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Thread: Personal trainer horrified by SS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Personal trainer horrified by SS

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    I wanted to ask your advice on something, since I'm apparently going to be called on to explain why I think SS is worthwhile to a personal trainer.

    Someone I know recently went for an assessment at the gym she signed up at. They asked her about "goals" and all that, and she told them what kind of program she was doing.

    Anyway, the personal trainer in question said it was a bad program because it "wouldn't tear up the muscle properly," would make her bulky, and wouldn't help her lose weight, her overall goal. "Come see me in six weeks and you'll see why the program wasn't good," he said. Not only wasn't it a good idea for a young female, but neither would it work for a young male, he explained.

    He suggested circuit training instead.

    I have to do an "assessment" of my own, and I'm sure I'll argue with this guy. That's not to say I'm going to be rude about it--if he can give me a better program to build strength as a novice, I'm willing to listen. But the main thing I want to explain to him is why I think a young female who wants to lose weight should do this program.

    My main talking points are:

    - building a strength base is worthwhile for anyone. Weight loss is best accomplished by eating less (especially when it's only a few pounds) and in any case, the most effective ways to lose weight by exercise require you to be strong in the first place.

    - Doing compound exercises for sets of 5 is superior to circuit training because it is the most effective way to get someone stronger in a short time. It is also easier to measure results. By contrast, circuit training will make a novice mediocre at a bunch of different things and improve strength only marginally.

    - Weight training rarely makes women "bulky" without steroids. Besides, the SS program focuses on building strength rather than straight hypertrophy.

    What do you think? Am I presenting the proper facts about the benefits of the program for a young female trainee?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    I think you have obviously got several good arguments, but WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU FEEL OBLIGATED TO MAKE THEM TO A PAID CONSULTANT? Have you lost your mind? Why would you feel compelled to educate the boy? Or do you really feel compelled to educate her?

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    If weight loss is her main goal, perhaps your personal trainer has the right idea with circuit training.

  4. #4
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    Except that circuit training doesn't work very well for weight loss, Harry.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    Am I not correct in believing weight loss is predominantly diet defined; and catalyzed most effectively by high intensity exercise that pushes your heart rate on the areobic/anaerobic boundry? Circuit training would be ideal for this.

    Please shoot me down if i'm talking bollocks.

  6. #6
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    Bodyfat loss is primarily a function of muscle mass, and the more muscle mass you have busily burning calories, the easier it is for dietary modifications to help you lose bodyfat. Now, which builds muscle mass better, circuit training or barbell training?

  7. #7
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    Mar 2008
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    Denver CO
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    After a SS workout or a Texas method, I'm still sweating 30 minutes after my shower. My heart rate gets pretty high during a working 5 rep set. On top of that, I added 1/2 gallon of milk to me already sizeable diet, and though I've gained a few lbs, my waist has not changed circumference.

    I'm going to go with strength training.

    Although a circuit done with the intensity of say crossfit, thats another story. Either way, more muscle equals more calories burned doing anything.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2008
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    True.

    However, in the context... I don't think said person is looking to be packing on a lot in the way of muscle mass. A small amount perhaps but not enough to significantly affect her fat loss ability. In my opinion the most beneficial program for those specific needs would be interval or fartlek running, not circuits.

    Obviously if she is inclined to pack on the lean muscle mass then your approach is far more appropriate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Munro View Post
    If weight loss is her main goal, perhaps your personal trainer has the right idea with circuit training.
    Weight loss or gain is a function of energy balance.

    If output exceeds input, weight is lost. If input exceeds output, weight is gained. If they balance, you stay the same.

    The composition of that weight gained or lost is a product of a few things:

    1) Genetics
    2) Training
    3) Diet

    #1 is out of our hands, so there's no use in crying about it.

    #2 and #3, however, are under our control.

    As for #2, it's pretty easy to logic out that the same training principles which put muscle on a developing trainee when they eat enough will be the same principles which will preserve muscle mass when attempting to lose bodyfat. Reread that a few times because it's a really important point that everyone seems to fuck up.

    In other words, if we wanted to gain muscle mass, we'd focus on progression in basic, fundamental movements, right? Well, if we want to not lose muscle while "losing weight," guess what we should do?

    Yes, circuit training might expend marginally more calories than heavy, basic barbell training, but is vastly inferior for gaining muscle with a calorie surplus, and hence preserving it with a calorie deficit.

    The "point" of resistance training on a "diet" isn't to gain muscle or burn calories, but rather attempt to minimize the loss of any muscle. This requires training like not a pussy. Some compromises will have to be made (particularly with volume, and to some extent, frequency), but wherever possible, you want to stay heavy but within your means.

    Attempting to use something like circuit training to "burn a bunch of calories" on a diet is totally ludicrous, imho. The caloric impact of this form of training simply isn't that high, and it will be fantastically easier to cut back on the (energy in) side of the equation, i.e. eat a little less food.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    I wonder how the client feels. Sometimes one can get so caught up in some sort of fitness scheme that they will truly believe it is their best option. If she isn't willing to give SS a shot - simply because she doesn't think that learning good form is worthwhile (or is afraid of bulk) - than she probably won't put in the effort to go far. That's a shame. Hopefully it works out well for you though. Sounds like you already have the base for a good argument, but some people just don't like the work part of working out. Like I tend to say, if you can laugh during a set it definitely isn't hard enough.

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