Blog

Less is More

Sean Lerwill EZ bar curl with Fat Gripz

As many of you will know, over the last 12 weeks I’ve been training with Ollie Ward for the Maximuscle Protein Project. As part of that, we’ve been training in a number of different gyms across the UK.

From David Lloyd in Worcester, to Fitness First in Exeter and a large number of different LA Fitness Gyms across London, we’ve been throwing the weights around and training hard to get him to where he is and hopefully get the win we’d like.

On top of training Ollie, I’ve been training myself with a few different training partners that I have (including my finacee and fellow fitness model Kate Braithwaite) and training the variety of clients I have across London. Again, we’ve used a number of different gyms across the capital including Zone Gym in Wood Green, NKD Ambition Studio near Great Portland Street, Virgin Active in Aldersgate and a number of LA Fitness clubs. Ok, ok, so I’ve been mixing it up, visiting different gyms. So what? Well, the one thing I’ve noticed is how long people train for.

I usually train for between 30 and 60mins depending on the session. I very, very rarely step over the hour mark and generally only train for around 50mins. In nearly ever place I’ve trained and for nearly every session, I’ve noticed that people are there when we start already training and still training when we leave. I even did one photoshot for 3hours and people out trained us doing that! Personally, I think they are wasting their time. Yes, for some the gym is a social club. They train in tracksuits, spending more time chatting about the opposite sex and what they did at the weekend. If that’s their thing, fair play to them: as long as they aren’t hogging the squat rack then whatever floats their boat. However, I feel for many of you out there, there is a fear that you’ve never done enough. That you need to hit every muscle every session, or you need to use every exercise that exists for a muscle group every session. This just simply isn’t true. In many, if not most cases, you need to realise that “Less is More” and to have the confidence that what you’ve done over 45-60minutes is enough to help you reach your goals.

Train with high intensity

My advice to all my clients and the “rule” I follow myself in my training is to train with high “intensity”.

There are many ways to make a session intense:

  1. Super/tri/giant sets
  2. Less rest
  3. Heavier weights
  4. Tempo – especially eccentric lowering
  5. Drop and Rest pause sets

See my glossary for more information if required.

If you train intensely, you cannot train for hours on end. You need to stop, refuel and rest. Remember, you stimulate the change in the gym, but the changes occur outside the gym as you let the body grow and change by resting and feeding it.

My training session today was based around Charles Poliquin’s 3D shoulders Session 2. It involved 5 sets of a triset of shoulder exercises of 8-10reps on each of the three exercises per triset. I also performed 5 sets of calf extensions on the leg press and 1 set of Tabata HIIT sprints (4mins). I was on the gym floor for 45minutes. My deltoids were “trashed” (to quote Poliquin), my calves certainly feeling it and my heart rate raised and stamina tested. Could I have done more? Probably. But I didn’t NEED to. I was confident that what I’d done had done the job.

Intensity is key – and if employed correctly will save you extra hours in the gym and give you the results you want.

LESS IS MORE. It will hep you reach your goals, by training for less time but being more intense with your training in each session.

Sean Lerwill - Author

Sean is an former-Royal Marines Commando Officer & Physical Training Instructor. He has been published as a writer five times, has a BSc in Molecular Genetics and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. He is also a MaxiNutrition ambassador.

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