5 Rules to Resistance Training

Students are drawn to the Training For Warriors dojo due in large part to Coach Colin’s passion for fitness and contagious energy that motivates people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For more than five years, Coach Colin has created a family culture in Julington Creek and San Marco dojos that empowers people to take control of their health.

Read below for Coach Colin's top tips for resistance training:

1. If it's not progressive, expect plateaus

So you finally decide to start an exercise program and eat right - awesome! The good news is that almost any program you decide to take on, you'll most likely see initial results. The bad news is unless you have a progressive program in place, those results will slowly become less dramatic and eventually nonexistent. Resistance training must be progressive by not only increasing weight, but also adjusting volume (rep/sets), recovery time, speed and form. Unfortunately, most people will expect long term results while implementing a program that's not designed to achieve them! For most, this will lead to frustration and even giving up on their health and fitness journey. Avoid this by taking part of a program that is built for you to consistently get stronger and better in terms of results, strength, energy, endurance and more!

2. Isolation is key. Too much isolation is a waste of time.

Compound movements that target and isolate large muscle groups as their primary movers will get you significant results! Lifts like the squat, chin up, bench press and deadlift will recruit muscles that include the glutes, lats, quads and pecs. Targeting large muscle groups burns more calories and more importantly, will significantly build muscle which will lead to a higher metabolism and increased fat loss. The issue is the foundation of some people's workouts are flooded with calve raises, 'arm days', forearm curls and about 10 different oblique exercises to target those love handles (we all know by now there’s no such thing as spot reduction, don't we??) It comes down to effective results in a timely manner. Most of us don't have the time to spend hours a day hitting every intricate muscle we can think of. We need to be implementing exercises and routines that will give us the best bang for the buck! Make the exercises that recruit large muscle groups the staple of your resistance program.

3. Throwing dumbbells the size of a sharpie into your cardio workout still just makes it cardio.

If I had to choose my biggest 'pet peeve' with today's fitness industry, it might be this one. Facilities everywhere are selling combo resistance/cardio workouts and disguising it as the best of both worlds. These workouts are basically pure cardio and other than a beginner in the first few months on their fitness journey, will bode less than significant results. If you're wondering whether or not you've fallen into this cardio trap, here are some pointers.

  • If your concern is solely to track and manage heart rate intensity, it's not resistance training.

  • If your point of exertion or failure is because you are out of breath, and there’s no sense of muscle fatigue or stimulation, it's not resistance training.

  • If the way you make long term progress is to move more as opposed to getting stronger and faster while keeping technique in check, it's not resistance training.

The Training For Warriors system separates its resistance and metabolic training in order to get the most out of both. Unfortunately, the popular combination of these two leads to neither being as effective. When resistance training, the focus should be on the technique of the movement, weight, range of motion and the muscles that are stimulated during the movement. There is an important aspect to resistance training called the mind/muscle relationship. This is not only making an exercise look right in terms of form, but has the student focusing on recruiting muscle groups to get more out of each and every rep. It may be one of the hardest things to learn, but is essential to master an exercise.

4. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. Just because it's challenging doesn't mean you're doing it right.

I see this 'If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you' quote frequently, and for the most part I agree. The problem is not everything that is challenging is effective and certainly not always safe. Many workouts these days are built to see how hard they can push you. This type of workout is not designed for your best interest. They are for the masochist, egomaniac coach who created them (yes, there are trainers who actually enjoy getting people to throw up, give up and in some cases even pass out). The goal of some of these 'coaches' is to push you until you either mentally or physically give up. This even happens at the highest level. An article was recently published of about three college football players being hospitalized due to a 'grueling' workout their coach implemented. Pushing the intensity of your workouts is crucial, but progression is key. It's important that the progression of intensity happens in the form of getting stronger and faster and not just doing more, which will eventually lead to over training.

5. If you're having trouble achieving your goals, find a great place to get help!

The best athletes in the world need a coach, so why wouldn't you? Whether you haven't exercised in years or consider yourself in great physical condition, a great coach can help keep you motivated, push to get the most out of you in each workout, correct form and hold you accountable. TFW works hard to create an atmosphere and culture that has our students looking forward to train and get better with each workout. Our program is designed to build muscle, lose fat and feel good! Don't wait to make the decision to be a part of something that will create a fit and healthy lifestyle. To find out more visit our website at www.TFWjax.com

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