“Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things.”
Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Rings (1643)
For years I’ve kept my textbooks on the floor along a wall. Last week I decided it was time for a change and purchased a nice iron bookcase. I soon realized my collection fit too perfectly, there is no room left for even a slender book.
The next day I returned to the store and ordered a second bookcase. There are simply too many things I don’t know, and every book,course,seminar,training session and conversation with colleagues continues to prove this to me.
I believe every trainer should form their own training philosophy. I further believe that trainers should base things in science and the fundamental principles of training. One must continually educate themselves in both matters, gaining an understanding of one helps make the other easier to understand.
I was reading a local personal trainers bio recently (because I do stuff like that) and came across this line; “His philosophy is to never do the same workout twice, so you can continue to confuse the body.”
I found this comment interesting. Interesting enough to pull some textbooks from my bookcase and do a little reading.
I’m not sure what “continue to confuse the body” means, but I speculate he isn’t talking about the biological law of accommodation. Perhaps he loads a barbell for back squats, gets the client under the bar, has them prepare to un-rack it and then run over to the seated chest press machine to fool the body into thinking it was legs day and build some massive chesticles.
While I believe that straying from the days plan can be called for, doing random things for the sake of randomness suggests that things are not being managed and that the individual is not getting better at any one thing.
I know the body responds to the demands placed upon it. I know that the nervous system can be easily fooled, but it gets smart pretty quick. I know that biomechanical efficiency makes a given exercise at a given resistance easier to perform, and that biomechanical inefficiency could result in injury.
“I think everything works for about six weeks.”
With beginner clients, I believe they require beginner programs. I look for the hardest things they can do well, and with control. They tend require less stimulus as all stimulus is new to them. Their programs are typically fairly linear in nature, which means they take time to develop skill in a given movement pattern before progressing to a more sophisticated version.
More advanced and qualified athletes can benefit from variety in their training, and in the case of extroverts it could be the preferred approach. The better the athlete, the better they are at compensating for things. This means I can have greater flexibility in their programming as their bodies have been adapted to training in various ranges and directions. It still doesn’t mean that I change their training every session.