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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Weight Training for Beginners with Alex Bush | DFIO Ep.259

About Today’s Episode:

Today, I interviewed a newer friend of mine—Alex Bush. Alex is a co-owner of Physique Development and he is an expert on all things training related.

I wanted to get him on here to give a little bit of a different perspective on training because training is such an important part of weight loss and transformation—if your training is not in the right place, it will yield very different results than if your training is set up correctly.

We talk about not only training with the optimal program/plan—and doing things the best way possible—but also training in a practical way. Where does ‘optimal’ training and ‘practical’ training intersect for the average person?

Alex gives some amazing insights around the most common questions our listeners have about training, like what constitutes a good workout, how to prepare yourself mentally to go into a workout, how to select the right weight, and much more.

I’m super pumped for you all to hear this episode, so let’s get into it!


00:00 Introduction & About Today’s Episode

03:00 Our Sponsors

07:54 The Dichotomy of Optimal and Practical Training

11:20 What Got Alex Interested in Deep Training Knowledge

15:40 The Mindset for Strength Training

19:00 More is Not Better

21:42 What Makes a Good Workout

25:17 What Helps Focus

28:56 Training to Failure

34:18 How to Pick the Right Weight

38:29 Women and Weight Training

43:00 When You Don’t Have The Best Set-Up

47:59 What Alex and Physique Development are Working On

55:42 Jared's outro and how to apply for coaching

Transcription (click to expand)

The Dichotomy of Optimal and Practical Training:

Alex finds that the big driving force of balancing optimal and practical training is about meeting the individual where they are at—personally. No matter how deep his knowledge of training becomes, Alex maintains the ability to scale back to the core of what it all means and how to explain training in an easy-to-understand way.

As a coach, he finds being able to approach clients at their level is essential to making them comfortable with the topic of training.

He often sees in the training education space on social media that people will talk over others, with the intention of establishing themselves as an authority on the subject. Alex, however, has the opposite approach—he wants everyone to feel welcome and know that everything can be broken down so they can learn, take that knowledge, and move forward.

Alex and Jared both find that, when it comes to knowledge about training, as you learn more and more you almost start to feel as if you know nothing because there is so much depth to training. This is part of why Alex really focuses on meeting clients where they are and making information digestible.

What Got Alex Interested in Deep Training Knowledge:

When Alex was in high school, he had a really great teacher and strength coach. His coach really impressed upon him the knowledge of what training can do—and be—for a person when done correctly versus incorrectly.

His coach was excellent at teaching proper technique when it came to strength training—starting his students with foundational knowledge on how to properly perform various exercises.

When Jared first started working as a personal trainer, he found that many high school coaches had an attitude of “as long as the bar gets up,” but this mentality doesn’t teach appropriate technique. He remembers having a kid come in once who was naturally very strong—squatting around 500 lbs in high school—but his form was not good. Jared was able to teach him proper technique, further increasing his squat numbers, and getting him even better results while keeping him much safer.

Jared and Alex both find that many people lack a fundamental understanding of body mechanics and it can be hard to get them to step back and learn.

Alex is the type of person that is very obsessed with the small details in all areas of his life—strength training, business, etc. That dedication to the nuance associated with training and his early experiences with strength training are what led him to gain such a deep knowledge of strength training.

The Mindset for Strength Training:

The first thing someone needs to know, Alex says, is that more is not better. He finds that oftentimes a person gets into the gym and is only familiar with 4-5 exercises, so they just focus on doing those—and end up going way overboard on volume.

In reality, they are just moving through space and burning calories.

While there may be a time and a place for this—like someone who is just trying to get in the habit of going to the gym—to really see changes in one’s body, a progression needs to take place.

Alex finds it necessary to get to a place of understanding how the body functions, what the exercises are actually doing, rep quality, and getting to a place of challenging oneself.

A person who has never been in the gym—and has no experience or knowledge of how to train, what failure feels like, etc.—is often lost because they have never had any guidance. This is where he believes in-person and online coaching can excel in providing knowledge and instilling confidence to know when to keep pushing themselves.

More is Not Better:

Jared sees a lot of people in his coaching program who come from the “more is better” mindset.

Before starting with coaching, they were not training optimally. They then learn basic fundamentals and feel like—because their workouts are now shorter and more optimized—they aren’t doing enough.

Alex finds that when an individual has the association of difficulty being associated with “how heavy I’m breathing and how much I’m sweating,” it is difficult for them to understand that there are other metrics that are being tracked.

It is also difficult for them to understand that their body composition is not going to change based on how much they are sweating.

What they really need to focus on is transitioning to a situation where they can focus on getting stronger, feeling muscular tension, and being challenged within the set itself.

Recording your exercises, comparing them to examples of that exercise with proper form—perhaps from the Physique Development YouTube Channel 😉—and assessing where you are or aren’t doing said exercises in a similar fashion can help you continue to progress.

These are much more important to focus on rather than simply sweating and breathing heavily.

Jared has had the experience of most people being stuck in an old-fashioned mentality of training where 2 hours is better than 1 hour and so on, when the reality is quite different.

What Makes a Good Workout:

For Alex, one of his big drivers is, “live to train another day.”

He says we are not wanting to walk out of a session in a place where we are immobile. You should not be celebrating doing a workout one day and still having trouble moving a week later. If that is happening, adjustments need to be made to the training.

Next, are we getting better from session to session?

If you are just starting, you will have to establish a baseline—but as you progress in your training, you need to track from week to week what changes are occurring.

Are you becoming stronger? Are you feeling more or less fatigued? What, intrinsically, in our body do we feel?