As part of your training program there will be some days where it’s required that you train on your own (without a trainer). If you’re new to training in a commercial gym environment or you’ve always had the support of a trainer this can be scary at first.
Combining your PT coaching sessions with your own individual quality training sessions; this is where you’re going to get maximum results and build up your training confidence.
The more you do one particular thing (in this case training) the better you’ll get at it. The more you training on your own following your program the better you’ll get at that as well.
In the long run you’ll become less reliant on a trainer and instead utilize their expertise for individual programming, nutrition and pushing your boundaries which will excel your results. Less time is spent on learning technique because you’ve done the work.
How to Produce Quality Individual Training Sessions
1. Get Mentally Prepared to Train
Because you have a training program to follow you should know what day on your program you’ll be training. The night before of before the session get mentally prepared; have an idea what the exercises are, how you’re going to execute them and what weight you’ll be lifting. You should a goal outcome for the session.
E.g. Session Goal: I’m going to get better at my squat technique and aim to increase the weight I did the previous week without sacrificing form.
2. Warm Up Circuit and Warm Up Sets
There are 2-Steps to warming up; utilise the warm up sets you go through in your PT sessions. E.g. legs warm up your hip, glutes and dynamic stretch where you need to. Secondary complete 1-2 warm up sets with a lighter weight of your first exercise. This gets your muscles primed and your body ready for the movement it’s about to complete.
E.g. if you’re starting with Deadlft’s warm up with Deadlifts with a lighter weight.
3. Don’t Worry About Looking Good; Focus on Results and Training
In a commercial or busy gym it can at first be daunting to start training on your own; especially if you’re new to training. Don’t worry about other people in the gym and do your thing. Your training session should mimic the intensity and pace of PT sessions. The reasons why our PT sessions are solely focused more on training and not much about having “fun” is because that’s how you’re likely going to be training on your own. We want to maximise the time you spend in the gym.
Also don’t worry about what other people think; we all had to start somewhere and more often than not members are focused on themselves during training. You’re already ahead of the game; there are plenty of people who are stuck doing group training classes or not invested in coaching doing the same thing for years with no results to show for it. This can be because they’re afraid of getting a little bit outside of their comfort zone or because they’re happy with where they’re at.
That’s cool but as you with creating a change or levelling up; it requires getting a little bit outsize of our comfort zone.
4. Executing Quality Exercise Sets
After you’ve warmed up and you’re ready to train here are the steps to executing exercise sets and then getting better and better at them each time.
- Perform the Exercise e.g. Squat x 10 reps
- Immediately after Set – Think about what you did well and what you could of done better (e.g. I went all the way down but I could have done more to tense my body and drive out of the hole instead of bouncing up; I’ll do that better in my next set)
- Execute the next set with the coaching feedback you’ve given yourself
- When your form is on point; train hard and get strong
Here you’re setting higher expectations of yourself for each set; it will force you to get good with a particular exercise really quickly (as long as you’re conscious about where you can improve).
5. Working In With Other Members
If you’re alternating between exercises you may not always have the equipment available to you especially at a busy time in the gym. If you do have it available to you; great. If not politely and directly ask the member if you can work in.
- Wait for member to finish set
- Ask member to work in e.g. “Hey can I work in and do a set while you’re resting?”
- Work in and do your set
- Say thanks and go back to your other alternate exercise
- No need to be overly nice here; be direct and punctual, you’re there to train and so are they
It’s common courtesy in the gym for members to allow other members to work in on an exercise especially if the gym is busy. If you come across someone who isn’t willing to share no worries, look for a similar exercise or alternative that works the same muscle group.
You don’t want to be around the energy of that particular member anyway and it says more about their maturity then it does about you.
6. Track and Record All Weight and Stick to Rest Time
You’re training for results and performance; write down the weight you completed for each set and stick to your rest times as close as possible. Writing down your weights lifted gives you a better idea of what you should be performing the following week. You don’t have to think about what weights to do because you already have it down on paper.
This saves time and makes your training more efficient.
7. Have Fun
Learning new exercises, perfecting them and training hard outside of your comfort zone is hard. There’s no denying that but it doesn’t mean it has to crush your enjoyment in coming to the gym. You may not get it right the first time but you will get better.
Once you get awesome at training it’s still going to get harder because you’re likely going to push yourself to the next level of training. That process will be hard again but nothing compared to what’s hard for you now.
8. Get In and Get Out
Focus on getting it done; efficiently and professionally. The harder you focus in the gym training the more likely it is that you’re going to get the result you’re after and the more time you can spend outside of it looking good, feeling good and performing good.
Better form = efficiently able to recruit muscle fibres
Training hard = better performance equals change in body composition, fitness and strength
Efficiency = less time in the gym, faster results and more time spent enjoying life
9. Preparing Exercises and Utilise Models for Form
From your PT sessions you will have an idea of how to execute the exercises on your training program. If you’re unsure always look up the exercises the previous night on Google or Youtube.
Most of the exercises can be found on Athletic Studio’s YouTube channel. I recommend you give it a follow as you’ll find regular new content being uploaded there.
10. Own It
You’re an athlete training for a specific goal and you now train professionally. It is what it is and you’re a role model to others in the gym; keep focused.