Did You Learn How To Train With Resistance Training By Joining In On A Friends Workout? Did You Then Quickly Figure Out That Training Yourself And Training Using Someone Else’s Program Is Potentially A Dangerous Idea? Would You Like To Know How You Can Learn How To Effectively Use Resistance Training Specifically For You?

As a personal trainer for almost 20 years now I have spoken to thousands of people on gym floors, almost every person that I have ever spoken to about how they started working out using weights says something like this: “My friend showed me how to train and now I just mix those programs up!”.

As I see it, that’s awesome that you started learning… but why stop there?! Even if (and that is a BIG IF) that friend of yours knew what they were talking about regarding resistance training, your body should have now progressed way beyond that original program and set of exercises that were prescribed (I use that word ‘prescribed’ loosely) for you.

Even as a personal trainers the road of mastery is a long one that we must travel our whole careers before we “arrive” and become technical masters, so why does the average gym goer decide to not get professional help and go it alone?

Mastery also suggests that you will never arrive. Think of any black belt Jiu Jitsu master, they would be the first to tell you that they are still the student. That being said, they live with a confidence that they know what they now know, but they would also tell you with a humility that they don’t know, what they don’t know!

Before You Start Lifting!

Before you start lifting heavy loads in the gym, you should be put through an assessment process. Your personal trainer should assess your: movement patterns; joint range of motion; joint stability and mobility before allowing you to lift a wet towel off the floor in the gym showers!

This helps to identify any red flags or clues that help them address specific contraindications that you may have so that they can then prescribe specific exercises for you!

The Fondation Phase!

There is a MASSIVE difference between the personal trainer that simply takes a new client out onto the gym floor and smashes them with exercises, versus the technical master that ONLY after a thorough assessment, then takes the client onto the gym floor with a specific general preparation phase of training in mind to prepare the client for what is to come.

The former is what I call exercise. Exercise is great for some people but it will only take the client so far. Exercise has no real plan attached to it, its sole focus is to get people to sweat a little.

Whereas the latter, the technical master trains people. Training occurs on the back of a thorough assessment and then a tailored training program that considers the clients: medical history; training history; current performance capacity; lifestyle factors and goals into place before implementing any training regime.

Strength Training Principles

Principles are kinda like laws. Technical masters understand the principles of strength training. They know their shit. These are the principles that you would be wise to consider when programming for yourself.

#1 – The Principle of Training Stimulus SPECIFICITY

The body adapts to the specific training stimulus via bio-motor abilities (strength, power, flexibility, balance etc)

Before selecting any exercise, consider the transfer of training results needed before programming that exercise for yourself.

#2 – The Principle of OVERLOAD

Have you ever heard the saying: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you…”. It’s true. Make sure that you have been relatively challenged every workout and that it wasn’t a walk in the park (so to speak).

#3 – The Principle of Progressive OVERLOAD

If you don’t keep increasing stress on the body at a rate that we can recover from the body won’t have a need to adapt…

The methods of overload are: ROM; technique; volumes; increase in exercises; training frequency; training density; tempo and rest. Use them all.


Everyone will respond differently to training: via genetics; age; training age; lifestyle etc. All these factors influence the training response and no two people will ever respond the same…

No two people’s program should be exactly the same.

#5 – The Principle of RECOVERY

Rest is a vital part of ANY program. Not only between sessions, but between sets and a meso-cycle of training. Sometimes it gets worked in just naturally via life getting in the way but if not, we need to program in deload weeks.

There is no way to continue to increase loads without a rest. In addition the magnitude of loads will determine the amount of recover and rest that will be needed.

#6 – The Principle of ACCOMODATION

You cannot beat the law of diminishing returns – any biological organism is subject to this effect. If the stress doesn’t change then the opportunity for progress is reduced.

As your training age increases and you are more highly trained, the incremental increases and improvements that one can make reduces.

#7 – Principle of REVERSIBILITY

Use it or lose it. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t use it you will lose it and detrain. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this: “Mate, I was bigger than you! I know what I am doing…”. Right.

So why did you stop? And why do you now have a gut that looks like a Jenny Craig before photo?

If we stop, the body will revert back and lose all the benefits you gained. Use it or lose it.

Other Areas To Master!

But don’t stop there, there’s lots to learn about the fat loss methods, hypertrophy techniques and nutrition fundamentals that are necessary to make the habit changes that create the longterm changes you desire!

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