Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Most people join a gym or begin a fitness program with one goal in mind ... to simply look better! Unfortunately most gyms are not around to teach people how to workout so that they can achieve this goal of looking a little bit better in their beach wear! Most gyms, are quite simply, just renting space and equipment for people to shuffle through some makeshift workout they created all by themselves or heard about in the latest magazine. Most of the time this leads to people becoming fed up or injured and just performing set after set on one of the many machines the gym has available. Next thing you know, months or even years pass by and even though they're going to the gym on a regular basis, there's no significant change in how they look! Not to mention they wont be seeing any improvement in how easily they can perform every day tasks or extracurricular activities.
So how do you avoid such a fate?
You could always hire a good trainer, one that knows what their doing, gets results, and not only improves how you look, but also improves your movement/quality of life! If you're not sure what to look for in a trainer, you could always take a look at the list I wrote about in a previous blog regarding how to choose the right trainer!
You could also pick up a DVD or Book that was written or produced by well known and peer respected fitness coaches/trainers who specialise in producing results while improving your movement. I have some great Ebooks available from my website as well as some DVD's that will all get the job done ... yes that was a shameless plug!
I know what some of you must be thinking, why all this talk about movement? I just want to look hot!
Well guess what people, if you base your workouts around movements you'll not only look "hot" you'll get there a hell of a lot faster than you would with isolation movements (using machines or body building methods)! You'll also reduce your risk of injury, improve your mobility, increase your flexibility, burn more over all calories, and not have to workout for anything over 45mins!
Damn! Now doesn't that sound great!
First you'll need to learn the correct form on movements like push ups, squats, lunges, rows, pull ups, over head pressing and various crawls, hops, and rolls. Even if you can't do any of these movements yet, then you need to learn the progressions. Everyone can do some form of these movements, you just need to learn what level you are at and then proceed forward. I've outlined all these progressions in my Ebooks as well as in some of my YouTube videos. If you're hiring a trainer, make sure they can take you through the necessary progressions safely! Just by learning and practicing these movements you'll be improving your balance, flexibility, mobility, and in some cases strength and conditioning.
Next, you'll need to learn how to put it all together in a workout that suits your needs. If you've hired a good trainer they'll do this for you, but they should explain to you why you're doing what you are doing! Ask them! If you're on your own, then it's up to you to put together your workout. Assuming you've now done some reading, blog crawling, and video studying you should have an idea of how to put it all together. Most likely in some short, higher intensity, circuit or interval workout that can be completed in under 40mins including your warm up time! Still not sure what workouts like these look like? Then please, if you haven't already taken a look at all the FREE workouts I've posted on my YouTube channel go there now! I know that some of these workouts look (and are) a little advanced, but I assure you if you follow the progressions that I have taught in some videos and I have outlined in great detail in my Ebooks, you'll be able to find a progression for each exercise that suits your fitness level!
Start eating well, keep it pretty paleo/primal or as close to it as humanly possible! Make sure you're performing a movement based workout 3-4x per week and you should be well on your way to a new, healthier, more functional you!
I know some of you might still be asking, why these movements? What's so special about them?
Well let me explain a little further. When you perform any movement or activity in real life, be it sports, picking up your groceries, climbing the stairs, or helping a friend move boxes ... all of your muscles move together. It's just how life works, all of our daily activities are based around these movements. When we sit down or stand up we're squatting. When play with the dog or kids we're rolling around pushing and pulling. Climbing up your stairs, you're lunging. When you're gardening or doing yard work it can be any number of these movements combined. Also, during every single one of these movements your abs and inner abdominal muscles have to work to stabilize your spine and keep you from falling apart! By creating a workout rooted in these very natural movements, you'll become stronger at each of them, and be able to transition between them with greater ease all while reducing your risk of injury while performing your every day tasks! You're short burst, high intensity workouts based off these movements will burn a ton of calories in a very short period of time, meaning you'll workout for a shorter amount of time and start looking awesome quite quickly! Plus, your endurance and conditioning will increase allowing you to have a greater amount of energy through out the day and prevent you from becoming fatigued during strenuous activity!
So if you're bored with your workouts, not seeing results, or your injured all the time. It might just be time for you to take a look at what your doing, and try switching to more movements based exercises!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The health and fitness industry is booming and has been for the past couple years now. Along with this boom has come a wave of new gyms, personal trainers and "fitness experts". The fitness industry is fun, exciting, you get to help people, and it's (for the most part) easy to get into! But, for all of those reasons that many of these trainers and "experts" (however good their intentions might be) may be doing more harm to their clients than good!
Ask almost anyone who's an avid gym goer and they'll probably tell you that they have thought of becoming a personal trainer, were once one, or are in the process of becoming one! I mean, if you're already at the gym all the time why not just make a living at it, right? Wrong!
It takes much more that a passion for working out to be a good, let alone great, trainer or fitness coach! It takes more than taking an entry level personal training certification course for a couple weeks (or weekend!). It takes more than throwing together random workouts that just exhaust your clients. It takes more than competing in fitness/body building competitions. It takes more than knowing just how to train yourself or already fit people and trying to apply that to all your clients.
Unfortunately, this is what you'll find in most personal trainers and so called "fitness experts" that you come across. Especially at most franchise large gyms, they are notorious for hiring under qualified personal trainers.
You see, just because your trainer is in shape, does not make them a good trainer. Just because your exhausted after your workouts does not make your trainer a good trainer. Just because you pay a lot for your trainer, does not make them a good trainer!
But why should you care? I'll tell you why! Your trainer, and everything they tell/teach you, every movement they make you perform, everything they suggest you eat, directly effects you short and long term health and well being. Everything they do with you should be making you better not just in the short term but also in the long run.
Any dummy can make you tired, but not everyone can make you better!
So what should you look for in a trainer and fitness expert? What should you look for in the person you're giving your money, time, and health? Here's a check list that you're trainer should have!
- They should have multiple certifications that pertain to fitness and health. Just one personal training certification by itself is not enough!
- They should be attending workshops, certification courses or seminars regularly to keep their knowledge up to date. Minimum 1 of these per year!
- They should be able to train anyone of any fitness level, age, weight, or experience regardless of injury or ability to help them reach their goals and improve their health.
- They should be skilled in multiple styles of training (body weight, kettlebell, powerlifting, yoga, martial arts, isolation)
- They should be able to effectively coach you on what to eat not only for weight loss but also for optimal health. And this doesn't mean they should sell you needless supplements and shakes! Their nutrition information should be up to date!
- They must be great teachers! Knowledge is not enough. They must be able to apply that knowledge to any client in a way that can be metabolized by that client so they understand it fully and can apply it! A bonus is being able to teach this through various media, such as I do with my Online Personal Training Clients or through the various videos I have on YouTube!
- They need to be reading new blogs, books, and papers written by the leading experts in the field of health and fitness! And no Men's Health Magazine or MuscleMag don't count!
- They need to be able to explain exactly why they are making you do what you are doing and how it benefits you. They should also be able to explain how those exercises will progress or change in the future to match your goals!
- They should be able to train you anywhere with no equipment at all and still be able to help you reach your goals (fat loss, enhanced conditioning, strength gains etc) much like I show in my various ebooks!
- They should give you their full attention and honest opinions during every training session and never let your slack!
- They should be the living embodiment of what they preach, no exceptions!
If your trainer doesn't do these things then it may be time to reconsider who you're dealing with! Remember its your health and life we are dealing with here, leave it in the hands of someone who deserves it!