I promise I will get back to posting information for my next post. But for today, I am posting here a rant I posted to my Facebook. I got a lot of good response to it, so I figured I should put it here too. I welcome everyone’s thoughts!
“Time for a rant! Buckle up for a read!
I was typing out a quick response to a reply online in which someone was asking for a workout program. I want to stress here that the workout program you follow IS NOT what makes for gym progress. It is how you execute that program, it is about each rep you do and how you do those reps. It’s about being honest with yourself and knowing you limits – then pushing against those limits!
The other sad thing is that most people have a false idea of what their limits are, and I have seen it on both sides of the pendulum swing.
Imagine for a second some imaginary person has a very basic workout program. Something like you would get from a men’s fitness magazine. In that program it has “Squats 3 x 12 reps.” So they throw on their favorite gym attire and head to the gym. Once at the gym they find a squat rack, put however much weight they think they can do on the bar and get to work.
This person gets under the bar and does 8 reps with pretty good form, but they also remember that the program says “12.” They then continue on to squeeze out another 4 reps with compromised form. Those last 4 reps cause very small, but still, some unwanted soft tissue damage. Multiplied by years of bad form will catch up to you… But that person finished their set, and figures because they went down and up 12 times that they’re in the clear and completed the set. There’s no immediate pain, so mission accomplished! Repeat 4 times…
Moreover the person might think their form was great on those last 4 reps but really they simply lack the body awareness to understand that’s simply not the case. They have no immediate pain, so they must have done it right! They think they’ve done their form right, so again, they must be right!
The other option is that the person puts on weight that is less than challenging. They complete their 12 reps and are ready to call that set a success. That person has never really pushed themselves in anything else in their life, and certainly nothing physical. They don’t understand the difference between some discomfort and actually pushing themselves. They think because it was a little tougher than “easy,” that they’re good to go and progress will fall in their lap.
“Great Zach, I get it, tons of pitfalls, how the hell am I suppose to learn my limits with this program from Men’s Fitness?!”
You learn from a qualified and educated person. For most people that will mean hiring a trainer because not everyone has a smart and educated gym ambassador in their life.
(Remember, your buddy who goes to the gym once in a while but lacks any formal education on the body isn’t the right guy to learn from either. Then it’s the blind leading the blind! But that buddy still appears to be a pro simply because they know slightly more than you might. It’s a easy mistake to fall victim to)
But please – I don’t even care if it’s not me, get yourself a professional to help you build your foundation of exercise knowledge! Stop just taking programs off the internet and calling that enough. It’s not. Demand more for yourself, you’re worth it.
Now something more caring.
If you need help finding yourself a professional please contact me. I can give you some good questions to ask when sitting down with someone you’re going to hire, even if you don’t want to hire me! This is not me just trying to gain clients, this is me trying to make sure no one has the experience I did with the gym. I care intensely about this because I myself had such a poor experience in my start to my fitness journey
I did many things wrong, I went years before getting a trainer at the YMCA, and now i realize that woman I trained with didn’t know what she was doing! My mom had hired me a trainer, but like most, she didn’t know the difference between a good one and a bad one. Not her fault, she was just trying to help!
That was almost a decade ago now. I have had a trainer and a coach within the last 5 years again. I continue to learn. I spend money and time with professionals. Please don’t make my mistakes, hire a smart, qualified and educated trainer! And remember, if the trainer is less fit than you want to be, that’s not a good sign.
EDIT: “And remember, if the trainer has never been as fit as you want to be, that’s not a good sign.” is my more kosher way to say things
If you need help. Please, let me help you.”