September 16, 2019

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What is the "Workout Trap"?

September 16, 2019

The workout trap is what happens to so many people when the sign up at the gym for the first, or maybe fiftieth time.  They see the hot, trendy new HIIT class, or whatever the "Pop Fitness" the gym's marketers are serving up this month. They see the  ads and see all the photos of super fit folks in the latest in fitness fashion, breezing though the choreographed workouts like they are having a great time!  Now folks can even wear a heart monitor and show their "stats" on a board for everyone to see!  YAY!! HOW FUN!!!...Super motivating!  For some, for a while.  Statistics show that most people will stay with a new program, gym, or trainer for an average of 9 months.  Period.  Most of them will slowly skip a day here or too much on a weekend and then feel bad, defeated and even too embarrassed to go back.  Others will get injured trying to "keep up" with the leaders on the board, and stop going for while in order to heal...which usually ends up becoming a permanent "break".  Sadly, too many of these people develop acute and chronic injuries because they simply did not have the necessary fitness level and understanding of the movements before they jumped into a class made up of fairly advanced movements.  Instructors are not able to give one on one guidance.  They must fill classes. .   


The Fitness Industry counts of this.  That is why they typically get people into a contract that is harder than is should be to get out of.  They count on people joining a gym and not using it regularly.  They spend their marketing money getting people to join, and get them locked into contracts so the gym gets paid weather people get results or not.  


The truth is that there is NO perfect "workout" for everyone.  The exercises that are best for you are the ones you will actually do.  On a regular basis.  Exercises that you fully understand and enjoy enough to become proficient at.  Exercises that make sense for you and your body, at this time.  To jump into a HIIT class when you can not really touch your toes without rounding you spine, or do a correct push ups is counter productive, and could be downright dangerous.  


People want to look good.  They will suffer to do so.  It usually does not work out so well.  The Fitness Industry has done the physiological research for their marketing.  They make the promises and provide the setting.  They sell memberships.  Some people get good results.  Most people do not.  The average adult is not in good enough shape, nor do they know enough about anatomy and exercise to get the results they say they want in a gym without qualified instruction.  Personal Training is expensive.  So are doctor bills and missed work.  The "Workout Trap" promises to make you better, and so often it fails and people can even be worse.  Physically and mentally.


How can you avoid the trap?  First, ask yourself why you want to get in better shape.  WHY?  Is it too look better at whatever cost?  Is it to feel better than you currently do?  Is it to relive the glory days of your youth?  Is it to loose more fat than your coworker?  Is it to get strong enough to compete in a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder?  Is it to get strong enough to play with your children or grandchildren?  Is it to end the cycle of chronic pain?  To help with anxiety and/or depression?  There are so many different reasons, and none of them are bad, some are just more compelling.   If your reason is compelling enough that you are willing to spend time LEARNING the exercises that will be of benefit to you, then you have a much better chance of sticking with it.  


Second, ask yourself what being more fit , (whatever that is to you), is worth to you in money and time.  One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that we, as humans, tend to value what we pay for, and that most people will not put high enough value on themselves.  CRAZY RIGHT!?  People are crazy.  This is not new news.  


Third, find the information you seek.  Find an instructor that you feel comfortable with.  There are many of us out there!  Someone in person, or online who listens to you and hears what you are saying,  and can cue you in a way that you understand and can work with.  Some of us work in the big box gyms, and some of us, like myself, work out of our homes and your homes.  We have invested in our own education and training.  We have our own reasons to be fit, and to help other people with their personal fitness paths.  Find a trainer that you like.  Someone you respect, who respects you.  Please check into their certifications and education.  Do they understand human anatomy and pathology, or did they complete an on-line certification that taught them how to teach exercises?  How many certification do they have?  Most of us tend to pick a few areas of expertise. Mine are NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), Strong First Hardstyle Kettlebell Instruction (SFG), and Post Rehab Medical Exercise Training (MES).  I used to have group exercise certs, but I let them go when I realized that I do not enjoy working with large groups because I can not live with someone getting hurt on my watch.  You can avoid the workout traps and become a better version of yourself.  Strength is a skill.  Happiness is a choice.  










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