New Interview with SubKit Community

Recently I was asked a few questions from the Subkit community and Subkit.com

You can read the interview @ https://gosolo.subkit.com/taylor-carpenter/ , a quick 5 min read.

They asked a few things about running the business, the startup, and maintaining it for a decade now. 

Two Ways I'm Improving My Next Fat Loss Phase

Every time I cycle through a diet phase whether it be for fat loss, maintenance, or muscle gain I try to improve upon the previous run and make it more efficient. I’ve been doing this for a long while and I can still find ways to make it all better.

In the past, a few examples have been to completely eliminate eating out from fat loss diets to prevent the obvious weight gain and eliminate random water weight fluctuations as much as possible. Water weight fluctuations are inevitable but if you eat “clean”, don’t have huge sodium spikes, and keep your food selections pretty consistent then it will minimize the variability as much as possible. This makes calorie adjustment decisions easier because bodyweight is moving a little more predictably.  Eventually I eliminated eating out from gaining phases as well and reserve restaurant food to vacation/maintenance phases where tracking bodyweight isn’t a top priority.

Another example would be that I eliminated red meat from my diet. While on vacation I’ll get a steak or if I have a cheat meal on maintenance then I’ll have a beef or something but when I’m intentionally gaining or losing weight I dropped beef altogether, along with pork. My primary sources of protein are chicken, egg whites, and protein powder. I initially did this in a fat loss phase so I could eat more food.  Calorically you can eat more chicken then lean ground beef due to the fat content, it’s all about eating more volume on a fat loss phase. This eventually leaked into my gaining periods as well. It keeps the amount of food in my digestive tract pretty consistent so I’m once again trying to limit the amount of weight fluctuations for my weigh-ins. This is not because beef is bad by any means, it’s simply trying to control the variables as much as possible so my decision making throughout the diet is easier.

This time around I’m doing two things. First, I’m adjusting my workout times to create a consistent sleep schedule. I have an odd schedule but MWF I go back to bed at noon and wake up at 415pm, on Tu/Th I train in the morning after clients and go to bed at around 6pm. All days I end up with about 8 hours of sleep but I’ll be switching my Tu/Th workout times to the evening so I’m on more or less the same schedule Mon thru Fri. I feel like this will keep me more fresh and I’ll be waking up and then going directly into a workout opposed to working at the gym and then working out afterwards. Since I’ll be fresher I think it’ll allow me to train harder and prevent getting beat up as much towards the end of a training cycle.

The second addition I’ll be making, which I’ve never done and honestly didn’t see much value in, is that I’ll be tracking my steps. I have been doing this for about 4 weeks now and not actively trying to reach any number just tracking my “norm”. As the diet goes my initial thoughts are that I’ll track my steps to ensure my activity level doesn’t drop off as my calories drop off. This may allow me to eat more food deeper into a fat loss phase. I may also opt to increase my steps later on opposed to dropping calories. This will be an area that I’ll be able to learn more about myself and then apply more efficiently to my next fat loss phase after this one.

So you should always be learning from each diet or training cycle and then taking that knowledge or experience and improving the process the next time around.  I’m probably going to start my next cut February 28th and will follow it up with a lengthy gain phase.
 

Train Hard and Train Smart

I update my Instagram a good bit more often than I do the website blog. They're usually short and quick updates. You can follow me https://www.instagram.com/charlotte_personal_training

I was recently diagonsed with severe arthritis in both hips in my 30s that was evidently due to my genetics. Since this Dec 2021 visit with the doctor I've adjusted many things in my training to minimize pain and hopefully prevent having to do any type of surgical procedure in the near future. Below is a brief description on how I've adjusted my squatting routine. I think this is something I may dive into a bit deeper in the future. 

Brand New Rogue Monolift At Gym

A few months or so ago Rogue released their monolift version 2.0 and I ordered on the day it was released! We've had it at the studio for about a month now and I haven't heard anyone complain about it yet.

If you have no idea what or who "Rogue" is, they are a company who I would consider the "Nike" of fitness equipment. Most of my studio has been equipped with their brand.

If you are also unaware of what a "monolift" is, it's basically an attachment that allows you to setup more efficiently for the bench press and squat movements. It's safer in that you do not have to walk back after unracking a squat. 

