It seems all too common now that people boast about their trainer working them so hard that their previous meal ends up in the loos in their gym’s toilet (provided they make it that far). It also seems to give some trainers a sense of achievement and tends to fuel their ego knowing that they’ve pushed their client to (over) the limit.
Obviously it is a trainer’s job to make whoever it is they are training to push hard, after all that is part of the reason they are paying them. The other reasons they are paying them is to advise them on how to train safely and progressively training them to become better / more efficient at given tasks.
Anyone can tire someone out to the point of exhaustion. Simply ask them to complete 150 burpees or push a prowler up and back 20 times. Yes, there is a time and a place for this stuff… such as at the end of a session for what’s known as a “finisher” for obvious reasons.
As I said above there is more to personal training than this and the bulk of the session should be geared towards improving things such as mobility / stability issues, improving the efficiency of movement and getting you stronger. Addressing all of these will go much further towards making you better at the “finisher” type stuff (which is essentially conditioning).
Regardless of goals, moving more efficiently, improving mobility and getting stronger should always be the foundations you start with. Let’s say you want fat loss and you just get thrown “conditioning / military style” sessions. They will only get you to a certain point. The trouble is, the more aerobic or HIIT style training is, it trains your body to actually become more efficient. You use oxygen more efficiently and you use less energy to perform the same tasks.
To lose body fat you actually want to become as inefficient as possible. Think of this the same way as an economic car sipping petrol, but an uneconomic car guzzles through the petrol. You cannot just simply keep increasing the amount of time/reps you are doing in your conditioning sessions or you are bound to stagnate. This is why there is more to personal training than just simply kicking seven shades out of someone for the sake of it.
Yes, conditioning has its place and sometimes pushing people to the limit is what they need occasionally for their own psychology. That being said, throwing up, struggling to stand up or fearing stairs after a “crazy legs session” like the gym memes state on instagram isn’t always the sign of a good session.
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