Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting world renowned strength coach Andre Benoit for 3 days here at CoActive Health. The weekend was a great learning experience for all personal trainers that attended and here are just a few of the gems of knowledge picked up by the CoActive team.
Strength is the mother of all qualities but before strength you need quality movement. It’s important to screen prior to lifting and acknowledge ‘imbalances’ and deviations’ in movement.
With a good program, performed with full range of movement and great technique you can solve a lot of issues, however sometimes there is no substitute for ‘hands on’ physical therapy. Andre showed us how quickly the body can respond given the right help.
If you want to make progress it is vital that you ‘nourish’ your body with quality nutrition. You simply cannot out train a poor diet and many of us under estimate how much quality food our body really needs to thrive especially when we train hard. *This does not apply to Roan who has the appetite of an adult Rhinoceros!
Overall the weekend was a great reminder of the importance of the ‘hard work’ needed to get quality results, the 6 sessions in 3 days really rammed that point home!
First and foremost, I found the weekend to be a very enjoyable experience. It was great to be in the company of like minded people who have a genuine appetite for training as well a willingness to learn and grow as a coach. It also gave us the opportunity to be together as a group, which is a rarity.
Things that I learnt / gained this weekend:
- An excellent refresher of things that have previously been learnt
- The importance of structural balance
- Individualising the implementation of de-loads
- Many different types of training stimuluses/program design
- Just how important a good therapist can be for client progression
- “Grey” training isn’t black and white
- The bigger your appetite the more potential you have to grow
- Self confidence- easy to question yourself in this industry
- Motivation to be better- better as a coach, better as an athlete, will demand more from myself
- Screening process- short, simple, effective
- Some new remedial exercises
Andre Benoit is one of those figures in the industry of coaching who has fantastic knowledge coupled with practical experience from years of training and training people. It was a real honour to be able to learn from him. The top things that really sprung out to me from his course, both recaps and brand new information, were:
- Hypertrophy means ‘exceeding’ – ‘nourishment’ in the original Greek. When building muscle we often forget how much importance needs to be placed on the ‘nourishment’ part.
- Satellite cells lay dormant in the muscle until there is trauma from a heavy training session. After the trauma, Satellite cells create Daughter cells which give their nuclei to the muscle cell, effectively enhancing its size and ability to grow.
- Cardiovascular training, though certainly not as important as intervals and strength training, is great as long as it is PROGRESSIVE – eg. faster or longer each session (not just 20 – 60 minutes of the same old stuff)
- Variety is key. Grip type, exercise selection, tempo, reps, sets etc. are all extremely important to help the body improve but also prevent injury
- If the body can’t move into a certain range of movement, move it into that range. As long as you don’t force it, sometimes all you need is to remind the body how to get into that range.
- Training four times per week will lead to a 50% increase in results over only training three times.
- Muscle building occurs most when the time under tension of a set exceeds 25 seconds up to around 90 seconds. For example, lowering the weight for 4 seconds, lifting for 1 second, repeated 10 times = 50 seconds – PERFECT!
- Sports specific sh*t does not belong in the gym’ – the gym is the place to get strong, not do silly footwork or movement pattern drills. Strength will always translate to the sport so don’t do sports specific movements in the gym.
- Supplementation is important with Andre placing high priorities on protein, amino acids, multi-vitamins, probiotics, anti-oxidants, anti-cortisol, magnesium, zinc, carnitine and vitamin D.
- Strength is the mother of all qualities.
As with many of the best courses I have attended, Andre’s course has given me that renewed boost of focus and energy towards achieving the best possible results for everyone I come into contact with. The knowledge and skills learned on the Hypertrophy Academy are instrumental in making that happen.