If the above is foreign language to you, it's simply a very nice upgrade I just made that everyone seems to enjoy. I like it enough that I bought a 2nd one to go with a new Rogue rack that should be here early January or so!

Discount Code For RP Diet App

I have updated the RP Diet App page on the website. I've been using/refering to Renaissance Periodization now since 2015 and this particular page on my website was a bit outdated and still referring to their diet templates. The Diet App which is described as a "Diet Coach" is their latest product and far more intuitive and personalized when compared to the original PDF file diet templates. 

The app is more precise and has the ability to adjust your calorie/macronutrient intake on a weekly basis depending upon how your progressing towards the goal you have set out for yourself. 

The updated page has plenty of links that will provide you with a 6 month discount code. I have also embedded a couple of YouTube videos that are unaffliated and RP but I feel they both provide a good representation of a "day in the life" on the RP diet along with being able to present a clear picture of what the app itself is like.

A New FAQ Page Has Been Added

The Nutrition page has now been changed to a Frequently Asked Questions page. Since I tend to refer clients to the RP Diet App or Template it made more sense to make a small change. I have currently posted some nutrition related answers but in due time will update with training & recovery questions among other things.

Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions you may like answered!

3 Year Lease Extension Has Been Signed

A few weeks ago I signed another extension on my lease at Fox Run Business Park for an additional 3 years that kicks off September 1st 2021. This will be the start of my 9th year in this unit and I'm locked in through year 12. Taylor Carpenter Personal Training is the longest tenured business in the park. 

Large gyms in the Ballantyne area have gone out of business, sold to other chains, etc. This creates new hours, new policies, new classes for their customers. Many smaller studios have not survived the huge growth of Ballantyne in the past decade and many others struggled to survive the pandemic. 

Being around for nearly a decade at the same location I've been able to offer consistency and a reliable place for customers to train. The business is healthy and I hope/plan to add some new toys & upgrades to the studio in November around Black Friday. I would also like to have someone throw some fresh paint up but we'll see about that. 

Here until at least 2024!

I Have Completed Recertification

Every two years I recertify my National Academy of Sports Medicine credential. I have now completed that which will carry me through 2023.

Some of the subjects studied include:

Lumbar Extensor: Release and Lengthening
Deadlift Progressions
The Effects of Local Vibration
Vibration Release Techniques: Lower Body
Vibration Release Techniques: Upper Body
Gluteus Maximus Activation
Hip External Rotator: Release and Lengthening
Hip Flexor: Release and Lengthening
Hip Joint

Additional certifications that I have obtained from NASM include: Corrective Exercise Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Behavior Change Specialist

 

I Have Received The COVID Vaccine

As of Thursday March 4th, I have received the first shot of the Moderna vaccine for COVID. I will receive the 2nd shot on April 1st. According to the CDC, those who have had the full dosage of the vaccine should be potentially less susceptible to suffer from symptoms of COVID and less likely to transmit the virus to others. This has not been confirmed to be full proof by any means but is what it is. I thought I would share to potential new customers who have been reluctant to join gyms over the past year. 

I have been open for 9+ months now with no outbreaks or clusters among the roster of clients here since June of 2020. I, myself, have not gotten the COVID.

Regardless of what happens at the state or federal level, I will not be requiring proof of the vaccine at any point to work with anyone. There are safety protocols in place at the studio that I do expect everyone to adhere to but that is it. I'm simply sharing my status if it would ease the concerns of anyone stepping back into a gym for the first time in a while.

I will not be endorsing or encouraging anyone to get or not get the shot. I believe it's up to the individual and you'll have to make your own decisions about that. Definetly, not my place to share my two cents.

 

Continuing Education in Personal Training

Every two years I have continuing education credits I need to take care in order to recertify my personal training certification. I've been active for almost a decade now and usually I take a big course but this time I decided to take a variety of smaller courses to hit more topics and kill the monotony of a 700 page textbook. 

In the process I've purchased a membership to the Brookbush Institute of Human Movement Science. I'll have endless hours of course material to go over and will continue to do so once I've surpassed my credits necessary to recertify. 

