Posts Tagged ‘Training goal’

The circumstances in life is different for everybody. Some are born with genetic predisposition to be obese, some with bulging calves, and other perceived “imperfections”. The further away our predisposition is from our “model”, the harder it would be to attain what we want. People are naturally drawn to what is beautiful.
The media can influence our minds into what to think as “beautiful”. But what is beautiful? It can be anything. So we should strive to bring out what is beautiful in us rather than trying to attain a certain standard of “beauty”. It is refreshing to see the fashion and modeling industry come up with “plus size” models and outfits. It is time that we realize that beauty comes in different forms.

plus size beauty

Photo courtesy of google.

Since people come in all sizes and shapes, training programs come in an infinite variety too. We just need to choose what works best for us in achieving what we want. We take into consideration our circumstances and be pragmatic rather idealist.lady athletes body types


Keep in mind that we are in a consumer oriented society. Facts can be twisted by businesses to sell. If you ask “experts”, you may get conflicting advice. Google has too many experts for you to choose from. Try facebook! Almost everyone there is an expert. Most probably you would listen to the one who will tell you what you want to hear. But most likely, that may be different from what you need to hear. That is why coaches who know how to train an individual to reach his/her maximum potential may not have much clients. Being honest sometimes is not appreciated. Probably clients want their Personal Trainers to bend to their whims.  If they refuse to “dance to the music”, clients would leave and go to the trainer who knows how to talk and to please the clients, but not necessarily train. The clients may
have stated their goals but their expectations are different. Or the coach may not have listened well and is imposing what he wants that the client does not need.

To get straight to the point, ask yourself what is your goal. Better write it down. Then ask yourself WHY many times over. Most, if not all, would lead to the most basic answer “because I want to be happy…”. To be healthy makes you happy, to be sexy, to be attractive… What makes you into such? You have many options. You can take some pills, go under the knife, or have an expensive wardrobe. Some would do the old fashioned way- they train, and avoid eating too much oily and creamy stuff or too much of any food. They rest well. It takes discipline and perseverance. It is not easy for some.

So what does this have to do with fitness? If you think being healthier open & honestand fit makes
you happy, that’s great! If you think a personal trainer or coach can help you, that’s correct. But choose very well. Some are good in talking and entertaining their clients. If you are happy just to chat with someone while you pretend to train, that’s entirely up to you. Some are coaches and they would train you, and probably chit chat is not what is in their minds. They may not be very good in entertaining. But that is how they produce tangible results. If actual results are what you are after, you would be better off with this type. You know that each session may not be easy but that is how you can improve. The final say is up to you. You walk your own path. There are many out there who can show you how to get to your intended destination.
Ask how they intend to train you, who they trained, and other stuff. A mentor commented that teaching and coaching is about relationships. That’s true. There are many technically good coaches but may not work well with particular personalities. If the trainee and the coach or fitness professional respect and listen to each other, the training program is easier to design and implement. So have a clear goal and be honest to yourself and to your coach. That way you would be happy to Train Better! Live Better!

Val Ramos Jr.

When you set a goal, you have to define it first before you can move forward. Convey your goal to your Strength Coach so that an appropriate assessment or monitoring and plan can be made. Being physically strong is a noble goal. But what does it mean? Strength is the ability to produce maximum force. It is the ability to lift or push or move heavy objects. But I realized that the word “Strong” is sometimes incorrectly used to describe someone big and muscular.


Strength can be described by the weight of the object you are moving, in a certain exercise or movement. It is measurable and to be more accurate, it is best measured in as few reps (short for repetition) as possible. The reps should be low (5 or less) because the load is simply too heavy to move or lift many times. For example you can full squat 50kg for fifteen repetitions but cannot complete the 16th rep. You add 40kg for a total load of 90kg and you try to full squat. It feels a lot heavier but you were able to do two reps and was not able to get up on the 3rd rep. You were then able to do two reps maximum of 90kg for the full squat. That is the maximum load that you can lift with 2 reps. When it comes to the full squat, 90kg is a closer measure of your strength than 50kg. 50kg is the load that you can lift for fifteen reps. Increasing the repetitions means moving towards endurance and moving away from strength. Therefore, if you want to improve your strength faster, train with heavy loads that you can control and move for around 5 reps or less. If you train with ten reps or more, you will still become stronger but not as fast as when you train specifically for strength. You develop your maximum strength by lifting near maximum loads. You develop strength endurance by lifting a load that you can lift many times by- that is around 8 reps and above.  This follows the concept of specificity.


Standard exercises are used to measure strength so as to give feedback on how much a trainee improved. Most Strength coaches would use the squat and bench press. The deadlift and bench pull are also used. It basically depends on the details of your goal and what you and your strength coach can do. A training log can also be used as a reference for Strength improvement and it shows what you actually did. It makes a very good feedback. Make it simple, just write the exercise, the load, how many sets at how many reps. This also gives the Strength coach a hint of what you may be able to do in the near future.


But what does strength mean in our daily life? For a contact sports athlete, it may mean the ability to push, to pull, lift, squeeze, or throw your opponents around with seemingly lesser effort. For a mother, it may mean the ability to carry her child with ease. For a father, he should be able to carry the grocery bags up the stairs, move furnitures around, play with his kids, or simply be able to open a stuck jar cover so that his wife can make sandwiches. For a lady, it may mean being able to carry her own stuff, or maybe go through a trekking activity without being at the mercy of guys especially if they are not her type. For a guy, physical strength may mean you can be of help to yourself and to other people. For some of us, it may mean our livelihood.


It is understandable that the word “strong” for a lot of people would mean big. A bigger and more muscular person should, theoretically, be able to lift more than a smaller and less muscular person. That is true if they are trained to lift. There may be some big guys who workout in a gym but may not be able to lift as much as a smaller but properly trained athlete, especially in certain lifts that require technique and mobility.


It can be fun to be able to tap into your physical strength. There was one time I went to a workshop. I was one of the smallest guys – I am not that muscular. Other participants are big, muscular guys. Some of them are looking at me like they will eat me! But I know myself and I have confidence in the way I trained myself. So I just let my lifting do the talking and during our break the big guys seem to try to shrink themselves when they pass in front of me since they cannot lift the weight I lifted. It was an amusing experience.


Some of the athletes I train are not that big too. Since they have a certain weight category, they should not put on a lot of muscle mass to avoid getting heavy. The patient and consistent athletes make the most of the training. There is one guy who is not muscular, but he beats a lot of guys heavier than him in the Clean. He can also Squat heavier than guys bigger than him. That is what you call strong for his size.


So if you want to be Strong, train to be strong. If you want to be big, train for hypertrophy. But what is more important is that you Train Better, Live Better!