Ensuring Fitness Success
It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog but I’ve got something really good for you today as we get ready for Christmas and New Year. This is usually the time of the year when many people begin thinking about making a change with regard to their fitness and overall health. Here are three points of advice that I tell people on a regular basis.
Train with Purpose
This is one quote that I’ve always kept in the back of my mind as someone who trains hard all year. I believe this was a quote from one of my powerlifting inspirations, Jim Wendler. Let that quote sink in for a moment.
What are your goals? Weight loss? To increase strength? A combination of both?
Do your workouts support your goals as an individual?
If your goal is weight loss, what kind of cardio are you doing? Are you jumping on a treadmill or another piece of cardio equipment for 30 minutes and working at a single, moderate intensity? What if I told you that you can do more in terms of burning fat, in less time? You can by performing interval training. An example of this would be jog/walk or jog/sprint intervals. One would perform 30 second to 1 minute of both, and alternate back and forth for a determined amount of time. Without being too scientific, you will elevate your metabolism and keep it amped up for hours after you performed the workout. Think of it as a bit of an “afterburn” effect. This style of training is employed in our Spinning classes, boot camps, and Tabata classes here at the club.
If you’re determined to get stronger through strength training, what’s your plan look like? Are you focusing on compound movements that involve the entire body such as squats (even bodyweight), lunge variations and dumbbell/barbell presses, or are you just sticking with machines that limit stabilizer muscles?
Work or consult with someone knowledgeable about fitness
When I train clients or perform my own workouts, there are always muscle groups that will lag behind. This is an ever-changing issue. For example, if I find that my hamstrings aren’t playing as big of a role in my squats, I’ll address the issue by performing more hamstring work in my accessory work. Usually as I bring up hamstring strength, something else comes up a few weeks later, like weaker quads, and I’ll begin my next cycle training more quads. These issues never end, but I know I’ll never improve my performance if I don’t keep up with these imbalance issues.
We are, however, human and we generally don’t like to do things that we’re not that great at doing. This is why having a knowledgeable person step in and prescribe corrective exercise is very important to progress! What I’m getting at is even trainers and coaches could use outside coaching! I’m not even joking about this. I HATE hamstring work! That’s why I’ll periodically send videos to a strength coach for analysis and exercise prescription. This holds me accountable to performing exercises that I’m not good at doing.
I have clients that I see multiple times a week, once a week, bi-weekly or even once a month. I review their goals, track their progress, correct form, and prescribe new exercises and routines based off of what I see. Consider it a road map that leads to Better Health City. We have car experts, healthcare experts, HVAC experts in life. Why not see a fitness expert? People see better results when they’re held accountable!
Many people who are new signups at a gym often think that if they start working with a trainer or a coach right out of the gate, the trainer will run them into the ground. They often think that their best course of action is to start using the gym for a while before working with a trainer. Let me ask you a quick question. If you’re driving to a destination that you’ve never traveled to, would you turn your GPS on an hour into the trip, or would you plug in your destination into the GPS in your driveway?
I cannot stress this final point enough. When I was preparing for my most recent powerlifting meet this past April, I had to diet down to compete in the 198lb weight class. I only had to lose about 10-12lbs, but I also had to do so without sapping my strength. When I was 6 weeks into dieting, I hadn’t lost much weight and I was mentally preparing to compete in the 220lb weight class, where I knew I would get crushed. However, I stayed on the course with my diet and suddenly, I began to drop weight. By weigh in day, I weighed 193lbs. Again, I’m not going to get into the science of it all, but consistency won. My body adapted and realized I wasn’t trying to starve it to death, and began shedding body fat. There is no instant fix to lose weight. Take things slowly by making small changes and you’ll be successful.
Let 2016 be YOUR year for fitness. If you haven’t taken advantage of your FREE Fitness Assessment and Training Session, do yourself a favor and talk to one of us at Life’s Direction. We’ll be offering 25% off training sessions/packages for the holiday season! I guarantee that you’ll love it and you’ll see results!
Me on meet day, April 2015- Nice and lean 193lbs!