Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

June 2018

So you are thinking of starting to weight train at Total Results but have concerns

Earlier this month, I tried out a sport I had never done before. I was a complete novice. I felt nervous, awkward, and incompetent. Luckily, I sought professional instruction. I took a course from an expert in the field. I learned a lot and was encouraged to continue with further practice and education. I was reminded of other times in my life where I had to learn new skills, such as Scuba diving, learning to function in a foreign country, and even when I first started high intensity weight training workouts. This new sport I tried helped me regain an appreciation for the questions and concerns a new client at Total Results, especially a novice to weight training, can have.

I began working out using high intensity weight training in 2001. I was out of shape and had spent years in the corporate world sitting at a desk, not eating particularly well, and wondering how I was going to change my path to one of good health and fitness. After reading about this type of exercise, I decided to try it out. In the beginning, I was very much a novice. My form was not good, I had a tendency to feel panicky as fatigue set in, and I was exhausted and occasionally nauseous post workout. Although I had some doubts, I kept at it and kept listening to my instructor. Over time, my form improved, I started to notice some physical changes, and I was developing more strength and energy. My skills were improving and I gained confidence in performing this workout, as evidenced by the reduced amount of verbal instruction I was receiving.

Years later, my knowledge and competence in high intensity workouts is quite high. Not only have I worked out almost every week for 18 years using this method, I have also instructed tens of thousands of sessions for many hundreds of clients. Like every new client here, however, I appreciate how it feels to start something completely new and unfamiliar. A Total Results, we assume every client is brand new to weight training (and even new to exercise). We start all clients at very conservative resistance levels and we explain every step of every exercise. We "practice" until technique is near perfect before we increase the difficulty. We take time to answer any and all questions. In fact, we have both formal and informal progress check-ins with every client. We work within the scope of each individual's physiological and mental abilities. We work with both female and male clients in every age group. We work around and through both acute and chronic injuries. We work hard to make sure you get the safest, most efficient, and most effective workout and program possible, all while being mindful that this program may be new and strange and even a little scary to you.

So, if you are on the fence about starting an exercise program because you are nervous, or unsure of the concept of personal training, or afraid you won't know how to do it, please take the leap and contact Total Results. We will guide you every step of the way toward a better you!

Posted June 20, 2018 by Tim Rankin

Performing difficult tasks (can be rewarding!), by Matthew Romans

Most of us are familiar with the phrase "nothing worthwhile is easy." Think about anything of value you have accomplished in your life: None of it could be classified as easy, but it was probably worth the effort that you put into it. There are many things in life that are difficult, but rewarding, such as learning to play an instrument, saving up to buy your first home, raising children, starting and running your own business, and learning to speak a foreign language. All of these endeavors require sacrifice, patience, a willingness to learn, and attention to detail. We certainly want the best possible outcomes when engaging in these pursuits, but accomplishing these things is not easy. Ask any serious musician, and they will tell you that putting in the practice time necessary to achieve proficiency can be tedious, mentally and physically taxing, and not particularly fun. The fun occurs when your goal has been achieved.

Completing a workout at Total Results is difficult; it is both mentally and physically challenging. Like the previously mentioned tasks, it requires patience, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn. Pushing to and beyond momentary muscular fatigue/failure on every exercise is uncomfortable and unpleasant (unless you're a masochist). The body is very resistant to change, so a fairly severe stimulus is required to induce the body to make physiological improvements in muscular size, strength, and metabolic/cardiovascular conditioning.

The good news is that our workouts are far less time-consuming than most traditional fitness routines. Because our workouts are so intense, it is essential that they be relatively infrequent (no more than twice per week) and of short duration (twenty minutes or less). This is not just something we can get away with; it is a biological necessity to avoid overtraining. There is a "narrow therapeutic window" to exercise, much like with medication. Too much exercise can compromise your immune system and lead to injury; not enough exercise provides little benefit. We want the minimum dose necessary to achieve the desired effect. After that, we want to get out of the way and let the body make the necessary improvements that we have stimulated. It's a simple but very important concept to understand.

Yes, Total Results workouts are difficult, but completing your workout with your best effort and focus is a tremendous accomplishment. When that happens, you have done everything necessary to stimulate positive change. The reward comes when you see and feel the physical changes that are taking place. Your hard work is paying off. That's where the fun begins.

Posted June 19, 2018 by Tim Rankin