I'm about halfway done with my requirements but so far I've been certified and successfully passed the following courses:
Lumbar Extensor: Release and Lengthening
Deadlift Progressions
The Effects of Local Vibrtation
Gluteus Maximus Activation
Hip External Rotator: Release and Lengthening

Due to the wear I have on my body over the years my area of focus in large part is focused on the hip region. Everything is important but with years of baseball, running, and weightlifting...for myself I find I need to spend extra time and attention on my hips to keep them fresh and mobile.

More to come...

 

New Motion Detected Flood Light Installed

Last week at the personal training studio in Ballantyne (Charlotte NC) I had a motion detected flood light installed as clients walk from the parking lot to the front door. We have never had security problems here but nonetheless for the early morning customers and late nighters it was pretty dark coming around that corner to get to my front door.

New flood light is LED and super bright! It illuminates the parking lot and all the way up to when you walk inside. It appears to stay on for 3-5 minutes. 

People have been asking for this now for a pretty long time and now you have it. 

Update To The Online Training Spreadsheets

I have made a quick update to the training spreadsheets for online clients. One update being simply cosmetic, making it match my logo in a more uniform manner.

Secondly, I coded the dates inside to make my ability to update more efficient. I've added 4 weeks to the starting empty template for a total of 12 weeks. This makes things easier for me but ultimately should allow me to work with more people as I make this process quicker on my end. 

Lastly, I rearranged some of the cells to provide more room for clients to type in their notes when necessary as it relates to each individual workout. 

Online training is a great option if you already know your way around a gym but want me to handle your programming and progressions, take the guess work out. I'm regularly trying to make this a better and easy reference service, straight to the point.

"How much should I be working out?"

This is one of the most common questions I hear during my consultations over the past decade. It depends and there are many reasons why. 

Rarely does a person walk in who has never participated in any form of exercise. It’s usually someone who has tried a variety of things over the years and ultimately nothing stuck. Infinite reasons could be to blame for the lack of a long term solution, but I’ll address three regulars.

    You do too much too soon

When someone reaches out to a personal trainer, they’re motivation and desire is at its peak. All downhill from here! In reality, it’s normal for your excitement to come and go. I definitely do not feel like pushing myself 24/7 every time I walk into the gym but I have a plan and I follow it. I have a lot of experience, I know the plan works, I trust the plan works. Going from 0 to 100mph is not a good plan. In my opinion, baby steps are the best way to avoid a hard crash and burn and you accumulate tiny victories along the way to boost momentum and confidence.  

If you’ve never trained in your life, then starting with 6 days is not going to last long. Consistently hit two days and make zero excuses to skip, that’s your starting point. You have the rest of your life to add a day or two.

When you have a few years of experience, if you’re running in circles and working out 5 days per week then you may need to take a step back and look at your overall diet and exercise routine, then reassess. 

    Not putting what you read into perspective

What may work for a celebrity or what you read in a health magazine likely isn’t tailored with you in mind. If you read about The Rock and J Lo, they’ve been athletic their whole life, they’ve had a diet/exercise plan for the entirety of their adult life. Scale it back. Start slow, obtain many small victories, be consistent and that’s how you improve yourself. If you jump into their program, you’re not ready.

    Too stubborn to change your pattern

This can actually apply to beginners and more advanced individuals. If you’re seeking to change you cannot repeat the same pattern and expect a different outcome. I’ve seen many repetitive routines over the year:

          3 sets of 10 on everything
          Not a good workout unless I’m soaked in sweat
          I must cripple myself for the following day
          Use as much weight as possible
          Reach maximum failure every time

All of the above are fairly common and have their place at times…But alone, there is no logic, there is no plan, there is no clear path to progression. Don’t stick with something that’s not working simply because it was successful once upon a time in your “newbie” phase. 

To answer the question “How much should I be working out?” you need to take a comprehensive look at where your starting point is, what you would like to invest (money AND time), and what you expect to accomplish before settling on an appropriate and sustainable frequency.

A Couple of Gym Upgrades In October

It's October 27th 2020 as I write this and the studio has now officially been open 141 days with no issues and no outbreaks. Gyms have been unfairly demonized across the nation since March as it relates to this virus yet there are still no large outbreaks or cluster that have been traced back to a fitness facility in the states. I for one am being as cautious as I can to prevent myself or my clients from getting sick and I believe most business owners would be motivated to do the same.

