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July 16 2009 Are You in Good Enough Shape to Train?

As a trainer I come across all types of training clients. One thing that stands out about the vast majority of them that I come across is that THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT IN GOOD ENOUGH CONDITION TO MAKE OPTIMAL GAINS WITH THE WEIGHTS!

Yes, most people that are not in the 18-23 year old bracket and have desk jobs are simply not in good enough condition to be achieving optimal gains from their weight training routines. They sit at a desk all day after driving in traffic to get to work, get off work, drive home, or go directly to the gym, do some heavy lifting with enough rest periods between sets to have very little cardio effect, go home, eat, and go to bed. The smart ones at least have some marathon sex sessions to help with conditioning.

Many people don’t do cardio because of the old dogma that it will interfere with gains. Yes, if you take a guy with no prior conditioning, drop him into a 3x a week high intensity cardio workout done 20-30 minutes each day, gains in the gym will usually vanish. That is simply because of poor programming, not because cardio is the culprit.

If you don’t want your gains in the gym to dry up, you break into cardio slowly, and I am talking about relatively high intensity cardio here, not low intensity cardio. If low intensity cardio impacts your gains, lifting weight is the last thing you should be doing.

If I had my druthers, before a trainee started lifting weights they would first get into reasonable shape CV wise. This HELPS gains in the gym, not hampers it. It is only when trying to make drastic gains on both CV and weight training at the same time that causes problems. Once a reasonable level of conditioning has been attained, all that needs to be done is to maintain that level while focusing on the iron.

Here is a reoccurring theme I have noticed with people I work with. I start them on a routine with as much frequency and volume as I think they will be able to handle well. After a short time, I bump the workload up and find they do poorly on more workload. I then get them doing GPP (conditioning work) and a few months later when they are in much better shape, not only are they able to handle the workload they did poorly with before, they are able to do much more productively.

Being big and in poor shape is not an option if you are in this for the long run.

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