Just beacuse you can…doesn’t mean you should!

You know what fads have come and gone but there is one gym fashion I never understood…

It was 1998 and I’d just started training clients…I’d had a call from a new client saying she would like to train with me.

So we met at the gym for a chat and she arrived (having dropped her kids at school) wearing a bra top and tight full length leggings….…but with a bright lime green g-string on top!


You know the saying “just because you can doesn’t mean you should!!”

Believe me she was not the right person to be putting out that look…give her credit she had some balls….

….well she didn’t actually have balls, there wasn’t anywhere she could hide them in that get up!

But here’s my point, just because you see an athlete doing a certain exercise it doesn’t mean YOU should be doing it.

What most people forget is that an athlete has usually been doing a certain level of training for years and they have conditioned their body to do that exercise.  You need to condition your body to deal with the stress and strain you are about to place upon it with these types of ‘athletic’ movements.

Jumping straight in to do these doesn’t make sense…especially not to the body, and the body is far smarter than you are!

It usually ends in injury…a period of no training, which in turn leads to the body becoming de-conditioned.  If you then try and jump back in at that level again, you’ll be on a downward spiral that is hard to get out of.

So what’s the answer?

Use your brain…think logically, you need to work up to this type of training.

Olympic lifting has become really popular recently and that’s great, especially as I teach other fit pros courses in it, but what I teach on the course is that your client has to be able to pass some ‘prerequisite’ exercises before they start with Olympic style exercises.

For instance, if you can’t overhead squat then you shouldn’t try doing snatches!

Be smart, your body will thank you for it in the end!


Over-Training v Extended Sessions

My friend and natural physique competitor Ian Graham asked a great question on facebook the other day.

Ian’s question -

If training less frequently and for shorter periods of time is generally referred to as the MINIMAL DOSAGE EFFECT, is over-training or training for longer durations of time and more frequently considered over-dosing?

Personally I don’t think so. If training is the MEDICATION, then we need to look at the condition being treated and select the correct strength dosage (intensity range), the frequency the medication (training) is being used and choose the appropriate dosage amount (volume).

This will come down to looking at each person individually, as well as their current condition, their “MEDICATION” history, their goals, lifestyle, etc and then we can go from there and properly advise how to administer the MEDICATION!

Thoughts??? I have a lot of knowledgable trainers on here, so I expect some solid contributions on this one!

My Response -

I think that there is a difference between over-training and training for longer durations. Over-training manifests its self with signs and symptoms that are negative to the development of the body. Where as longer duration training is just a different type of stimulus. It also depends upon how much volume you do in that extended period.

For instance the Bulgarian Olympic lifting team used to train for 6-7 hours in one go, however that is only because they considered a rest of 30 minutes or less as being the same session. Plus they were doing 1-3 reps, 7 sets in 30-45 mins so their rest between sets was quite large.

If you look at the training that a Tour de France athlete has to do, it might be considered over-training for some but necessary to adapt the body to that level of stress for others.

I definitely think that in people who haven’t steadily increased their training volume over years i.e. people who overreach and go from low to high volume with out a transitionary process, are at risk of over-training.

But as you say it really depends on the individual, their current training history/level, their previous levels and what state their hormonal profiles are in, whether they are getting enough correct sleep and nutrition to recover from said sessions.

My personal belief is that unless you are a pro athlete who can be monitored by top level medics/coaches or an individual training for a specific endurance event then you probably have no right trying to do it to your self….at what point does the law of diminishing returns kick in?

Sign Up for Ongoing Support

I’m streamlining all my emails and information that I’m sharing with people so if you’d like to receive more info from me then I am only really focusing on two groups from now on:

1. If you’re a Fitness Pro and want up to date info and cutting edge training techniques.

2. If you are an Athlete (or want to be more Athletic) and want to increase Strength, Speed & Power.

That’s all I’m doing from now on, no fat loss, no general fitness and muscle building…..sorry, if that’s what you want, I’m no longer your man!!

Best wishes

Alex Poole’s Fitness & Education Training

This site is dedicated to the different types of training and teaching I do and won’t include any posting of the normal blog variety……I’ll leave that for some of my other sites!

If you want to get in contact then I’d be happy to answer your email: alex@alexpoole.tv

In the meantime you can check out exactly what I do by clicking on the links above or to the left.

In the meantime, remember to train hard, train smart, and make every rep count.