In an ideal world, we can all have our own personal trainer who educates us and cheers us on while working out. However, the reality is that many of us can not afford a personal trainer, or alternatively have schedules which preclude us from using this valuable service. The majority of us who do not have a personal trainer can proactively make up this gap — by becoming our own personal trainer. Mastering some of the core concepts and techniques used by the best personal trainers is easier than you might imagine. HardyMag has compiled the following six tips towards getting you on the road to becoming your own personal trainer:
A key value imparted by a personal trainer relates to goal setting. It is imperative to set goals, and these goals should take on several important characteristics. Most important is that the goal be tangible and specific. For example, a goal to “have killer abs” is great, but it is not a specific and tangible goal relating to your underlying training. All goals should be able to be objectively measured and charted with actual numbers and figures. Furthermore, all goals should be time-based with clear objectives stated at each interval.
Measuring progress towards your goals requires that you keep good notes and maintain accurate data within all phases of your training. Most importantly, your goals should be reasonable and attainable. Setting goals is a key duty of a personal trainer, and one that you can easily take on yourself.
Your training schedule is of paramount importance, and a key duty of a personal trainer is to enforce a schedule which will not lead to overtraining. An optimum training schedule stresses the body, allows it to recuperate and then initiates the cycle of stressing once again. If there is not a sufficient recuperation period, this can lead to overtraining which can actually entail declining strength — the opposite effect from what you are seeking.
One popular scheduling regimen utilized by many top trainers is referred to as the “Texas Method”. With this method, on Monday you conduct a high volume training session, Wednesday is for a light workout, and on Friday you attempt new personal records. Adhering to this schedule ensures you avoid overtraining while maximizing the benefit if your training regimen.
Many gyms push machines on their members because they are easier to administrate. However, all good personal trainers understand that the best results emanate from free weight use which — unlike machines — stimulates several muscle groups simultaneously. Make every attempt to skip the machines within your workout routine — and it will begin to more mirror one which would exist if you had your own personal trainer.
Focus On The Core Of Your Body
By the core of your body, we mean your hips, spine and shoulder joints. When adding to your training routine, always keep these areas within the forefront. For an excellent full analysis of this bit advice, we strongly recommend our readers check out the book Core Performance by Mark Verstegen.
Strength Versus Stamina
A good personal trainer will devise a plan for you which focuses on building basic strength. This focus is achieved by highlighting squats and bench presses. Weight training is characterized by lifting heavy weights in sets of five or fewer reps. Personal trainers will have you start light while warming up within your progression towards heavier weights. Ideally, a basic workout will include three sets each comprised of five reps.
Intensity Is Key
Personal trainers understand that shorter highly intense work burns more calories than lower intensity cardio. Furthermore, it is a myth that cardio translates to increased endurance. Studies have shown that short intervals of intense training benefit endurance to the same level as slower cardio. A personal trainer provides the motivation and guides you through these intervals, but without one you can still devise your own short high-intensity regimens.
Hopefully the above six tips can help give you the training benefits usually only derived under the guidance of a personal trainer. Furthermore, there is a plethora of good literature available which yields more insights and instructions on how to get personal trainer inspired results without the corresponding expense.