Harder Doesn’t Mean Better (Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter)

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There’s a mentality, albeit a small one, amongst some fitness enthusiasts that the only way to gauge the effectiveness of a training session is whether or not they’re able to walk on two feet at the end of it. That is, unless they’re close to vomiting their breakfast up, they feel the session was a complete failure and that they must have not worked hard enough.

Likewise, there are many personal trainers and coaches who feel that the only way to train their clients/athletes is to beat them to the ground and make them beg for mercy. I don’t agree with this.

The way I see it, any nimrod can write a workout that will make someone tired. I mean, if that was all it took to be successful in this industry, I’d just have my clients push the Prowler for an entire hour, and call it a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s something to be said about pushing people to their limits and getting them out of their “comfort zones,” but to say that some people take it to the extreme would be an understatement.

As an example, I just started working with a new female client who, due to some unfortunate circumstances, had to leave her trainer of close to one year. She explained to me that in the past, her trainer would write workouts (not programs) that would literally leave her in a mental daze. There was one instance, she noted, where she was walking home one day after a session, and didn’t realize till three blocks after the fact that she had walked past her apartment!

All she knows up until now, is that training = I hate life. Mind you, she loves training, but as of now she feels that the only way to get results is to make her kidneys bleed. I had to explain to her that just because something is hard, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.

And this, I think, is a point that many trainees can benefit from. Far too often I see people jumping into some advanced fat loss program thinking that by doing so, they’ll get 2x or even 4x the results.

Their thinking is that if three sets of ten is good, 14 sets of infinity is waaaaay better. Meanwhile, while their intentions are good, all they’re really doing is placing fitness on top of dysfunction, which as physical therapist Gray Cook has said on numerous occasions, is the worst thing one can do. In short, they’re using horrible form and it’s only a matter of time before something breaks down.

What’s more, we see guys come into CP all the time asking advanced questions like, “should I be doing more speed work?” or “when can I start using chains with my bench press?” Yet, for many, they can’t do a proper push-up, or walking lunge for that matter.

All in all, the point I’m trying to make is that a lot of trainees would be better served taking a step back and understanding that QUALITY of training is so much more important than QUANTITY of training. More doesn’t necessarily mean better.

UPDATE: For those interested in my on-going apartment search (Mom) – I checked out a place this morning that smelled like old person fart passing through an onion. Jesus, I feel like Frodo trekking through Mordor trying to find this place. There can only be one. The search continues…..

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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