Here’s is what I’ve learnt from lifting weights for 30 years
For 12 years of my 51 birthdays stomping around this earth have been spent telling people what to do while wearing tracksuit pants and drinking excessive amounts of coffee.
If you guessed a personal trainer, you are a genius.
Getting people stronger and more confident in their bodies is what I do. The comfortable pants and excessive caffeine are bonuses. In 12 years of coaching and over 25 years spent under the bar I’ve picked up an opinion or two.
And lucky for you, you’ll benefit (hopefully) from my many opinions. Let’s start by saying butterfingers is one of the tastiest candies around. And lifting weights is fun. If you disagree, you’ll hate the rest of this post.
Pack your bags and go lift some weights. For the rest of you, strap in for a fun ride. 3,2,1 go.
Weights and Life Things
1. If you want to get stronger, lift weights. If you want to lose fat, lift weights, and eat like an adult.
2. The people who don’t wipe the sweat of the equipment are the same people who will cut you off in traffic. I don’t like these people.
3. Cardio will not kill your gains but will improve your recovery and reduce stress levels. It doesn’t matter which mode, find one you enjoy and stick to it.
4. Improving your lifting technique is an underrated form of progression. Master the weight on the bar and don’t let it master you.
5. Carries and planks are two of the most avoided exercises. Suck up the discomfort of both and reap the benefits.
6. I failed English at high school and now I get paid to write about fitness. Want to know my secret? Hard work, lots of good mentors and editors.
7. Once had a gym member introduce me to her under arm fat otherwise known as chicken wings. Real up close and personal in the morning before coffee. Still haunts me to this day.
8. Therapy is the best investment I’ve ever made for my health. I encourage everyone who needs to talk to someone to go at least once.
9. Change doesn’t need to be hard and it doesn’t need to be big either. Making small changes over time leads to big results.
10. Some people tell you to enjoy the journey and not the destination. Why not enjoy both when you get there? You deserve it.
11. Lifting basics work. Squats, presses, rows, hinging and carrying heavy stuff will get you where you want to go faster. The trick is to find out which variations of these works best for you and the only way to find out is through trial and error.
12. Ever tried to fit a square peg into a round hole? Don’t to this with exercise. It’s a sure-fire way to get hurt.
13. To the public, coaching seems easy. You get to tell people what to do. But getting people to buy in and do what they don’t want to do is hard work.
14. I am the least handy person I know. I’m better at breaking things than fixing things. The exception is humans.
15. Get stronger in all rep ranges. Lifting max weights is something you should do occasionally. Training and getting stronger in the 5-20 rep range will hold you in good stead most of your lifting career.
Happiness And Life Things
16. With so many people telling you how you should feel, check in with yourself occasionally. You should never be told how to feel. Ever.
17. Too many people don’t enjoy their training. Have you seen a person running on the side of the road who was clearly not enjoying themselves? Pushing the needle closer towards fun ensures longevity and consistency.
18. Base your training on the time you do have and not the time you wish you had. Doing a little over the long-haul beats doing a lot and then stopping.
19. Have people around who disagree with you. Your way of looking at the world is not the only way.
20. Take a deep breath in through the nose and breathe all the air out through your mouth five times. Don’t you feel better?
21. Finding you true why behind your need for change helps keep you on track when stuff is not going your way.
22. The best way not to let a difference of opinion lead to a fight is to say nothing. Next time you read something you don’t agree with on social media, ignore it and scroll on by. See how easy that was?
23. Intermittent fasting is great for energy, focus and figuring out the difference between hunger and boredom. But it is not for everybody and it’s not a magic pill for fat loss.
24. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. They’re all important.
25. Planning the menu for the week takes the guesswork out of food decisions and makes it easier to write a shopping list.
26. Limiting your food choices helps fat loss, decision fatigue and you’re less likely to make bad food choices.
27. Self-control is a limited resource. Only use it when you really need it.
28. Are you hungry after you just ate? Have a glass of water and wait a few minutes. Still hungry? Then eat something.
29. If trigger foods are in your house, you will eat them. Either throw them away or hide them. Out of sight, out of mind.
30. Don’t diet hard and train hard at the same time. Something will break and it’s usually you. Instead pick one and go with moderate intensity with the other.
Weights, Coaching And Life Things
31. Even with my knowledge and experience I still do not write my programs. Having an objective pair of eyes is needed whenever you are too close to something.
32. Give credit where credit is due. Your friends, family and audience will not think any less of you and they will be happy you bought it to their attention. But if they find out it’s not your idea and you claimed it as your own, they will think less of you.
33. I never give a client, friend, or family member more than two things to remember at once because it only leads to confusion. Unless they’re superhuman.
34. Want to know what a client, friend or family member wants? Be quiet and listen without responding. Just listen. There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth.
35. When you cannot increase the weight, either do more reps with it, nail your form, or decrease the weight and increase your time under tension by lifting it slower and adding pauses.
36. Do you want to lose your love handles? Do these five things.
37. Consistency is king when it comes to your health and fitness. But how do you get there? You get there by doing this.
38. My job involves getting people to do what they don’t want to do to get what they want. It’s a fine line to dance on and one of the most challenging aspects of coaching.
39. When it comes to lifting weights everything works. The trick is what to do after it stops working.
40. I find supersets (two exercises paired together) the easiest, simplest and most time efficient way to exercise for fat loss, strength, muscle gain and general health. It’s what I use for my and all my client’s programs.
Wow, that’s 40 points and I hope you gained something by reading. Like with most things there is no substitute for experience, and it has been gained the hard way. And now you’ve read it, you have gained it the easy way. Lucky you right?
Excuse me while I have my cake and eat it too. I’ll lift weights to burn it off