In other news, I have added a few items to the studio over the past couple of weeks.

Five Lat Pulldown Attachments
These are already delivered and in use. One wide, two standard, and two narrow grip pulldown accessories. A few have neutral grips, two have supinated, and one is designed underhanded. This simply allows for more targetted exercise selection and a little less taxing our joints in the same exact angle.

Rogue Monster Plate Storage Pin for Belt Squat
I've tried to get these for a while but Rogue has been out of stock for months due to their dedication to PPE for Covid at their manufacturing facilities. I likely will not use this for storage but for extra stability & comfort while doing calf raises on the belt squat machine. I plan to upgrade a few pieces of equipment to the Rogue monster line and this will be compatible with everything I get in the future.

Touch Free Soap Dispenser
Since hand washing is now a requirement at the gym before and after each session I felt it was time to update the old one. This will provide one less "surface touch" for everyone and it looks cool. 

I have my eyes on some other upgrades but probably nothing super major this year since most of the equipment suppliers seem to not be running Black Friday promotions this year...We'll see.

We Are Open Following COVID-19 Closure, Owners Statement On What Has Changed

               4/22/21 Update:  As of 4/1/21 Taylor Carpenter has received the 2nd dose of the vaccine, fully vaccinated. We are approaching almost a year of reopening the gym and so far there has been no spread among clients of COVID and I have personally not come down with COVID at any point. It has been very smooth since June 2020 and I'm still following all the same protocols listed below and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

                Taylor Carpenter Personal Training is open as of June 8th 2020. Speaking for the Governor and Attorney General of North Carolina, the Special Deputy Attorney General wrote a letter on June 5th 2020 to Mr. Chuck Kitchen (the attorney representing NC gyms Smith v. Cooper) stating that fitness facilities may open their indoor areas to serve any people prescribed or directed to use those facilities by a medical professional or health care professional as long as the indoor Mass Gathering limit is not exceeded.

                For purposes of this exception, “medical professionals” and “health care professionals” shall include licensed physicians, licensed physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners, licensed nurses, licensed chiropractors, licensed dieticians, licensed respiratory care therapists, licensed psychologists, licensed clinical mental health counselors, licensed occupational therapists, licensed physical therapists, licensed recreational therapists, and licensed massage therapists.

                Based on guidance from Mr. Kitchen, your right to privacy is recognized and respected by this facility. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, you will not be required to disclose any medical information or disability.

                I am writing this on July 16th 2020, and I’ve now been open for over a month with no issues. We are back to normal and inviting new customers. For the past 5+ years I’ve been the sole personal trainer and have only worked with one client at a time. In the age of COVID-19, this creates an extremely low risk environment when compared to more populated exercise options. I have a 1250 square foot studio and there are only two people max inside, myself and one client.

                My facility has always been extremely clean, and my Google reviews back that claim up. I have taken additional measures to go above and beyond since reopening to limit exposure for all.

  • Appointments have been adjusted to allow a 5 minute gap between clients. This allows for additional cleaning and ensures a staggering arrival of all clients. Your trainer will be the only individual you encounter.
  • The front door handle is sanitized between each customer.
  • The sink, bathroom door, light switch, etc are sanitized between each customer.
  • Well over 6 feet of distance is maintained throughout each class. Programming has always been designed safely so “failure” on any given exercise should not occur which minimizes the need for close proximity spotting.
  • Clients are required to wash hands before & after each session. The trainer does the same.
  • The sign in sheet has been converted from a paper process to digital in Google Drive.
  •  The trainer handles sanitizing all equipment before, during, and after usage. This ensures only one set of hands are touching the cleaning supplies and customers only need to touch equipment in use.
  • The front door is locked during all training sessions. This ensures no walk in traffic and maintains a max of two people in the gym at all times.
  • Two windows open during business hours to allow improved air circulation.
  • Fan mode occasionally turned on during business hours to also improve air circulation.
  • Closed shower
  • Kitchen use and bottled water no longer available. Bring your own water.
  • Towel service unavailable. Bring your own towel.
  • No guests allowed in lobby, no kids. All clients must come alone.
  • Discouraged (not banned) phone usage during training sessions to minimize germ exposure. Hand sanitizer is available in the lobby by front door.
  • Masks are not required since there will only be 2 people in 1250 square foot of space.

