In life we try to find balance between work and home as well as with friends and family. Well the same balance is needed in our workout routines. We tend to gravitate towards the same workouts because of its familiarity and/or specificity in regards to our training goals, or recreational activities. This can cause us to fall into a “rut” and decrease the effectiveness of our workouts as well as increase our chances of injury.
When you perform the same exercises repeatedly over time your muscles adapt to that specific exercise becoming more efficient, therefore it takes more time and/or intensity in order to achieve the same results. If you are a treadmill junky a great way to mix up your workout is to split the time you would spend on the treadmill with a bike, rower, or stair climber. Also, introducing strength training twice a week will compliment your cardio routine as well as help to reduce risk of injury.
Utilizing the services of your gym and staff can help to add variety you’re your routine. Group fitness classes are a great way to introduce new cardio and strength training without fumbling around with unfamiliar equipment and risking injury or discouragement. If you are already starting to experience issues that have to do with overuse, muscle imbalance, or just want to mix up your routine the knowledge and experience of a personal trainer is invaluable. This professional can help to identify weaknesses and problem areas, as well as setup a program that compliments your fitness goals.
No matter if you are a seasoned fitness aficionado or the occasional gym attendee keeping variety in your routine will help you physically as well as maintain your interest and motivation.
As fitness professionals our clients vary from the “never worked out a day in my life” to marathon moms and everything in between. The way to maintain as well as increase a client base is providing programs tailored to each individual client’s goals. This can be finishing their first 5k or just having more energy and fewer limitations when playing with their grandchildren. A method in which to achieve this is a thorough preliminary screening and adaptive training sessions.
First off, develop a set of questions that find out about their daily activities, limitations, goals, and family network. A great starter is the standard PAR-Q and risk stratification questionnaires, as well as reviewing their past exercise programs with the FITT principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of Exercise). Some of these will give you insight into how they spend their time, but also give you a chance to get to know them more personally. As a trainer you have already experienced the close bond that can develop between you and a client. You hear about their job, families, and their vacations. All of this information can make developing a more tailored fitness plan.
So much can be learned from a client in just an hour. Use this knowledge to make their workouts and them better. For example, if your client spends a few weekends a year hiking and camping with their kids introduce exercises that work on knee and ankle stabilizers to help prevent injury on the trail. Also, shortly before a trip show them stretches to stay limber and in shape while on vacation. When they start to notice that the hour training session with you trickles into better free time with the people they love they’ll look forward to your next bag of tricks.
Don’t’ be afraid to provide them with homework that compliment your training program. The goal of the sessions shouldn’t be to provide them with one or two workouts a week, but to provide them with a plethora of tools to use all week. With that being said, allow for a few different workouts that focus areas of concern, but in a way that keeps it engaging. If they’re heels come up during squats give them stretches that will loosen up their calf muscles.
Finally, ensure baseline measurements are taken in the first session and then again at pre-planned intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc.). Also, track their workouts using a standardized method such as a spreadsheet. This will allow you to show progress at certain predetermined periods of time. Their training sessions are like an investment in themselves and they will love to see how they’re paying off. While each client is different, in a way they are all the same. They want one on one prioritized training that is effective, personalized, and engaging. Every new client you receive brings with them a new set of challenges that will add to your overall ability to assess, address, and improve on your clients’ physical well being. Check out the link to our FITNESS CALCULATOR PAGE.
As we experience a seemingly endless growth in technology and its utilization within the workplace, we also begin to notice the adverse effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time. These aches and pains stem from the extended periods of habitual poor posture while sitting at our desks, standing in line for lunch, and flipping through Facebook while waiting at Starbucks. All of this time, our shoulders begin to round and our heads gravitate forward towards the item of interest in front of us. These habits lead to weakness in the back muscles, shortening of our chest muscles, and eventually poor alignment of the spine. This poor alignment can affect not only the neck and shoulders, but also the entire length of the back as well as the hips. While we all can’t just stop using our computers and cellphones we can adjust our environment and mindset to become more aware of our postural alignment. Here are a few ways to setup your workplace to help promote better posture: