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How To Confidently Weight & Strength Train On Your Own For Results

Having a trainer is only part of the equation to maximising your results. You get your programs done for you; we push hard in sessions and help to correct your form.

The other part of the equation is getting in your own sessions outside of PT. This is where it can make all the difference from an 8/10 transformation to a 10/10 transformation.

How do you know you’re training on your own correctly?

Here are my best points of advice.

1. Get into the gym:

Once you’re there you’ll automatically figure out what to do (basically whip out your phone or open your program and get going) because obviously you don’t want to be the only person in the gym dordelling around doing nothing.

Your training behaviours from PT will transition over to your own training.

From experience before I was a trainer the best times to train would be before work or directly straight after work without going home first. If I went home first I would be less likely to go back out to train.

2. Focus on your own training:

In the beginning it might feel like everyone is judging you or staring at you; they’re not and even if they are who cares. You’re there to train, the training environment doesn’t matter; the quality of your own individual training does. Focus, focus and focus, block out the environment especially in the beginning.

Professional athletes have to perform in any environment, why not model the best.

As you get more in flow and you’re super confident with your training you’ll be able to train anywhere, in any gym, while you’re away for work or even when you’re away on holiday.

The best place to practice is where you’re training now.

3. Effectively warm up:

Warming makes a difference to your training performance and efficiency. You want your muscles engaged and firing from A1 Set 1, not from in the middle of your workout. A quick way to warm up is to do muscle activation exercises for the main muscle you’re trying to work in that specific training session. For e.g. if it’s back you will do banded pull a-parts, single arm banded rows and lying face down T-Raises with DB’s.

To warm up an exercise do a few sets with a lighter weight within the rep ranges you’re going to be working in.

4. Muscle contraction X progressive overload:

You don’t need to be strongest, the most fancy or the one looking like they’re training the hardest. You want to be the smartest. There are a lot of people who have been training hard for years yet their strength hasn’t increased or they’re still looking the same.

The simplest way to get results by doing less is feeling the muscle you’re training and then slowly increasing the intensity (weight) of the exercise so you can continuously train it hard outside of its comfort zone.

An extra rep or an extra 1-2kg’s each week makes a big difference in a course of a year.

5. Track your training performance:

Don’t waste time thinking or guessing what weight to start at or what weight you’re aiming to beat. Keep track of your training performance and refer back to it at the start of your training session; this will make it easier for you to work backwards to improve your training performance.

Week 1 – 40×10, 40×10, 45×8, 45×8
Week 2 – 42×10, 42×10, 45×9, 45×9

Any progression is good progression.

6. Aim to stick to rest times to a T:

Too little rest and the intensity (weight) of your training will drop; too much rest and you can become de-conditioned. There is a time and place for all rest ranges. Pure strength and power training will require more rest time whilst training for body composition and fat loss will require less rest time.

Women can handle more work with less rest while men will require longer rest time between sets.

7. Prepare your training goal before your session:

Know what day on your program you’re going to be training; what exercises you’ll be performing and what the goal of your training session will be. Your session goal might be to hit a PB for one of your main lifts or your goal might be to get into the gym and simply train and complete your session.

8. No stress if you can’t access your equipment:

You don’t want to be an exercise equipment hog especially if training in peak hours. Some people aren’t as accommodating to sharing equipment; that’s fine. It says more about them than it does about you.

In the big scheme of things it doesn’t make that much of a difference if you can’t get the exact piece of equipment you want. Swap for another exercise that is similar or works the same muscle group and that’s good enough.

9. If you can train harder; go harder:

Some days you’ll be ON and some days you’ll be OFF. That’s normal and you’re human. What’s important is consistency over time. When you’re ON and you feel like you can do more; take advantage of this and train hard. This can mean PB’s for every exercise on your training program. On days that you’re OFF a PB for your main exercise or simply getting a less intense session is enough.

10. Post workout nutrition:

Get it in! In training we’re only applying stress to our body and muscles; stress releases catecholamines which releases fat from our fat cells and weight training applies stress to our muscles. If we don’t immediately aim to reduce training stress a number of things can happen: blood sugar dropping too low, unstable energy and you could be running off too much adrenaline which can lead to more stress and anxiety (which doesn’t help sleep and creating an awesome rig).

Aim to get in your post workout shake and meal to re-balance your blood sugar.

The thing about training on your own is that it’s WAYYY better than if you were training with an unreliable fitness friend or if you were in a group training class. You’re actually your own PT and you’re not putting any limitations to own results or progress.

You can go as hard or slow as you want depending on your own individual circumstances.

Plus for some I know it can be quite meditating because it’s the only hour in the day where you get to solely focus on yourself.

Not afraid to get some training sessions done on your own or maybe you do need that extra assistance until you can? Our individualised training packages might be a perfect fit for you depending on your goals. Book in a training consultation today.


Experience a more efficient and individualised way of training to achieve your fitness goal. Meet Gordon, discuss your goals and be taken through an individualised PT session in our studio.

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