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If your fitness coach recommends any of these activities, run far away!

It is a new year. You have every intention of getting in better shape. The challenge is, which fitness program do you undertake? Every gym, personal trainer, yoga instructor and well meaning neighbor has their ideas for what you should be doing. Everyone wants to be your "fitness coach", whether it is a professional or a friend. The best advice I can give you regarding picking a great program for your needs is this: Run far away from any fitness coach who recommends any of the following:

-Military style boot camp: For goodness sakes you are a 40 year old mother of two, or maybe a 55 year old father and husband, not an 18 year old marine at Paris Island Basic training. Military training is as much for breaking young soldiers down mentally and physically and then molding them into order-taking fighting machines as it is for physical fitness. You are risking injury, immune system degradation, and mental anguish. Run away!

-High force, high speed plyometrics, calistenics, etc. Unless you are planning to try out for a gladiator TV appearance, you do not need to climb ropes, jump up on boxes, or any perform any other high force, high speed activity. See boot camp section above for injury potential. I have many clients who came to me after injuring themselves at one of these programs. Run away!

-Head stands, pole dancing, hyperflexbility movements, etc. in the name of exercise. Fun? maybe. Injuries? Yes. Fitness? I seriously doubt it. Run away!

-Mimicking professional athlete training or movements. You are NOT a professional athlete. Even if you were, you are not 23 anymore. Plus, many of the exercise programs athletes embark on are based on non-scientfic habits and rituals they learned in high school or college. Much of this activity passing as exercise is actually "make work" made up by coaches trying to fill the hours that athletes cannot legally be on the field practicing (due to NCAA rules, etc.). Run away!

-Lifting and/or throwing tires, chains, ropes, medicine balls, telephone poles, etc. Seriously? Run away!

-Group running, sprinting, nature runs, etc. If you want to take a jog around your neighborhood, that is great, although the negatives may outweigh the benefits. However, group runs lack proper care, supervision, and appropriate level of intensity (could be too much or too little for each individual). Walk away :-)

What do all these activities have in common? They are not safe. They are not progressive. They lack proper individual attention and supervision. They are not efficient. Could your fitness level improve with some of these activities? Yes, possibly. However, would you rather drive without brakes along a cliffside for ten miles to attempt to reach a destination, or drive in a safe vehicle two miles on a straight, flat road to reach the same spot?

So, if you see or hear any of the above recommendations, run far away! If, on the other hand, you want to reach your fitness goals in a safe, efficient and effective manner, then exercise smarter and get "Total Results".

Posted January 12, 2018 by Tim Rankin