Interval Training Sucks (and Benefits of Small Group Personal Training)
Interval Training Sucks
There, I said it; interval training sucks! As do repeated sprints, HIIT, conditioning and any other name you want to give that style of training. Before you argue with me, state I’m an awful personal trainer, please read on.I have gone into these sessions with the best intentions; focused, driven, water bottle at the ready…..only to throw in the towel 2 minutes in. I usually start negotiating with myself before I’ve even begun!
“A few minutes less won’t hurt”
“I’ll do extra tomorrow”
“My headphones aren’t sounding great”
If there’s an excuse, I’ve already used it. I’m sure many of you have experienced the same, be it with heavy lifting, cardio, stretching, the list goes on. I’m sure some will argue that I just need to get on with it, but I don’t have the discipline. I would repeatedly set myself a target: 10 rounds on the bike, 2000km total on the rower, 5 sprints up that hill. And time after time after time I would miss that target. I found a simple remedy…I found a training buddy.
I was suddenly completing 15 rounds on the rower, and wanting to do an extra couple to finish off. And I didn’t miss out on my sprints when the weather took a turn for the worse (as it does every now and again). I felt accountable for not just my training, but also accountable to my training partner or the training group. Not turning up, or not finishing a workout became an impossible task; I now had to otherwise I would be letting my team mates down, and I wasn’t going to let them outdo me.
This sense of accountability is what makes the social aspect of training so important. It gels individuals together, it creates strong bonds and a cohesive unit. The added bonus of a little competition (in the right circumstances and amount) can drive us to lift that little bit heavier, run that little further, and try that little bit harder.
The element of social support and an interactive training environment is often overlooked by many in the fitness industry. Is it any surprise that Crossfit is so hugely popular, or that large scale fitness classes such as ‘spinning’ and boot-camps remain extremely well attended? These ‘social fitness’ structures have encouraged more participation in the last 5 years than any other training structure has in the last 50. With massive followings and membership numbers, surely they are doing something right?
Group Training vs Personal Training
As with most things in life, the trick is to find a balance. It is great fun to get a crowd of friends together for a lengthy outing. But you wouldn’t voluntarily go out on a 20 mile bike ride if you still had the stabilisers on! Learning how to squat, sprint and generally exercise is just like learning any other skill; it takes time, practice and a degree of coaching.
Movements can be complex, and performing them correctly so that you are getting the positives and not the negatives is paramount. Simply getting underneath a barbell and trying to squat after watching some YouTube clips is not optimal, and will almost always lead to injury and upset. In fact I’m sure that is what lead to the creation of the personal trainer and Strength and Conditioning coach. So let’s find a balanced environment; an environment that encompasses both the social support and the coaching support.
Many times individuals get left behind during large group training sessions, simply because they cannot pick an exercise up quickly enough; yet with a little extra coaching and instruction this wouldn’t be the case. Others progress far too quickly, and move away from group based work due to the lack of challenge; an issue easily remedied by progressing their training for them. Your personal trainer only has 2 eyes, sometimes the group is just too big. So let’s condense it down a little for the benefit of all.
Small Group Training
Small group training, for between 2 and 4 people at a time, is nothing new to the fitness industry, it is just seen less frequently than 1-1 personal training or large scale group sessions. This environment balances the need for direct coaching, with a competitive and motivational atmosphere. This blend allows for the personal trainer / coach to scale each exercise for members of the group; rather than prescribing to a “one size fits all” approach. Weights on barbells can be easily changed, and adjustments to a training day can be made very easily and with little impact to other participants.
With a close support network, and your personal trainer to guide you through your specific workout, small group training sessions may just be the difference when it comes to creating the perfect training environment. When January comes around and you make that commitment to improve your health and fitness, please know there is an option outside of 1-1 personal training and just going to the gym yourself. Get in touch with Davies Training to learn how we can tailor small group sessions for you to reach those 2017 goals, based in Chichester!