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FREE COV19 Workout Templates + Online Training

The Ballantyne personal training studio has temporarily been closed since the end of day March 25th due to COV19. The hope is I will be able to open April 30th or May 1st when the shelter in place order hsa been lifted. 

In the meanwhile, I have created a free bodyweight at home training template for anyone to use if they would like. It can be found at http://bit.ly/taylorcarpentercov19freeworkouts

I generally believe in progressive overload when it comes to weight training. Continuously improve your strength and conditioning over a long period of time. If you can lift 100lbs this week, then lift 105lbs next week. Those same progressions aren't as compatible in a home with no equipment vs in a well equipped personal training studio. So we do the best with what we can, increase cardio, increase volume, ignore rep count and more or less go with the rate of perceived exertion. 

If you would like to pursue online training, I am accepting clients there. It is ideal that you have a decent amount of equipment at home to work with but if not, I'm being a little more flexible during COV19.

Online training with me is customized towards the individual, I dewsign workouts based on what you have and what you need. Workouts are presented in a Excel spreadsheet and you check in following each session with your results. I will then update the spreadsheet for the next workout and answer any questions you may have. It's recommended you've been training for a year or two at least and feel confident with the movements and terms on your own. 

My Statement Regarding The Coronavirus

             I feel it’s important to make a statement regarding the recent events surrounding the coronavirus as it relates to my facility.   As of this email, Mecklenburg County has banned gatherings of 50 or more people, and the federal government has recommended gatherings of no more than 10 people.  

                What makes my service unique is I only perform 1 on 1 personal training meaning there is never more than two people here at a given time (myself included).  While this is designed to provide a one of a kind service with undivided attention, it also creates a very clean, safe, and sanitized environment compared to other high traffic facilities.

                Cleanliness is not a new response to this pandemic but something that has been a top priority since my opening. Being the sole owner and trainer, I am responsible for every aspect of the facility including the cleanliness.

                A home gym environment is likely to be your safest choice at any point in time but my studio would be a close 2nd. As far as I know I am the only studio in Charlotte NC that operates with a sole trainer and a single client at any given time, other local smaller fitness studios will run multiple trainers and clients simultaneously.

                Current clients have been told it will now be mandatory to wash hands before and after each session to help ease concerns.

                I feel confident your risk is minimized in such a small isolated 1 on 1 facility compared to your traditional large membership gyms that have hundreds of people in and out daily with the responsibility of cleaning and sanitizing after themselves. I will continue to maintain a clean, safe, and sanitized facility as I’ve set out to do from day one but wanted to describe how the business operates as gym concerns have grown by day due to the coronavirus.

Improving your own fitness is an evolutionary process

               All of your accomplished goals will be a result of long term sustainability and adherence.  Opposed to setting a goal weight or establishing the perfect poundage to bench press, most should be adding structure to benefit their health or fitness intent.  Everyone has room to improve at any and everything they do.  Assuming you’ve reached your peak is leaving untapped potential.

               A workout program is irrelevant if you do not dedicate consistent time to implement it. Just as most work 9 to 5, you should probably carve out a training window on specific days and times that establish a routine. The same can be said for your diet and meal preparations. If you leave these tasks to whenever you get around to them, they’ll likely be skipped more often than you would like.

               I’ve been strength training for almost two decades. I’m immensely smarter today than I was when I began. Some of this has been through study and some has been through trial and error by simply making my life and routine more efficient, more structured.  I can provide clients with advice and helpful brainstorming but ultimately each individual will have to be the guinea pig and identify the routine that keeps them locked in the best. What has historically worked to perfection for me may be overwhelming or painstakingly boring for you. It also may be exactly what you need. To this day, I still look for ways to tweak every diet I do, every strength training cycle I do.

               Towards the beginning of 2020 I switched my weekday workouts to weeknight workouts. I have a odd sleep schedule and would notice lethargy and procrastination on Tuesday and Thursday when I train during the day.  In order to provide a little more rest for a more intense workout I shifted my training time to the evenings following a few hours of sleep.  With this transition, I was also required to shift how I prep my meals a bit so I’m not staying up to all hours of the night playing catch up. I have noticed a boost in my performance, recoverability, and intensity while exercising but it does leave me rushed and crammed for time late at night getting ready for bed and the early 415am wakeup call I have. There is a tradeoff here but I can and will explore ways to be more efficient with my post workout meal late at night, there is always room to improve every aspect. Over the next few months that is what I’ll be working to iron out before I do another weight loss cycle.  It’s a process, and until I live it a little day to day I won’t know how it’ll turn out. I make adjustments, commit to them, and assess the result. This cannot be done without consistency.

               As I’ve developed a respectable amount of strength, I’ve discovered it’ll take my knees a little longer to recover from a intense squat day. First few years of my training I could probably squat every day or at least every other day. Now that I’m lifting a few hundred pounds more on a regular basis, it’s usually 3 full days before my legs and knees feel fully fresh again. This again, is a evolutionary process in my training. I’ve designed my own training to account for this extra recovery time so I can try as intense as ever without running into chronic fatigue or constant joint irritability. This is something each individual will have to assess within themselves and it’ll likely be a ever changing process. Your exercise selection, duration, load, volume, etc will dictate how well you can recover. Typically as we get older in our training years we get stronger and our capacity for greater volumes improves. The tradeoff here is normally going to require more of a recovery window to avoid too much accumulated fatigue.

               The main point of this post is that success here is a long term plan.  If you want to lose 30lbs in a month you’re likely going to fail in the short and long term. If you expect a trainer will teach you 20 years of knowledge in 120 minutes of time per month then you have unreasonable expectations. It’s a long process. Grade school takes 8 hours a day for 12 years of your life to get some basic common knowledge, learning in general is a very slow evolving process.   If you have a sound strategy and create sustainable structure that encourages slow steady progressions along the board then you’re probably going to do well.

RP Diet App vs RP Diet Template vs MyFitnessPal (Discount Code)

Renaissance Periodization Diet App

Available for Android and Iphone. Use code "TC10" and you'll receive your first 6 months at the discount price of $9.99 vs normal price of $14.99. This is a monthly recurring subscription.

If you opt in to their two week free trial it will invalidate this offer. You can choose between the two week free trial or the 6 month discount, cannot have both. 

RP Diet App vs RP Diet Templates vs MyFitnessPal

Difference between RP and MFP is RP tells you more or less what, how much, and at what time to eat. MFP allows you to track food within a daily budget, you're making the choices and not being told or suggested what to do. If you already have the RP diet templates, they're perfectly fine and you don't need the diet app. Assuming you adhere, templates are golden for what you want to accomplish. What makes the app different than the templates...

  • RP likens the comparison of the app vs templates to the gps vs a roadmap
  • you must check in with each meal, phone provides a notification
  • the algorithms update your diet weekly, no guessing when to progress along in your diet, you're told. You're asked to weigh-in 2 or 3 times weekly. You may override their recommendation but probably not the best idea
  • weight loss, muscle gain, and maintenance are all 3 options within the app. The templates you must choose weight loss or muscle gain
  • more extensive food database compared to templates
  • barcode scanner
  • will ask for feedback when adjusting your diet (do you feel you're eating enough, too little, just right, etc) to ultimately aid in adherence
  • You may filter food for certain diet restrictions: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, low fodmap, ovo-lacto vegetarian, paleo, and vegan
  • more features overall but i want to refrain from making an exhausting list...

What Would You Recommend?

I've always referred RP over MFP but one is free (MFP) and one is not. In my history of training clients I feel overall RP yields better adherence and better results. You get a solid recommendation of lean proteins, high fiber vegetables, and more satiating food. I'm not a fan of "portion control" because eating small amounts of savory food will inevitably increase your cravings.

Comparing the RP templates vs the RP app. I've used the calculations from RP's diet book for about 3 years and the 4 years prior I used the templates. I very recently started testing out the app. The automation of the diet in the app is the biggest benefit to me, saving me the time of writing out math calculations every few weeks.

