Mix things up, or Die trying.
If you were expecting this to be another article about why exercise does more harm than good then I apologise now for disappointing you. Nor is this ANOTHER lame attempt at telling you some simple ways to burn more calories...walk up stairs instead of taking the lift, park further away from the entrance at work, blah blah blah I have heard it a million times and it alarms me that people have such little common sense that they can't work that out for themselves.
I read a lot of articles in fitness publications and I am often left wondering 'what was the point?'. Time is a very precious commodity so I have a new policy whereby, upon completion of reading my article I want people to say "that might come in handy".
Don't get too excited and expect some kind of secret miracle revelation that is going to change the world, but feel free to take my idea and alter it slightly to give you a potentially unlimited number of sessions.
One of my biggest fears is being thought of as predictable, or repetitive, or boring by my clients. These are fairly common fears I would have thought, so here is how to avoid them...
In 2010 I spent a few hours building a large die (dice to me and you, but to be grammatically correct I must point out that 'dice' is the plural name, 'die' is singular – and it took me long enough to make one so I am in no hurry to make another) much to the amusement of everyone else in the gym who thought it was ridiculous. Turns out I stumbled across the greatest tool ever for the lazy/busy PT.
Make a list of 6 areas to work on in your session - for example you could use the following (or you can make up any others of your own depending on your aims)...
- Upper body push
- Upper body pull
- Lower body push
- Lower body pull
Next make a list of 6 sets/reps combos (I think you know where I am going with this)...
- 5 x 5
- 3 x 10
- 50 reps anyhow
- 2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2
- 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 – 1
Finally make a list of 6 pieces of equipment you have available to you...
- Suspension system
- Beer Keg
For the slow learners among us here is how it works. Roll the die, it's a 2 - upper body pull. Roll again, it's a 4 - break it to them gently that there is a Tabata on the horizon. Third roll, and it's another 2 - hook the suspension system up and away you go. First exercise is a Row on the suspension system, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest and repeat for four minutes! 3, 2, 1 let's go.......!!! Let them roll again while they recover, and repeat.
As the trainer you have artistic license to tweak the exercises and sets/reps to suit your client’s needs. Don't include anything that you think is unrealistic, and feel free to cheat a little if you want to avoid certain things at certain times.
I did warn you that there was nothing ground breaking, however, throw in one of these sessions from time to time and you will soon see that they can be pretty good fun. These sessions work really well for group PT sessions/Boot Camps if you let a different person roll the die to select each part. Never underestimate how much fun something so simple can be, and at the end of the day what is the worst that can happen? Now, everyone repeat after me..."that might come in handy".