LET US UNDERWHELM YOU!!
Wow. That’s as uninspiring a line as you’re going to hear, huh? Well, maybe not! Let me explain.
I think a lot of people are worried. About what? Well, about getting hurt, to be precise. I don’t blame them, either. Getting hurt hurts! Right!
I think as people get older they worry about moving. They’re afraid of hurting their back. Their shoulders probably already hurt so they’re afraid of making that worse, too. Who knows what else is going on? Knees? Hips? Feet?
Unfortunately, three things happen when people feel this way.
Since they don’t move well or often, the body tightens up. Use it or lose it.
Since the body gets tighter and tighter, people move worse and worse and injury becomes more likely and eventually inevitable.
Once people become injured they convince themselves that movement itself is the cause of their problem and they start to actually fear it! This, of course, causes the cycle to perpetuate.
It’s a sad cycle. Especially since we know that GOOD movement is actually the cure to all of this! Good movement improves your range of motion, flexibility, mobility and just makes you feel better!
So let’s get back to what I was talking about originally. About letting us underwhelm you. I think a lot of people are afraid of exercise for the reasons I just talked about. A lot of times people’s only experience with personal training is what they see on tv. They see people yelling and screaming and crying.
THIS IS NOT WHAT WE DO!!
As a trainer, let me assure you that making someone sore and tired is actually pretty darn easy. It takes absolutely no skill or thought at all. The thing is that making someone sore and tired doesn’t actually get them better. Much of the time this is exactly what people are afraid of. Barely being able to walk for several days isn’t most people’s idea of fun, after all. What usually happens when someone’s first workout is like this is that there isn’t a second workout.
That’s why we want to underwhelm in someone’s first workout. First of all, we’d like to make sure that there’s another one. Second of all, we want to start establishing good movement patterns so that people can start to get over that fear of movement. That’s not going to happen if our only goal is to make someone feel like they’ve been hit by a truck.
Making something more challenging is always possible and there are many ways to do it. You can slow something down, speed it up, add more weight, change the tool you’re using, add more reps. The list goes on and on. The key here is that all of this is only worth doing once someone’s form is good.
Let’s take a squat for example. Someone may be strong enough to squat with a 45 pound weight but if they’re rounding their back then that could lead to an injury. I’d much rather they fix those issues first even though it might not feel like they’re doing all that much at first. Once they get that fixed we’ll have plenty of time to make it more challenging and in a way that won’t hurt them.
I think the main thing I’d like you to take away from this is not to be afraid of movement. Good movement helps just about everything. Good movement shouldn’t hurt. When you’re starting a new workout program with a trainer or by yourself, focusing on good movement first will make sure that you progress without getting hurt.
If you need help with your movement, please let us know. We can help!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
We Help People Discover Their Strength