How to get more out of every training session

Around six weeks in to any training programme, you or your client might start to see that progress begins to slow down and the effort and work required to make any gain is through the roof. Need solutions? Fit Futures’ Co-founder and Commonwealth Games judo competitor Jason Koster has the top ways you can reinvigorate any workout to continuously see maximum results.

The following methods are geared at you or your client and designed to help you get more value out of a workout. They have been tried-and-tested during the past 12 years by Jason and his team of personal trainers

  • Alter your compound movements. Compound movements are the king when it comes to changes in body composition, however it is important to change these movements. Change the flat bench press for incline bench or triceps dips; swap back squats to front squats or Bulgarian split squats. You will give yourself the body a new stimulus, which will lead to a greater caloric expenditure.
  • Get more out of your session by warming up correctly! A warmup isn’t just 10 minutes on the treadmill before your PT session. Perform five minutes of cardio, increasing the intensity and then a series of bodyweight movements to wake up your nervous system. We recommend three sets of 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 jump squats and 10 sprawls is a good start and will mean that you can perform at a higher intensity during your session.
  • Opt for resistance-based intervals. Rather than solely doing longer intervals with a cardiovascular outcome, aim to do at least one session a week of intervals with resistance. Hills, stairs or a form of martial art are all great options.
  • Decrease your rest periods in between sets. Ideally you should only rest 10 to 60 seconds between sets. This will allow for a great lactate accumulation and a better metabolic effect.
  • Following on from the above – superset everything. Straight sets are not effective for fatloss training so it is important that you superset everything you can. Alternating body parts works well for straight fat loss and the same body part works well to also get a hypertrophy response.
  • Add quarters to your lifts. For example, one and a quarter back squats involve going all the way to the bottom, performing a quarter rep at the bottom portion before returning to the top. This extra time under tension at the most difficult part of the movement will create a greater metabolic response.
  • Slow down your tempo. When performing any movement, increase your time under tension by slowing the eccentric portion down. A personal favourite is 10x 10second eccentric leg press as a finisher
  • Increase your incidental activity. Burn calories by doing more throughout the day as opposed to just pushing hard in the gym. Avoid staying seated for long periods of time.
  • Stick to the rules. When it gets a little dry or progress slows, we often try and mix things up and opt for easier options. “I went for a walk instead” does not offer the same value as a resistance training session so make sure you stay on track with all planned sessions.
  • Add some recovery sessions into your weekly schedule. Massage, acupuncture or spa are some of my favourite, but activities such as yoga and meditation can also be great as well.
  • Get down to earth. Do not perform all your training sessions indoors. Make sure you are getting outside and making the most of the beautiful country we live in. Earthing is a concept that has been around for decades and it is starting to get a good body of research behind it now with regards to health and wellbeing so make sure you are getting outdoors when you can.
  • Work harder! Simply put in more effort. There is always that little bit of extra that can be given. Never be afraid to take yourself a little bit further into the pain knowing that the results on the otherside will be worth a lot more and will last a long longer.

Jason Koster is the Co-Founder of Fit Futures and current Head Tutor. For the past 12 years, Jason has been involved in the field of strength & conditioning. His unique and cutting edge approach has helped Olympians, NCAA Athletes and Professional MMA fighters reach their goals and achieve personal bests on in the gym and on the field of play. Jason is also an athlete himself, excelling in the sport of judo. His career highlights include a bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple international medals as well as being a three times Oceania Judo Champion.