I have a girl I started training 16 weeks ago. Well, this is her 16th week of a 16 week program. I was very excited about training her because she does a lot on her own, in terms of classes (i'm talking 12 classes per week, at least). Very fit in a cardio sense, and hugely enthusiastic. I couldn't wait to see what would happen when I gave her some structure and got her lifting heavy things, getting better, "training with purpose".
Here's a few snippets of her progress (i'm particularly proud, hence the post):
BTW most of these lifts she had never done before
Deadlift - was 50KG, now 110KG
Squat - Couldn't squat below parallel without tucking the pelvis. Has since front squatted 70KG below parallel, and just Box Squatted 95KG (!!!!!!).
Bench - Was 35KG, now 60KG
Pull ups - just managed a full ROM b/w pull up
Push ups - struggled with a 45degree elevation before, now can do sets of 12 on the floor
Turkish Get ups - never done them before, only taught them directly in the last 4 weeks, and she's hit 3 per side with 20KG!
That's probably the most notable. Other snippets of progress include,
-Went from stability ball rollouts to BB rollouts
-Wasn't great on one leg before, and now can do front squat grip reverse lunges with 50KG, forward lunges with 20KG DB's
-Couldn't do a single leg DL before, now can do single leg single arm DL perfectly
-As mentioned couldn't squat below parallel with good form before, now can do OH squats, very deep, with 30KG.
-Started doing 1-arm DB rows with 12-14KG. Now can do chest supported rows with 20KG (for sets of 8!).
-She's also push pressed 45KGx3
-She had shoulder pain at the start, not had shoulder pain since (me helping with this is, i think, one of the reasons she wanted to train with me in the first place).
If I look back at the last 16 weeks, there's probably even more "notable" improvements. I think this girl was destined to be an athlete, yet some how chose to be a dentist. Oh, she also says her new found grip strength makes removing teeth significantly easier lol.
Although not all clients will improve so much so quickly, this just further enforces how I "prefer" to train, and train people. Believe it or not I don't get a lot of chances to train clients exactly like I would really want to. Typically you get a client once per week so, doing a comprehensive program for them is simply unrealistic. However, I train this girl 3 x per week. I have another women I train 3x per week who is one of my best testimonials, and another guy I train 3-4 times per week so, it does happen, just not very much.
If you look at the above, that's a lot to cover in just 4 months, and that's not even the half of it. She also got better at DB benching with various inclines (even 1 handed variations), lots of different BB bench variations i.e. incline, close grip, Floor press, also a few bouts of speed work. She done (and got better at) Sumo DL, conventional DL, rack pulls, front squats, front box squats, back box squats, OH squats, bouts of speed box squats and speed DL's, pall of press and plank variations, roll outs, stir the pot, reverse lunges with DB's, front squat grip, and bar on back, same with forward lunges, DB bulgarians, 1-arm bulgarians, Bulgarians with a deficit, scap work, cuff work, etc etc.
One of the things i'm a big believer in is "building lifts" vs "training lifts" (not exclusively, I do believe in training them specifically, too, just not as much as most people). For example, this girl still hasn't performed a standard back squat. Closest she's got is the last 4 weeks doing box squats (for speed, but with heavy singles programmed afterwards on 1st and 3rd week). See, most people who struggle to do a b/w squat with good depth and form will crumble when you put a bar on their back. However, put the weight on the front (in this case, front squats) and it comes together. Whilst doing this she also gets good on one leg and when the time is right I program in BB lunges - it's a tougher variation, balance wise, and I get to teach how to put a bar on the back. A long the way i'm building her squat "pattern" and also progress her towards an OH squat. When it comes time to put a bar on her back it's for speed (light weight) and she's already comfortable with the bar placement. It's also a box squat which further enforces "sitting back" (which will be the first thing you need to work on with a new back squatter). She just transitions into it as if she's done it a million times before. Imagine, as a female, the "first time" you back squat, you get 95-100KG?? She's hit 95KG on Box Squat so she'll get more with a free squat. She's technically hardly done a standard BB bench press yet has benched 60KG (when she hit 60KG, this was the 7th time she performed a standard BB bench press with me).
Anyway... Don't really have a point, other than - wooooo
. I guess I like to just go over/clarify my thoughts on here. I love to see things come together. I've seen it before with this approach, and it's how I prefer to train myself, I just don't get many chances to actually test it (it is heavily influenced by Eric Cressey, btw). I'd be happy for it to get picked apart, too, if anyone has any questions.