Fitness is the watchword of the decade, and perhaps of our lifetime. But how do we achieve fitness? There are so many types of exercise, equipment, programs and resources. As we have heard advertised, should we–just do it?
In a recent survey, conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, the top five trends in fitness were:
- Body weight training
- High intensity interval training
- Using educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
- Strength training
- Personal training
Besides the above mentioned, we hear of fitness choice after fitness choice…the 30 minute workout, Crossfit, Boot camps, Functional training, Zumba, Yoga. The list goes on and on. But what should you choose? What is the right one for you?
In my practice, we have a few phrases that we use to identify the best fitness choice for a member. Those are ‘what is the goal’, ‘put the person back in personal training’, and ‘no brain, no gain’. You can use these as a guide to choose what is right for you.
- Identifying goals will give you the right start. If you want to be a better swimmer, you best get in the water. If you want to speed up your run, choosing an exercise plan that is designed for speed development is necessary. If your goal is to generally be more fit, do not think any choice of activity will do! One size does not fit all!
- Exercise that answers specific goals is the most efficient and effective way to get results. Please don’t be fooled by the phrase many inexperienced or unknowledgeable trainers may use—‘this works all of the muscles in your body’. The translation for that phrase is ‘I really don’t know what muscles are being worked’. Working with a qualified trainer is a good way to get you on the right track.
- After defining your goals, looking at you as an individual—strengths and weakness, injuries and illnesses, likes and dislikes,—can help define your choices. For example, if you were 78 years old, had never worked out and were intrigued by Crossfit or High Intensity Interval Training, I would tell you to run the other way. Exercise and the body best work on a program of progression. These two intense forms of training will set you up for high risk of injury. Also, your past and current injuries or illness should be taken into your equation. But something often not considered is your dedication, consistency and motivation level. Maybe working out with a friend is what will work. Or, a qualified personal trainer will take you at an appropriate pace, keep the injury risk low, benefit high, as well as hold you accountable.
- Finally, consider for your success the ’no brain, no gain’ concept. Although there are many choices of exercise out there, the best exercises and training methods are based on solid exercise science not exercise fads. Although your neighbor, friend, health club, or fitness magazine is promoting the ‘newest’ exercise, exercise program or exercise equipment on the block, if there is no logical real science behind your choices, you are setting yourself up for failure, injury, and/or ineffectiveness. Once again research or a knowledgeable, qualified personal trainer can help make a great choice.
All-in-all if you want to reach your goals, with the least chance of injury, the most benefit, take yourself into the equation, use qualified, knowledgeable personal trainers or resources with scientific information. And for the best results leave the ‘Just Do It’, and move up to ‘Just Do It Right’!
Jeffrey and Rita Sachs are owners of Sweat Equity, a personal training facility, finishing its 25th year. They each hold masters-level, advanced certifications in personal training, strength, conditioning, resistance training, senior fitness, and golf conditioning from several prominent professional organizations. As faculty of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, they have been involved in the hands-on training and certification of thousands of personal trainers from all over the world. Jeff and Rita value exercise science-biometrics, physiology, and kinesiology. They always train using real science, not “gym” science to keep their clients’ workouts safe and effective. They believe it’s not just what you do, but how you do it. Like Sweat Equity, Ltd. on Facebook. Contact them at:
Sweat Equity, Ltd.
2413 West 183rd Street Homewood, IL
708 957 4770 fax 708 957 4799