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A productive training session

A productive training session

A new way to look at what a productive training session is

We have all seen the facebook posts, the twitter posts, and if you do instagram those too. And what on earth is snap chat and whatsapp??! You know the ones. The posts where the benefits of a training session are manifested purely in how ill someone feels.

Now I am not saying never train hard, I just want to highlight a few things that are never evidence of a productive training session.

A productive training session is one that takes you towards your goal, and sees that you improve in some way.

So here goes…

How many days muscle soreness you had

That just means any of the following – you did a new exercise, you did more volume, more eccentric loading (lowering of a weight), did more than you are currently ready for, took too much time off and tried to do what you did before taking time off! Thats it. Anyone that trains will likely have experienced muscle soreness at some point. Its no big deal.

Can you improve without muscle soreness? Yes.
Is it essential? No.
Will you still probably get it anyway? Yes.
Does everyone like it? No.
Can being too sore really put people off training? Yes.

How much sweat you produced

That just means your body needs to cool down. Since when have sweat rates (which vary in people) represented a productive training session?! Since never. If you are sweating lots you should drink some more to replace the lost fluids. Sweat is not fat melting, contrary to what some people would lead you to believe.

How much weight you lifted with a reduced range of motion and deterioration in technique

We have all seen this in any gym. Some guys that can squat pretty well. Then they decide to see how much they can squat, in doing so they their knees cave in, they barely bend their knees, and their spine buckles under the load. What is the point? If you can squat to full depth. Then you load up too much weight and 1/4 rep the squat….well you haven’t achieved a PB. Unless you are intentionally measuring a 1/4 rep PB?! I just don’t get the benefit of this. It is not productive.

How sick you were

I have seen people vomit from training 3 times in over 10 years. 1 person ate pizza for breakfast prior to training – a high fat meal followed by a high demand training session will do that to you! The other time someone ate a boiled egg before training, twice. They learnt from it! Again the fat content of the meal can do that to some people, it just doesn’t have time to digest! Being sick is never representative of a productive training session, it just means you hit a really unpleasant place.

¬†Training productivity is measured more by…

  1. What you can do well
  2. How much better you move
  3. Performance gains in your sport
  4. Extra muscle developed
  5. Body fat lost
  6. How much easier daily tasks of living are
  7. How much better you feel
  8. Your reduced injury risk
  9. Your improved health
  10. Strength you have gained
  11. What you can now do that you could not do before

Yes training can be tough at times. But you have to earn the ability to cope with physically pushing your limits. It certainly doesn’t have to happen every single session to progress. By all means don’t make it too easy, you need to apply the principles of progressive overload. But you do not need to go 100% right from the start or in every single training session.

A few tips I can give you to ensure your training is productive….

Identify where you could benefit from more mobility. Do one exercise daily for 2-3 minutes to work on this.

Write down what you do in every training session, and look to improve on this gradually.

Know what you are training towards, and plan how you will get there.

When testing performance ensure you maintain the quality in your tests.


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Steve Bridgeman Personal Training
Phone: 07730609165
Location: Gym and Tonic, Bredon, Tewkesbury