Hello again and Happy New Year to all. Today we are talking about fitness routines especially the ones that likely just started. As everyone kicks in with their fitness related resolutions, there’s one thing I just want to make everyone aware of, at least those that are just starting out or getting back to it for the first time in a long time, I want folks to acknowledge this one thing. You are not going to have it all figured out right off the bat, even after a month, or two. It’s OK that you don’t have it all figured out, seriously even professionals don’t have it all figured out, despite what you may see.
When you get into any sort of fitness routine, THE number one thing for everyone to remember, as I'm sure many have heard before too, will be is consistency. Doing even the most basic things like go for a 20-minute walk will do wonders for you if you just stay consistent. Once you get that down, the rest can start to shape up. Of course, there will be many questions on what to do from X point, which is why having a coach in your back pocket to ask questions and get some guidance from is helpful (hi that’s me).
So, if you’re just starting out or just starting back, unless you have gone out and hired a coach (way to go!) then you will likely be slowly piecing things together and that is OK. It’s likely you won’t have an amazing warmup routine, a good training program or anything of the sorts. Just keep trying, keep showing up, ask questions of someone you trust or ask someone for someone they trust and learn as you go.
That's all for today, short, sweet and hopefully informative. Hope everyone has themselves a heck of a 2023 and thanks for hanging here with me & reading.
With the New Year coming up, there will be an obvious influx of people making new resolutions to get healthier and feel better. With that, some will be seeking out the help of a professional and that term I use loosely because quite frankly, some coaches do the industry more harm than good for multiple reasons. What I’m here to do today is to arm you with some knowledge you can use yourself or pass on to loved ones and friends to find out if you’re walking into a trap of sorts. I’ll try to make these points those that can carry over whether it’s someone seeking a more “gen pop” type of fitness or someone seeking more athletic performance types.
Price- To some degree price is going to be a quick indicator of whether the person is worth your time (and money). The best answers usually lie somewhere in the middle of the price points, if you’re talking about someone charging $5 a session, you are going to get exactly what you paid for, cheap training. The most expensive is not necessarily the best either, I’ve seen people charging way too much money for what little production folks are getting and that’s just plain old robbery, not cool.
Background- This is less about how many letters are next to their name and more about how & why they got into it, for me. Is this someone that’s doing this full time or at least transitioning to doing training full time? If the answer is yes, then they’re probably worth a shot. If it’s someone doing this as a side gig or is more into making a name for themselves than caring about your goals, into the bin they go, next.
Experience- Again, this isn’t EVERYTHING, but having some sort of experience helps. Some coaches went to school for this stuff, so they’re not a completely fresh & green pro right out of the gate, that helps, but isn't a deal breaker or maker either. I’ve also seen the other side of this with some really ornery, stubborn old coaches, also not good either. If the person has more than 3 years, they’ve gotten beyond the time most burn out, so chances are they learned a thing or two.
Values & Style- Going along with a few things I've mentioned in some of the points above, what sort of values or mission does the person have? Are they more concerned with working with celebrities and being the next big thing or with working with good people like yourself? When you get into any sort of initial assessment or consultation, how do they communicate with you? Do they try to use big fancy words in order to impress you (which likely means they either lack confidence, are a little self absorbed or simply don’t understand how to communicate to their clients) or do they put it in as plain of English as they can? If you can understand what their goals are with you and what they are telling you, then they are off to a good start.
Not every one of these things needs to be ticked or perfect, but these are just some ideas to help sniff out the bad ones. Of course, if you have questions about someone or their programming, you can always ask a friend that might be a coach or have a clue (hi it’s me, I’m that person for you…you have my email already after all). As I said, I do hope this can help one person find their next coach or trainer, or at least avoid a bad one, that'll be a win for me. Thanks for reading everyone, enjoy the rest of your week and feel free to reply with questions, comments or general feedback.
Hi again everyone, today I’m here to talk about something that can feel very daunting to some and will often cause folks to just abandon their programs or maybe not take them as seriously, weight selection. For me, I’m not huge on taking percentages of a certain person’s ‘max lift’ or the like. I’m also not one that’s going to be testing out right single rep max lifts. I think there is absolutely a time and a place to use them, certain athletes and populations truly need something like that, but that’s not a population I deal with much.
My preferred method for selecting weight is going by what many coaches refer to as RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion or Rate of Perceived Effort. I’ll try to explain as briefly as I can. The scale works on 1 – 10, 10 being maximum effort, I usually say the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life and 1 being so minimal effort it’s passive, usually I refer to this as being asleep. The target for this is to be around a 7 or an 8, as it’s been best explained, that means if you do the given number of reps written down on your program, you should have 2 reps or so left in the tank, preferably not more and certainly not less. Example, if I were to have Goblet Squats programmed for 8 reps, I should feel like I could do up to 10 by the time I perform rep number 8, but not more, with the weight I have. Make sense mostly?
Here’s why I prefer this over percentages. There is this wild thing that most people have to deal with called life. When folks walk into 250 Cypress street, depending on what life has thrown at them, what felt like a 7 RPE on their Dumbbell bench press last week, might feel close to a 9 this week. With so many factors going into someone’s energy and ability levels for their workouts, sleep, stress, food, water, etc..., it allows folks to meet themselves where they are at for the day.
My hope today, is that the next time you walk into your workout, if that Kettlebell RDL feels like you could do 1000 of them, this system will help turn on that light bulb to say, “oh I should increase the weight”. Course, the same goes for if the weight on your Lunges is so heavy you can’t do a single rep more once you’ve reached the desired number of reps, that switch flips and says, “I definitely need to go down on weight for these”. There are always exceptions, as most of you know, it depends on is a pretty common answer to most questions and problems, this is no different. Thank you very much for stopping by and giving your time today, please feel free to reach out with questions or comments, have a great rest of your week.
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS