So I got a free lesson from a PT at my local gym as part of the deal when I decided to train there. (I decided to train there because it’s the closest and because almost no one uses the squat rack.)
I had already decided to start with StrongLifts bastardized version of 5x5, and take it from there. But today I figured “What the hell, I might as well use the free lesson, he might have something smart to say I didn’t know”. Actually, I wanted to see if I could just get him to be my spotter for those 45 minutes since my training partner isn’t too practiced at these exercises yet. This is the story of how it went, and in the end, I’ll ask you to help me with my counter-arguments. (“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!” - Nietzsche)
First he wanted to know some general things, and I’ll go by memory here, so it might not be spot on.
- Have you trained anything before?
Yeah. Some weightlifting, and a lot of different Martial Arts.
- Why do you want to work out?
(Btw, notice work out, not train.) More strength, endurance, get a bit bigger.
- What are your goals?
To gain about 8 kg of lean muscle mass to get at the top of my weight class, and more power behind my punches and kicks.
Why haven’t you reached those goals before?
Not enough knowledge, not enough time dedicated to those goals because I didn’t make them before.
- When do you hope to reach those goals?
I don’t think I’ll really say “this is good enough”, but I’ll split the goals up into 3 month intervals.
And some more I don’t remember, they were all really the same. When we were done with this, he made a template work out for me there on the spot. This is the work out he made (All exercises was to be done with 3 sets of 8-12 reps, and this is all machines, no free weights or body weight exercises.):
10 min on an Elliptical trainer.
Chest press - 15 kg
Abdominal crunch - 10 kg (Okay, this machine actually didn’t seem too bad. It looked like you were doing a reverse crunch, except sitting in the machine so it was easier to add weight. Any thoughts?)
Cable push down - 10 kg
Biceps curl cable - 10 kg
Leg press - 15 kg (Going further down on this particular exercise than 90 degrees was a no-no as it’s really unhealthy for the knees. In fact, I didn’t even have to go as far as 90 degrees, according to the PT.)
Leg extension - 20 kg
Pull down - 5 kg
Leg curl - 5 kg
Please note the ridiculously low weight. Also take notice of the arrangements. Anyway, this was to give me a “complete, total body work-out to start with, and then tweak some and add some weight once I was comfortable with the exercises, but I shouldn’t worry about that just yet, and just focus on correct technique for now.”
I just smiled politely, thanked him, went out into the reception hall and cancelled the next two meetings with the guy and went on about my usual businesses.
But, I’d like to give the guy a proper answer if he comes over and asks me why I’m not doing any of the stuff he suggested. So if any of you guys could help me dig up the reason why we do what we do, with compounds, complexes, free weights, etc, that’d be mighty appreciated.