I had a thought whilst sat in the Leisure Centre car park waiting for my swim time to come round. As I glared up at the big intimidating glass front of the ‘Fitness Suite’ it reinstated in my own mind as a Personal Trainer just how good our own facility is at Body Planners. Yes, it sounds like I’m blowing smoke up our own wotsit but I’m really not. As I write this (I realise I must look equally odd to the people training as they do to me) I can see people spending little time on any piece of equipment. By equipment I mean ‘Cross Trainers, Upright Bikes and Dreadmills’. Nobody is at the moment, using the functional area or the free weights and it is clear that there is very little structure to people’s workouts, if any at all making it a complete waste of time!
What I am witnessing here is the token effort mentality of individuals who are ‘going to the gym’ and as a result should be seeing significant gains in their body composition, fitness or both. It just doesn’t happen like that. As we’ve said before, in order for this to happen a systematic approach of progressive overload has to be put in place to stress the body over time. Or for those who are scared of big words, each gym session should be gradually more difficult, as your strength develops, more load has to be moved to create the same effect. The fitter you become, the harder you will have to work to tire yourself out in the same time frame.
The problem with the style of training I see here in this bizarre window shopping experience is that every single person is facing the same way. Every body is moving in a ‘face front’ stance which is great for conditioning the body for moving forwards and backwards but what about rotation? What about side to side movements? These can’t be done with robust static, move only one way machines. To stress your body in those planes requires a combination of FREE weight exercises. In this sense, FREE refers to the weight being free to move absolutely anywhere, it isn’t held by any support apart from the individuals. The individual has to control the weight, control how it moves, control how it balances, and then apply movement to perform an effective, functional exercise which will do way more benefit than any machine ever could.
Every little bit of help and support you give your body takes away from its ability over time. If you suddenly change out your barbell squat for a leg press or Smith machine squat you’ll find it easier because you’re adding a huge chunk of support to your body, thus allowing it to do less. This all sounds win win but when it comes to burning calories (something YOU HAVE TO DO) to create a calorie deficit, less work or less intensity means less calories burned, smaller deficit and longer attainment times when it comes to your goal expectations.
The easiest way to build an adequate deficit is to use FREE weights over machines that will trick you into thinking you’re working hard, and switch the steady state efforts for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In collaboration with sticking to your personal macros you’re set to achieve great, sustainable results. If you’re a commercial gym goer, you’re probably thinking ‘What are macros?!’. If that’s the case, read more on macros and their importance in one of our many blog articles on our website or get in touch to see what you could lose for FREE.
We don’t use machines, we don’t use steady state cardio because when it comes to what you want, they just don’t work.
Set yourself FREE.