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You Don’t Have to ‘Weight’ on Progress

Here at Aspire Personal Training for Women, we pride ourselves on being able to train pretty much anyone who walks into the gym.  We can easily do this by simply progressing (making harder) or regressing (making easier) any exercise that we choose.  This is not some magic trick using a weight but simply a highly effective way of training that we’ve learned to implement to over the years.

Most people come to us not only to lose fat but to also get stronger and increase their endurance for the various activities that they take part in regularly.  This leads us down the path of progressing exercises a lot more often than regressing them as our clients keep becoming more and more fit.  The simplest way to make any exercise more challenging is to hand a person a weight or increase the amount of weight that they are already using.  At the same time, this is far from the only way of turning a simple exercise into a much more challenging feat of strength, balance or both.

Here are a few simple examples of how we can raise the bar:

  • Bodyweight Push-Up    Slow Motion Push-Up
  • Bodyweight Squat    Jumping Squat
  • Bodyweight Pull-Up    Bodyweight Pull-Up with a hold at the top

From the examples above you will notice that there are no weights to be found.  We often forget that our own bodyweight is the greatest piece of exercise equipment ever created.  With the creation of dumbbells, kettlebells, ab rockers/rollers/sliders and the like it is pretty easy to forget the equipment that you already own.  The bottom line is that even though we can easily hand a person more weight or some fancy new fitness toy that just hit the market to make an exercise more challenging, sometimes just changing HOW you do the basic exercise will do the trick.

Increasing exercise intensity can also be done by tweaking the form used while doing the exercise. As coaches, we are often told that we make it look it easy. Well, I am sure that you also make what you do for a living look easy in our eyes as well. Easy is also a matter of perspective as we can take an exercise, change your body position to make it easier but also change your form to make it tougher than it was in the first place. I know, it sounds complicated but we often make changes to your exercises in order to force you to complete them with more intention and thus more challenging.

Yes, there are sessions where moving faster and keeping your heart rate up is the goal but for the most part, focusing on each repetition will give you the results that you want.

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