A common scenario I see with clients is that when they achieve poor results in the gym, they assume they are not training ‘hard enough’. They always think ‘lack of effort’ is the underlying cause of their training plateau, inability to lose weight, or failure to add lean muscle and size.
Does effort in the gym really translate into results?
I would say that most people in the gym, no matter what their level, are determined to get fitter, leaner, and healthier. You could even argue that the less fit you are, the more effort you often put in. I am not a skilled swimmer… I know I put forth a lot more effort into a 30 minute swim than my friends who used to swim in university. More effort, less results. What is going on here?
There are two general tendencies at play; genetics and a properly developed plan. Your genetics play a large role in your ability to lift heavy weights, perform in certain sports, and even lose weight. A recent article in Men’s Health highlights this point to a tee, some people are just born ‘bigger, stronger, faster!’
So, should you be taking advice from people – trainers, strength coaches, friends – whose genetic and hormonal profile predispose them to success? If you look at the hormonal profiles of top athletes, they all tend to fall into a certain category, a level above the rest of us.
The answer is no, you shouldn’t follow a personal trainer’s advice just because they are big or strong. But, if they have experience and expertise in their field and can outline a safe and effective plan for you (with short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals) to help you achieve your goals… absolutely!
Effort only gets you so far. Most people don’t need to train more, they need to train smarter. Your training intensity (how hard you are working) as well as your training density (how much work you can do in a specific amount of time) are two critical factors for helping you achieve your goals of a better body and better performance.
You don’t need more hours in the gym… find the right plan and you can get better results in less time. For most people, this is the ultimate goal!
Have a great week,
Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS, is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS