“Paul was a skinny guy looking to build some muscle when he entered the college weight room. Little did he know that was the first step towards his future. His passion for coaching and helping people become stronger can be seen every day through Hynes Performance, where he works as a Strength and Conditioning coach with clients from all walks of life. He believes that to be a great teacher you must first become an eternal student and that every experience is an opportunity to learn, grow and improve.
Paul believes that training should be an enjoyable, yet challenging process, and is all about meeting people at their starting point and moving forward from there.
Whether it’s working with a Barbell, Kettlebell or just good ole’ body weight, he wants to help people achieve things they never thought were possible.
As a former art school nerd that now found his calling in fitness, he holds certifications through Strongfirst and has competed in Power-lifting.
When he’s not lifting heavy things or coaching wonderful people from all walks of life, he enjoys nerding out over anything in the realm of comic books or science fiction, exploring the great outdoors and impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
To learn more about Paul, you can visit his website here!
What type of sports did you participate in as a kid?
I played Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball and participated in track and field.
What are your top three fitness tips for post 45 athletes?
1. Spread your training over the week. Less body part splits, more full body workouts. Your time is a non-renewable resource and you probably have a lot of other commitments that compete for your focus everyday. Training your full body allows you to get quality work in each session and it also does not leave you behind the 8-ball should you miss a workout focusing on a body part.
2. Strength train! Strength is the fundamental physical quality that makes the development of other physical qualities much more efficient. A proper strength training program will help you develop body awareness and control, improve your mobility, increase your energy levels, and make you more resistant to injury. That is only the beginning!
3. Time is precious. Be efficient with your rest periods and use mobility exercises in between sets to help you get into better position for your main lifts. For example. in between sets of front squats, you could perform 10 reps of a thoracic spine extension off a bench which will help you stay taller during your reps. Here is an example of how to do just that!
What adversity have you had to overcome as an athlete and as a trainer?
As an athlete and a trainer, I started “late” by most traditional definitions. On the soccer pitch, I did not possess the same skill level that some of my peers had from playing as kids. As a trainer, I entered the fitness world after working many different jobs. In both cases, the way I managed to “catch up” and develop as an athlete and as a trainer was learning from every source I could; applying what I learned through consistent practice and surrounding myself with people who were better than me. That forced me to rise to a higher level.
For the advanced post 45 athlete who has plateaued, what advice would you give them to take things to the next level?
Two of the most effective things you can do to get past a plateau are:
1. Keep a training log
2. Change one thing at a time
If you have been training for a substantial amount of time, hopefully you have been keeping a training log where you track your workouts and process in the gym. Logging your workouts will allow you to see trends in your performance from day-to-day and long-term, over weeks and months. Once you have objective data, you can make adjustments that will actually be helpful.
Once you have identified where you aren’t making progress, pick one thing to change. Perhaps you need to increase your training volume because you have been under-training. Or maybe you need to change your rep range up from the 5 x 5 workout you have been doing for the past 6 months. Maybe the reason why you are plateauing is due to the fact that you are not getting enough sleep to allow your body to recover from workouts or it could be your diet that is holding you back. Regardless of what you find, the challenge is then to pick ONE thing and change that, then monitor your progress. Changing your whole routine makes it impossible to figure out what is actually contributing to your plateau and it makes it very difficult to figure out what is helping you make progress going forward.
What is your key injury prevention tip?
Control the eccentric phase of the movement. The eccentric phase of a movement is where the muscles are lengthening whilst contracting, often during the lowering portion of a lift. We are stronger during the eccentric phase because our bodies produce more force during that part of a movement. This allows us to use heavier loads than we could lift during the concentric (raising or shortening) phase of a repetition. Eccentrics are a simple yet very effective way to prepare to handle load before you get to heavier weights, making them more resilient. As a side benefit, any time you focus on the eccentric, you slow down and don’t rush the reps, which can help with learning effective technique and identifying how a movement should feel.
What supplements provide the most bang for your buck for post 45 athletes looking to maximize their performance in the gym?
- Whey protein
- Sleep 🙂