Regardless of how much or how little you know about the human body and how it adapts to any particular stimulus, if you’re not applying that knowledge you’re cutting yourself short. This should be pretty obvious, but in the 8 years of training clients and watching other trainers train clients I hardly ever see someone who really applies everything they know. We are so guilty of falling back on old systems, even though we know about new theories which prove those very systems to be outdated. I’m guilty of this too. We all are. The truth is, the more we know the harder it gets to apply all of it properly, in the correct ratios, at the right time, in the right setting.
It has become something that really bothers me: trainers doing stupid shit. I used to be of the opinion that more education was the only remedy, but it’s often not the case. Truth is, they are often far smarter than the autopilot trainer that starts to show when they’re getting lazy. Basic training principles like progressive overload, specificity, and the law of individualization are all understood, but what they are doing with their clients does not represent this knowledge. Six clients back to back have taken their toll and all of a sudden the same hour long workout gets dished out on repeat.
If you want to keep that autopilot trainer at bay you have to do two things; sit down and spend time planning the workout beforehand, then reflect on how the session went afterwards. You have to work really hard at not letting the autopilot training take over. This extends far passed the many training variables like exercise selection, tempo, rest intervals, sets and reps. Evaluate the cues you use and your personal interaction with the client as well. Question your whole program and how you deliver it. Resist the urge to fall into old systems. Make the decision to get better at applying what you already know and constantly strive to become brilliant at it.