Yesterday I did my last group Strength & Conditioning session before setting off to Canada. The session was tough and there were no teary goodbyes, I was simply given additional sets of high intensity exercises.
The reason I mention this is because I feel that I've gained an immense amount from these particular S&C sessions over the last couple of years.
As a PT I constantly push people through tough sessions ('tough' being a relative term, unique to every individual) and I pride myself on being able to 'walk the walk' and therefore push myself through an appropriately grueling training regime. However despite this, once a week I put my physical development in the hands of another coach (Vince Skillcorn) and follow as he leads.
I have 3 reasons for doing this: Variety, Encouragement and Trust.
Having another coach plan and administer sessions adds great variety into my training. Simply because of our backgrounds, experiences and preferences; Vince and I will approach the same training goals differently. I truly believe that there is no one single perfect way of training for any particular goal.
"A shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
- Carl Jung
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they are engaged in regular training is not to vary their sessions enough. The body needs new stimulus in order to continue adapting, doing the same thing over and over again will only get you so far and progress is bound to die away eventually.
Encouragement in this instance encompasses a variety of things, from the presence of team mates who force competitive behavior to the determination I find in not wanting to 'fail' an exercise in front of my coach.
Again, training by yourself is fine, I actually do most of my own strength and conditioning work by myself and I would like to think that I always push myself hard. However without doubt you will always find that extra bit of gas in the tank for another rep if there is a teammate or better yet a coach, standing next to you encouraging that extra performance. Don't believe me? Try it!
Finally the aspect of trust. Trusting your coach's knowledge, experience and decisions is paramount if you are going to progress with continued training. When I'm coaching my clients I like to present them with as much information about how or why an exercise or a programme will benefit them as possible. I've found that if someone trusts in the person that is coaching them then they commit to the process more fully and so reap more benefits. I trust Vince's decisions as a coach and so whether I want to do an exercise or not, I will if he tells me to, and guess what?! Week after week he gets me to bust my ass training hard, I don't always want to but I do and I reap the rewards. I see this in my dedicated clients, they might not always be happy about the sessions I put them through but when they see their bodies changing and their performance increasing it makes it all worth while.
So if you want to help maintain your progression with whatever your fitness goals are, try using a coach. This could be as simple as taking a group exercise class that suits your goals, it breaks up the rhythm, gives you a new stimulus and surrounds you with other people to compete with and to encourage you.
If you decide to use a PT or coach, look into their background, check that you trust their methods.
Give it a go!
I will be posting exercise and workout ideas as the weeks go by which you can use to spice up your normal routines. I will also be back in England and available for training sessions from June 2013.
If you fancy checking out Vince's work, contact him via his company website
Train hard, live happy