One of the values of hiring an expert personal trainer is that it allows us to outsource our workout. Of course, there are still a few key elements that even the best trainer can’t provide for the trainee. As you approach your next strength workout, I encourage you to take control of these six factors. Please note, I’m intentionally omitting the cliché of “control your diet,” which of course is true, but too general and amorphous for this discussion.
Specifically, focusing on the six elements below will enhance the 30-minutes you spend in your strength session:
1. Be well rested coming into the session. This involves striving to receive 7-8 hours of sleep for the 2-3 nights leading into the workout and also avoiding other physical activity or exercise that taxes our skeletal muscle.
2. Commit to slow, deliberate, controlled movements. Your trainer can instruct, encourage, and prod, but you have to actually perform the rep; one perfect rep at a time.
3. Mentally challenge yourself to reach true muscle failure. Avoid the temptation to rely on assistance from the trainer when you could perform 1 or 1.5 more reps without assistance.
4. Fight during the A.O.T. (Advanced Overload Technique). If your trainer has you performing a 20-second negative at the end of the set, fight for every second.
5. Consume 20 grams of protein in close proximity to the workout.
6. Stop if you have actual pain during an exercise and provide detail to your trainer. You want to fight through discomfort; not actual pain.