Train Smarter, Not Harder

Whether you want to lose a little weight, tone your abs, or build some serious muscle & strength — when it comes to fitness, the goal is train smarter not harder.

Most of the clients that join one of Adaptive Strength’s Functional Training programs do so because they want to train smarter and not harder.

At the centre of train smarter, not harder are 2 key concepts.
1) Fundamentals are always first.
2) Good quality movement is at the core of life.

Having a full range of movement, understanding the fundamentals and being able to demonstrate body control and movement awareness throughout numerous positions, lays a firm foundation for your health and fitness success.

Unfortunately due to a variety for reasons, from media to social pressures many people have a greater concern for rapid weight loss than for total fitness.
Often this approach is counter-productive. While the short term rapid weight loss may be achieved, it is often not sustained. On the quest for rapid weight loss these people generally end up training HARDER, not SMARTER. This constant drive to go harder works until they break. They may break physically with some form of niggle, injury or pain or it may be mental in the form of exhaustion, the feeling of sacrifice and an emptiness of never filling fulfilled.

That is why at Adaptive Strength we spend time to build a superior foundation, and this starts by learning how to move well.

Core to Training Smarter and Not Harder is being able to manage movement pattern limitations and asymmetries – mobility and stability problems – before applying a significant weight, volume of fitness, performance and sports training.

In other words you should be able to perform the exercise well with body weight first before adding weight or high volume. We do not want to do is put strength or fitness on a dysfunction movement pattern.

For some this may seem like a slower approach, as we have been led to believe that harder is always better. But this could not be further from the truth. The go harder approach is actually more time consuming than taking a step back to build a solid foundation and learning to move well. Going harder while you have poor movement patterns reinforces poor quality and creates greater risk of injury.

Unfortunately most gyms and especially those HIIT classes style group training centres incorrectly perpetuate the assumption that fundamental movement patterns, mobility, stability and proprioception are otherwise normal for most people, without ever doing an assessment to verify this.

If movement is dysfunctional, all things built on that dysfunction might be flawed, compromised or predisposed to risk even if disguised by acceptable levels of skill or performance.

Once fundamental movement are taught correctly and can be perform proficiently, other factors like strength, endurance and skill work can be added safely. That is why it is so important to train smarter and not harder.

Basic principles

  • Basic body weight movement patterns should not provoke pain
  • Gross limitation of fundamental movement patters, even if pain free, can cause compensation and substitution leading to poor efficiency, secondary problems and increased injury risk
  • Fundamental movement patterns involving the body’s left and right sides should be mostly symmetrical.
  • Fundamental movement should precede performance-based capability.
  • Fundamental movement should mostly precede complex movements’ activities or complex skill training.

“Attention to detail regarding exercise is important”

The Train Smarter, Not Harder approach focuses on improving mobility, stability, basic motor control and whole movement patterns as a foundation to everything else.

By laying a firm foundation, discipline, and consistency and by providing a long term systematic process, training at Adaptive Strength can serve as a tool for movement, fitness and overall great health.

Four principles
1) Strength training for lean body mass and joint mobility work trumps everything else
2) Fundamental human movements are fundamental
3) Standards and gaps must be constantly assessed
4) Constantly strive for mastery and grace

If you would like to learn more about our smarter approach to exercise and functional training to build strong resilient bodies, click the link below to arrange a quick chat with head Coach Sam.

Book a quick chat with Sam here.

Click Here To Book a Strategy Session With Sam

Functional Training Centre - Booragoon


Functional Training For The Everyday Person


Personal Training & Kettlebell Training


I have developed an approach to exercise motivation that has enabled many average individuals to achieve amazing weight loss, health and fitness results.


I have developed an approach to exercise motivation that has enabled many average individuals to achieve amazing weight loss, health and fitness results.