Aaron's focus for July

Over at the IFC gym we take our staff training very seriously.

New staff who have been working in the fitness industry for years would still need 3 – 6 months of coaching from a senior IFC trainer before they are ready to work with one of our clients.

To keep our standards high we meet formally at least once a week, discussing sticking points around programming and exercise form.

During these meetings I usually have a new training modality, nutrition protocol or lifestyle mod I’ve read about and am trying / want to try. These experimental protocols are shared with the trainers to ponder on and try out for themselves.

In our monthly newsletter I will share some of what the IFC Personal Training Team is working on and how effective it’s been.

Trigger Sessions

This theory seems to have started with the guys over at ‘Mind Pump’. I had not heard or thought about it before they discussed it on a podcast, and it made sense to me

What is a trigger session?

  • Getting little mini pumps between workouts
  • Just enough to send a signal but not enough to fatigue the muscle

Why would it work?

  • Constant low level signals to a muscle group could allow for greater activation and recruitment of muscle groups  
  • You're basically training the muscle group more often in any given week, without the problem of over training 
  • A constant theme we hear from successful athletes and high level coaches is volume over intensity, hit the same movement as often as possible, without pushing so hard you need a rest day

How to put it into practice?

  • This does not replace your regular workout!
  • In-between your current sessions perform low intensity (pumping) movements of the muscle groups you want to improve
  • If your current workout schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, trigger sessions could be performed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
  • On the trigger session days perform the exercises / movements 3 or more times a day
  • One or two sets of each movement should be enough
  • ‘Mind Pump’ recommends using resistance bands

The Result :

  • I personally tried this with Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders for the entire month of June
  • As I usually have equipment available, my exercises were performed with cable machines and light dumbbells instead of resistance bands
  • When my wife said ‘I think your arms are getting too big’ I thanked her and thought about how easy it was to make such a big change

If you’d like to learn more or give some feedback on how you did trying ‘trigger sessions’ I’d love to hear from you.

See you in the gym