Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interesting Observations from the Feats of Strength Training

Over the past six and a half weeks, most of my clients have taken part in training for my annual Festivus Feats of Strength Competition.  This fun competition will take place on December 23rd.  The training gives clients specific and objective goals in a defined time frame just when most people are forgetting about exercise all together (from Nov 1-Dec 23rd).  I am very excited and proud of how much progress all of my clients have made, and there is still over a week to go.  I wanted to share some interesting observations from, what I consider, a very effective training program and what should be an impressive showing on December 23rd.

1.  Technique, Technique, Technique:  I spent a lot of time at the beginning of this eight week period really working on clients' techniques.  This is important, because the exercises I chose (deadlift, pull-up, push-up, and kettlebell clean and jerk)  depend on good technique.  I am proud to say that most clients are now pretty solid in their techniques, even with fairly heavy weights.  Not only has this kept injuries away, but performance has been taken to a new level because of it. 

2.  Less is More:  Often, training programs can be extremely aggressive and not allow for adequate recovery.  With four exercises (which do complement each other) clients were able to train adequately, without over-training.  Appropriate training stimulus and maximal training stimulus are often confused.  Clients trained two to three times per week for 45 minutes on average.  I continue to see a steady improvement over the last six and a half weeks. 

3.  Goals are Great:  Everyone needs goals.  More specifically, you need clear, objective goals with a definitive time frame to motivate you.  Going to the gym is, as they say, 'better than nothing."  But, if you really want to see a significant improvement, you need clear, objective goals with a definitive time frame.

4.  Everyone Needs Support:  One of my main goals is to create a community among my clients so everyone can derive the support of not just me, but also of many other clients.  Thanks to group trainings, interactions in the gym and social media, I have been able to develop a network of support for clients.  Often clients will discuss their experience and personal bests with each other, further motivating each other.  We all have times when our motivation wanes, but when you have support, you get swept right back into your training without missing a beat.

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