So we've come to the pointy ends of the year. A time when we can reflect and look at beginning new ventures.
In a week or 2 many people will look to pursue new fitness adventures. Maybe even yourself or your friends. Here's some advice that you can take on board or share with those that are looking for a personal trainer or new program.
Tips to help you kick off 2017..
I always say, any trainer can make a workout hard, it takes an expert to make it meaningful. The internet is flooded with random accounts of "give this workout a go."
Here's a cut and paste response to use on social media when these workouts increasingly come up over the next week or 2.
"No Billy Biceps/Barbara buttocks, as much as I appreciate you popping up on my feed with your oily abs and shiny face, I won't try your workout as it has no relevance or meaning to me as you have no idea what my needs are for a workout."
Find a purpose
I no longer train clients who just want to workout, and those that come to me with this goal are helped to find a higher purpose to their sessions. Just going to the gym to "get fit" becomes tiresome around March and is the reason for the 60% drop off in gym attendance at this time.
Choosing a purpose behind your training keeps you motivated, and allows for a good trainer to structure sessions with goals and checkpoints along the way. For my clients these may be as simple as perform their first pull up, or as involved as run 100km around existing injuries. Both of these clients benefit from having a purpose in mind. Find a reason to sweat that has a time based and measurable outcome.
Working out vs training
Once you've figured out your purpose note the difference between working out and training. Programming by the majority of trainers these days resembles a a poorly run lucky dip. Ensure that the training you do fits the purpose, and every exercise and every session has it's own goal and purpose.
I encourage all of my clients to ask why of everything, as many of you know. If your trainer can't answer why you are doing a certain exercise, then you might need to re-evaluate. Or if this lack of purpose suits you, buy any random fitness mag, google a workout, and record a friend (or yourself if you have no friends) yelling at you for motivation and accountability, or get them together for a money saving sweat sesh. You will save some money with similar results.
I firmly believe that learning to pay attention to your body is the key to avoiding injury and staying motivated. In fact, studies have shown that increasing mindfulness during exercise is equated with greater levels of exercise adherence. I'm not saying don some beads and chant ohm during a deadlift, but paying a bit of attention to what your body is doing during exercise could unlock the keys to exactly what you need.
Buy brains not biceps
Thank you social media for allowing us to witness semi naked buffness and bootyness away from the sand coated stickiness of the beach and boardwalk. Remember though, Billy Biceps may have a completely different genetic makeup, exercise history, diet etc etc to you, and because he managed to get some glistening biceps and rock hard abba dabbas doesn't mean he can do this for you. Ask the trainer about their process, why they think they can help you, and what they will do if it's not working.
At the risk of a full blown rant I'll leave it there. In 2017 I hope I can find time to offer more help in navigating the confusion that is the fitness industry. I have a few of my own exciting fitness goals for 2017 which I'll share shortly, but I would love to hear if anyone has anything specific planned, or if this has inspired you to do so.
Email me with any questions-I'm on holidays and will reply!
Happy New Year :)