When I first became a personal trainer, I admit I had no idea what I was doing.
Back during that time, I was into the bodybuilding thing. I was eating massive amounts of food (ever eat 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal and eight, whole scrambled eggs for breakfast?) and just going crazy with my workouts. I remember my wife asking me at one point, “Why do you do this to yourself?” I literally couldn’t walk out of the gym sometimes without shuffling my feet because my legs were just wiped.
So after I got certified as a trainer, I figured everyone else just needed to do what I did with my workouts. I didn’t believe they should be eating the way I did, but the way I trained them was the way I trained myself.
And what was this “one size fits all” routine?
It was all about the body part training. One session was maybe legs and abs. Another session may have been back and triceps. And the real kicker to all of this?
All the sessions were an HOUR long.
I wish I could really find some of those early clients and apologize to them.
But it didn’t stop there. When I moved to Fort Collins seven years ago and started training clients at a local gym, I did the same thing. One hour sessions with body part training for three sets of every exercise with rest in-between sets.
What a HUGE waste of time! And for cryin’ out loud, I was having clients work on their calves! Standing calf raises, seated calf raises…
Thank goodness for education AND wisdom.
It wasn’t until about seven years ago that I stumbled upon functional training.
That was the first step.
Instead of seeing the body as separate muscle groups, I now saw it as multiple muscle groups working together symbiotically. No more calf raises, no more bicep curls and no more standing shoulder raises. Every isolation movement went out the door.
The second step?
It was time to stop doing hour sessions. It was my experience that hour sessions were wasting a lot of time. I would have my client do a set of an exercise, they would rest and while they were resting we would chit-chat. After three sets of an exercise, we would move to another exercise and chit-chat some more.
Thinking about it now, we probably got 30-40 minutes of work in after all the chit-chatting.
Do you see a problem with this?
So I finally implemented 30-minute routines. After realizing that isolation movements are best left for the bodybuilders, I could train my clients in less time AND hit every muscle group by doing big, compound movements. Squats, push ups, medicine ball throws, etc. would now take place of all those isolation movements.
(Caveat-there are some clients who still need to do hour sessions and body part training. However, these are clients that have some sort of physical limitation.)
More bang for the buck. And we could now implement some short burst cardio in the 30-minute routines as well.
I recently had a trainer working for me who never trained clients for 30 minutes. She lasted a grand total of two months. I found out later from some of her clients that she was telling them that there was no way she could get a lot done in 30 minutes.
Baloney. She just wasn’t creative enough.
I think my testimonials speak for themselves. And I think that if you ask my clients if 30-minutes is enough time to get a great workout in, they would wholeheartedly agree that 30 minutes is all they need. I can tell it’s enough because they are grateful when I tell them that they are done at the end of the 30 minutes and they quickly shuffle me out the door. 🙂
And the other thing about 30-minute sessions is that you should also be doing them on your cardio days too by doing interval training. Unless you are a long distance runner, you shouldn’t be doing more than 30 minutes of cardio anyway. You can get more work done in less time if you are doing it right.
If you are currently working out for more than 30 minutes and are curious about how you can get more done in less time, let me know. I’ll show you how it is possible. And I guarantee I will BLOW YOUR MIND!
If you have some questions about how we do this before scheduling a session, just leave a comment below. I’ll respond to all your questions.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go kick some client butt for 30 minutes. 🙂
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