I don't think you can go wrong with either of the 3. MFP requires a more hands on approach and a relatively firm understanding of basic nutrition and dieting to be successful. The RP diet app takes the most guess work away from the user. I would say the RP diet app allows more user flexibility than the template but both should yield similar results if adherence is high.

So far I'd probably pick the app over the templates but I like technology, I like everything being organized and easily accessible on my phone. The templates you can print out and place somewhere in your kitchen. 

 

 

Should You Be Training for Strength or Hypertrophy?

 

When people come to me, 99% of the time they’re running in circles. There may be a goal in sight but no efficient plan to get there. The training is often conflicting with the individuals’ end game.  I’m referring to general population clients who are usually looking to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger, improve endurance, and/or feel better overall. These are 5 extremely common goals. A great way to not accomplish any of the 5 would be to intentionally keep yourself crippling sore all the time so you can “feel” you’re great workout. This is a detrimental path that won’t last long term. It will prevent you from exercising as hard and often as you could if programmed better.

I’m going to eliminate to groups of people whom this article may not apply to as much. Athletes, we may get more specific than basic strength vs hypertrophy. Speed, agility, technique, explosiveness, and coordination may need to be prioritized at different times of the season higher than strength and muscle building. I’ll also eliminate those who strictly want to have fun, feel better, and move more for health. I don’t want to say programming structure isn’t important for them but it’s not priority number one, adherence is. If a routine resembling a collage makes you happy, then that’s fine. Just remember it’s not most efficient for strength or body composition.

I will define strength as being able to lift heavier weights at lower reps and hypertrophy training as the method of increasing your overall workout capacity or training volume.  Lifting heavy weight is how you get stronger, exercising with greater volumes will boost your ability to gain or retain muscle (depending on your calorie intake). That’s as simple as it gets. If your greatest goal in life is to see shredded abs then strength training is not the ideal way to get there. Plenty of powerlifters have shredded abs but that is more correlation than causation.  An efficient strength client or athlete will likely be eating in a surplus and getting plenty of recovery, training with lower volumes, two variables that are not in the handbook for becoming shredded. Flip side, a strength athlete trying to get as strong as possible will never reach their potential if eating in a calorie deficit to discover their abs. Recovery will be hampered throughout their training cycle, their desire to train will decrease from lack of food, and energy stores will remain depleted all the time, all of which is a recipe for failure.

Goals should be prioritized. Do you want to gain weight or lose weight? You cannot add muscle efficiently while eating to lose body tissue! If you want to tighten up your stomach, lean out your arms, but you don’t want to get “too big”…PICK ONE. The likelihood that any general population client beginner will immediately get “too big” is probably impossible. Adding muscle is not a cake walk, and adding a tremendous amount of it in a short period without drugs I feel confident is not going to be an issue to deal with. Either way, both goals would be most efficient with hypertrophy style training. When losing weight you would be trying to maintain muscle and minimize atrophy, when gaining weight you would be trying to add muscle tissue. To repeat, You cannot add muscle efficiently while eating to lose body tissue!

Do you feel weak all the time? Carrying groceries get you out of breath? You cannot maximize your strength potential in a calorie deficit! If your primary goal is to get stronger you need to eat adequate food. If you have no gas (calories) in the tank and start training for strength, it’s another recipe for failure.  Sure, you can get stronger but you’ll get there at a much slower pace than you otherwise would if your nutrition and exercise aligned. A calorie surplus is not required but a minimum maintenance level of intake would be recommended. If you try to get freakishly strong and discover your abs simultaneously, you’ll likely not get too close to either goal, frustrate yourself and quit until you build up your desire to begin again for the hundredth time.

Most people tend to opt for max results with minimal effort due to the various higher priorities in life that get in the way. This marketing has blurred expectations for the general population. Reality is, the stronger the effort (intelligent effort), the better the results.  If you want to maximize your strength, your training should align with that specific goal. If you want to maximize your look, your training should align with that specific goal. If you want the best of both worlds then you’ll need to logically accept there will be a trade off towards reaching your max potential in a single endeavor. You may improve in both modalities but not as much as if one had your driving focus exclusively.