10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Training

 

Here’s ten things you can add to your current training to continue making progress and avoid injury.

Enjoy!

1.  Add in some grip training.

In most pulling movements; like deadlifts, pullups, and rows, grip can be the limiting factor.  We usually incorporate rows and chin ups with Fat Gripz and thick bar horizontal pullups for extra grip training.  Adding some grip training will improve most of your pulling movements, but it can also be very tough to recover from.  So, doing it the day before deadlifts may not be a great idea.

2.  Groove your squat pattern.

Our clients perform some sort of squat every time they lift.  It could be anything from a bodyweight or PVC overhead squat in warm ups to goblet squats to back squats.   The more you practice these, the less you’ll have to worry or think about technique while doing a heavy lift.

Ten Common Mistakes I See People Make In The Gym

I’m about to enter my 11th year in the industry (woah).  Given this ,  I seen about every mistake a person can make in the gym.  Here’s a list of the ten most common ones that tend to hinder people’s progress.

1.  More Is Better

Quite frequently I have people come in the gym who want ask “Can I train every day?”  The answer is typically a resounding no.  Their thought process is that if three days per week is good, then 7 days per week must be awesome!  I will inform them that their body needs to recover properly.  You don’t get better by working out; you get better by recovering from working out.

Work + Rest = Success

And yes, I know competitive weightlifters train up to 13 times per week.  You aren’t them.

15 Mistakes In 10 Years

Avon fitness“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” 
― Albert Einstein

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I got my first personal training job.  Looking back on my career so far, I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit.  I’ve had clients/athletes get drafted to the NFL, sign free agent contracts to the NFL, become an olympic hopeful, make it to the big leagues, and lose thousands of pounds and get fitter and stronger that they ever thought possible.  I’ve been published to some pretty mainstream sites (like here and here).

Sure this looks pretty good, but I’ve also made plenty of mistakes and had many failures along the way.  The purpose of this post is to bring them to light so that others don’t make the same colossal failures I have.  Here’s 15 mistakes I’ve made in ten years:

4/10/2014 Injury Update And Training Moving Forward

As some of you may know, I sustained 11 stress fractures in my left tibia in training for the Arnold.  Here’s two things I learned from this experience:

1.  Get smarter with your training – Training with pro level weights week in, week out worked for 25-year-old Jason.  Not so much for 32-year-old Jason.  I need to learn to block my training off better.

2. Don’t ignore pain – It doesn’t just go away.  Trust me, there is a time for popping an Ibuprofen/aspirin cocktail, drinking enough caffeine to kill most mortals, snorting some ammonia, and saying “eff it, let’s go!”.  But, day in and day out in training isn’t appropriate, nor is it safe.

Moving Forward

I’ve had to cut out all load bearing exercise since the Arnold.  This pretty much limited me so seated upper body work and some glute ham raises and band walks.  Here’s how training went this week:

2014 Arnold Amatuer World Championships Write Up And Videos

This past weekend I had the privilege of being a part of Team USA at the Arnold Amatuer Strongman World Championships.  It’s pretty cool to think about stepping on the field and competing against some of the best amateurs the world has to offer.  I believe there were 35 competitors from 15 different countries.  All the events were very heavy, as you would expect, and bordering on the limit of my abilities.  Here’s how it went:

210 Pound Dumbbell Clean And Press For Reps

The dumbbell felt pretty good.  I was consistently hitting 3 or 4 reps in training and was hoping for 5 or better at the show.  I ended up locking out 4 but was unstable on the 4th so only credited with 3.

Indiana State Strength Clinic Write Up

isu strengthAnother day, another clinic!  This time we were at Indiana State University for their one-day Strength and Conditioning Clinic.  Since Jason was very familiar with where we were going and who we were going to be around all day, I had a good idea of what to expect.  Even so, it was very well executed with a variety of speakers and topics. I was impressed!

Let’s get into it.

David Feeley – Inseason Training

First up was David Feeley, the director for strength and conditioning Ball State football. He spoke on in-season training and what works for their team. He emphasized that, while you may have the best plan in the world, the Head Football Coach, the Head Strength Coach and the Athletic Trainer must all be on the same page when it comes to that plan.  The ebb and flow of training in a demanding playing season requires a good deal of flexibility and the ability to completely throw away said plan and try a different one. (I think this is something every coach can learn from and relate to, myself included!)

Things To Look For When Hiring A Trainer Or Coach

Probably don’t hire the weekend certification guy…

One good way to make sure you keep accountable to that New Year’s resolution to get in better shape is to hire a trainer or coach.  Hiring a trainer can be a very worthwhile investment that will help you stay accountable and get results faster and safer than going it alone.  The problem most people face when hiring a trainer is finding one that is a good fit for them.  It’s important to realize that fitness is one of the least regulated fields in the country.  There is no governing body that says who gets to be and trainer and who doesn’t.  Pretty scary, right?  So given this, I’m going to give you 10 questions to ask when hiring a trainer. 

The Why And How Of Warming Up

Warming up (sometimes called movement prep by those who wish to be fancy) is the act of getting ready for movement.  Warming up is critical for having a good training session.

Can you get by without one?

Maybe.

Can you get by with just doing some static stretches, bodyweight squats, and pushups?

You probably won’t die, but you may be inhibiting your awesomeness.

If your goal is to be a badass in the gym or on the field, then you’d better learn the why and the how of warming up!

Warm Up 101

A proper warm up will:

  • Efficiently increase core body temperature (makes muscles move better)
  • Activate the nervous system
  • Increase adrenal hormones (gets you “woke up”)
  • Decrease viscosity of synovial fluid (makes joints feel better)
  • Lengthen, strengthen, stabilize, and balance muscles
  • Prepare you for upcoming movements

1/7/2014 Speed Bench

Band Suspended Speed Bench

Playing around with this.  The program called for 270, but when I tried it, my upper back would come up off the bench.  So, I added the bands to give it a little extra weight at the top to slow it down.

8×3 315 with an average and monster mini band.  It felt like about 200ish at the chest and all 315 at the top.  The speed was good up until the 7th set, then fatigue started to set in.

Press/Chest Supported Rows

170 4×10; 1×12/80 5×10

Band Bi’s/Tri’s and Pullaparts

5×15