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Resistance training principles - it's not just choreography

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You’ve done RTS, show me a RTS workout!

A friend of mine in the US told me a story about an interaction he had at the health club where he works.

He was near completing the Resistance Training Specialist® Mastery level courses when the personal training manager of his club approached him:

You’ve done RTS, show me a RTS workout!

My friend was stumped. He had nothing. The PT Manager was confused.

Come on, show me a move!

– – –

The norm in the industry, both in the US and in the UK is for personal training courses to offer up new moves – new choreography, new recipes. When starting out as a trainer, this is exactly what you need, but these types of courses don’t offer much more.


How is RTS different?

I have heard fellow professionals call RTS a rehab-based program (perhaps because some members of the RTS community, including me, specialise in working with individuals who have been sidelined by traditional approaches to fitness. I’ve also heard people call RTS a bodybuilding program, perhaps because some pro bodybuilders champion the concepts.

In reality, it’s both of these things and more. My clients range from creative professionals motivated to get healthier and increase their strength, to professional athletes looking to improve their performance and reduce injury risk.

“The RTS program is not about a specific camp or bias towards a certain type of training. It’s about following and applying the rules of physics, in particular biomechanics, to the body.”

Michael Goulden

It’s about peeking through the auto-pilot we operate on and questioning everything. No action should be automatic, and you should review everything.

So what could my friend have done to show off his new skills? Probably nothing flashy. But he can ensure that each exercise he chooses is set-up perfectly for every client’s:

  • unique structure and anatomy
  • level of experience, and
  • desired outcome based on what they have available – what they own in each and every rep and what they can tolerate

Therefore achieving amazing goals, for each and every client – not just those that fit into the pre-determined protocols.

From the initial assessments to the warm-up and the exercises, equipment and forces you choose, following popular protocols may be satisfactory for the average client. But to get the best results, the process must be customised.

It’s not called “personal” training simply because it’s one-on-one. It’s supposed to be personalised as well! And personalised training is much more than creative exercise selection and program design

Tom Purvis, RTS – Resistance Training Specialist UK

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Written by: 

Michael Goulden

Last updated: 

29 May 2020

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MSc Biomechanics, University of Roehampton
Mastery Level Resistance Training Specialist – RTSm (roster)
Force and the Nervous System (level 1 and Level 2), Neurophysiology Seminars – Myotopia
RTS – Mastery Level Electives
RTS – Equipment Analysis
Motor Learning: Moving from “Motor Patterns” to Motor Recruitment Realities – Paul Juris, PhD / RTS
Precision Nutrition – Level 1 Coach (roster)
National Strength and Conditioning Association – CSCS (roster)
“Manual Muscle Testing” – Art and Science: An Exploration of its History, Physics/Mechanics, and Utility in Practice – Muscle System Consortia


RTS International (RTS-INTL)
Exercise Programming Strategies – External Performance – Paul Juris, PhD / Cybex
Athletic Development Internship – Kinetic Advantage
Bodywork Therapist – University of Westminster
Sports Massage Diploma – NLSSM
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) – Certified Practitioner – INLPA
Performance Enhancement Specialist – NASM
Certified Personal Trainer – NASM
Personal Trainer Diploma – Central YMCA
Multiple workshops industry leaders around the world in a variety of fields, including: athletic performance, biomechanics, nutrition, bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Olympic lifting.
MAT™ Jumpstart – Muscle Activation Techniques
Muscle Activation Techniques – MAT™ Master Level Specialist (roster)

Currently Studying

Primal Blueprint Certification
Precision Nutrition – Level 2

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