When you embark on a new journey to reach a goal you have set, you want to see results yes?
A scenario that I encountered the other day whilst discussing goals and exercises with a couple of gym users who had come together, left me a bit annoyed.
These 2 poeple had come to the gym together, both wanted to build strength but one of them was more to target an onld injury and the other was for all over strength. Great! Right up my street, they had come to the right person.
I started teaching squats to the girl who was interested in building all over strength, showing her correct form, depth etc. I then handed her a 10kg barbell so she could feel the diffence in the centre of balance whilst holding the weight across her shoulders. Great, her from was really good and she listened to my instruction really well and seemed to pick it up quickly. So what’s the problem with this? Her gym partner told her that she should ditch the weight and build up to it. Another exercise this happened with was with the polymetric box, targeting glutes and quads I showed her how to use the step to really challenge these areas, and once she got used to the movement to grab a couple of dumbbells and progress that way. The gym partner, pointed at the aerobic stepper and told her to start on that and build up to the polymetric box. I could see a pattern emerging here.
Firstly, this girl was a fit and able bodied human being, capeable of lowering herself onto a chair or sofa to sit down using just her body weight as a load, or even holding a cup of tea or some books or even a bag! Strangely similar to a squat is it not? She was also completely capeable of walking up the flight of stairs to get to the top floor gym, similar to several steps on the aerobic stepper.
So what’s my point?
Why would you start off at a level that is way below your capeablity when you are there to progress and make changes to yourself physically? By starting on an aerobic stepper instead of a polymetric box takes no more effort than walking up a flight of stairs that you know you can already do with ease. By starting off too easy you are setting yourself up for failure. And why? Because all motivation will go out of the window when you don’t see results. If you’re not getting results then you’re not going to stick at it. In order to progress you need to challenge yourself, if you don’t then what’s the point?
A lot of people I see in and around the gyms I go to are at a plateau. They’ve been doing the same thing for months sometimes and not added any weight, maybe they’ve been scared to add any weight in case it’s too hard. Well guess what? It’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy we would all be in great shape and have bodies to die for.
By not progressing your routine you will never be better, and that’s kind of the point of the game! If you have people who are telling you not to try something in case it’s too hard then be firm and tell them you WANT to go up a level. Most of us, especially new gym users, have little or no confidence when it comes to increasing weight when performing load bearing exercises but it is crucial to your progress and to reach your goals.
And if you’re the one telling your friend that they should do something thats easier… find someone else to train with, go hard or go home.