The Secret Personal Trainers Won't Teach You

It’s a great feeling performing the exercises you enjoy at a ‘comfortable’ weight when everything moves exactly how you expect it to, you're almost certain of the outcome; you've pressed that weight hundreds of times and you always hit the desired rep range. The weight you work with and your routine are pretty much set in stone and serve you just fine.  


This mindset is perfectly acceptable, you’re working out and keeping fit, but at the same time you often wonder how others manage to take it to the next level. You look around the gym and see feats of strength and wonder, how in the world is that possible? What are they doing that I am not?

Well theres one trick you might be missing that your regular Personal Trainer won’t teach you, and I don’t blame them. As an ex-Personal Trainer of many years myself, I know the industry very well. When you take the necessary courses to become a Personal Trainer, along with learning full anatomy and nutrition, you also learn the more practical method, of demonstrating and correcting form when performing exercises.



Now when you qualify as a PT and begin taking on clients, you will follow what you were taught, you will teach clients to lift to the industry standard, the safest way. This is great for beginners who will no doubt make huge gains in the first instance, it is also fundamental for beginners to know what perfect form looks and feels like as a foundation for their weightlifting progress.

So what is it Personal Trainers won’t teach you and why?



A PT (be aware I am generalising) won’t teach you how to, or the benefits of ‘safely’ breaking form.

There are two reasons why they won’t teach you this, the first is obvious, it simply doesn’t look good and won’t be good for business. Imagine looking across the gym at a PT session, where the client is performing a barbell curl, and his/her back doesn’t remain ruler straight and the PT doesn't correct them, oh the shame! What on earth is he/she teaching them.

The other reason is because its actually quite difficult to define and teach, and would only truly be beneficial for those who are already very well experienced weightlifters; remember perfect form should always be the foundation.

Knowing when to break perfect form comes with experience; which is ironic, as visually, breaking form looks like ignorance to, 'how it's supposed to be done,' when in reality you are fully aware and purposely do so. 

It is not necessary to break form to build muscle, however I do feel it is very necessary to break form, to lift considerably heavier weight and take your strength and size gains to the next level, but it is difficult to advise, as a blanket statement, ‘go forth and break form,’ will do the general public more harm than good.



My physique was not built from perfect form, many of my peers who some of you may follow and aspire to, will attest to the same. We know perfect form, we use perfect form, but we also push beyond, sometimes way beyond, and the fact is the results speak for themselves.

From renowned bodybuilders who have built tremendous proportioned physiques, to power lifters and strongman athletes and their unimaginable strength, non could attribute their progression to 'perfect form' lifts alone. All would stress the need to allow some flexibility with form, to make progression untapped and unreachable by the rigid constraints of picture perfect form.

So no I am not saying, ‘go forth and break form,’ especially if you are relatively new to lifting, but I am trying to enlighten you to methods many of us use, that your Personal trainer might not let you in on.




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  • shrey

    This article is bang on!!! So true that when lifting heavy weights your form will get compromised to an extent and it’s necessary to do this in order to break new ground and get gains!!

  • russcoffitness

    Really good article! You said it all!

    Obviously when you are a beginner, proper form is the right way to start with to avoid injuries. But as a beginner, you also enjoy quick and big gains the first years.

    It’s a bit harder after few years of training. And I also believe that to overcome a plateau you need to break the form. As you said, it’s funny how people will criticize you when you get heavy weights and use an ‘incorrect form’.

    Arnold himself, one of the best bodybuilders of all time was relying on forced reps and cheated curls for example. And I don’t think anyone could dare say that he was wrong! the guy had the most amazing physique ever!!!!

    Learn proper form and once are experienced you can go through the cheating route.

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