Count Backward To Go Forward

December 06, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro

male personal trainer with female client

Forward“Psychologically, it’s easier to go down than to go up when you counForwardt reps,” says Charles Staley, creator of the Escalating Density Training System. It’s better to know what you have left to do rather than what Forward have done. Furthermore, strength and conditioning coach Charles Poliquin believes that counting the reps down keeps your mind focused on the task at hand, not on the outcome. If the reps are high, however, it’s best to break the number down into manageable chunks. For example, on a set of 15 repetitions count 5,4,3,2,1 three times as opposed to counting from 15 all the way down to 1.

Silence can be golden though. By not counting at all, it forces the trainee to focus on the quality of a set rather than the quantity. I’ve found that staying silent throughout a set, only muttering one-word cues and corrections when necessary, and counting down only the last two or three reps as the most productive method to use with personal training clients.

Yet, with all that said, some clients still prefer to have the reps counted upwards and out loud each repetition going completely against the above-mentioned advice. Everyone has their own preferences. You must find the approach that works best with each client.

To your success,