calorie diet coupled with constant intense full body workouts is going to eventually leave you exhausted and with no energy to train.

Ask yourself is there a smarter way?

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