Each New Year, people recommit to bettering their health. To have a fresh start. It may mean you want to feel better, lose weight or get healthier for your family. No matter your motivation, without a good plan, you will fail. I find most people sabotage themselves out of the gates. They fail to use common sense. You will waste time, energy and money beginning a fitness program that lacks variety, progression and/or is not specific to your goals.
The truth is, I’m tired of people with good intentions failing. People I know have failed. Over the past 13 years I’ve dedicated my life to studying sports science, movement and behavior and trained thousands of individuals. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on dead-end gyms and programs. I hope my insight will make this next year your happiest and healthiest yet.
1) You cannot do it alone. Everyone needs accountability, even fitness coaches. Without a supportive atmosphere, you won’t work as hard and eventually will lose motivation.
2) A hard workout does not equal a good workout. Forrest Gump summed it up best, “Stupid is what stupid does”. Hundreds of reps of anything or repetitive motions performed heavy on a daily basis are good, for almost no one. Osteoarthritis is the likely result. Although osteoarthritis is unavoidable to a certain degree, you should avoid the extremes to slow the progression of cartilage damage. One theory by physical therapist Doug Kelsey is that there is an “optimal amount of load and repetitions” in which the cartilage is strengthened.
Stuart McGill, World-Renowned Back Doctor weighs in on CrossFit. His analysis sums up CrossFit as “Injury Risk.”
No matter the program it is important it lines up with your goals and fitness level.
3) Repetitive 8-10 week programs inevitably lead to plateaus, weight gain and/or injury. Any inactive person who suddenly becomes active will typically see weight loss in the short term due to increased calorie expenditure. However, the body only changes when more stress is added to the body than it is accustomed to. With a repetitive program, your motivation wanes, body adapts, results plateau and weight gain follows.
Additionally, running is very repetitive and high risk for injury. If it is your sole source of exercise, it will inevitably lead to injuries. By most estimates, nearly 70 percent of runners will become injured during any 12-month period.
4) “The Law of the Lid.” With gyms and programs appearing almost overnight, it is important that you do your checks and balances prior to enrolling. It is scary that many people in-trust their bodies to others that have very little or no experience in exercise programming or coaching.
Coaching is no different from any other profession in that if you want to be good at what you do, you have to work long and hard at it. There are no shortcuts to fine-tuning your eye and intellect, in-order to quickly provide the appropriate solutions for safer movement and better performance. The “law of the lid,” is exercise benefit will be directly correlated to the expertise of the program. A good program has variety, progression and is individualized to you and your goals.
Prior to starting any fitness program I’d ask the following questions to evaluate the expertise of the program. Included are the minimum standards I’d suggest. Remember you are paying for their services. Do your homework.
1. How much coaching experience do they have? *Five to Ten years
2. What specific experience (s) do they or their team of coaches possess that will help you reach your desired goals? *Various Disciplines/Clear Approach
3. How many others have they helped to attain the goal you desire? *More People = More Credibility
4. Get references, or meet clients that have similar achievements to what you are looking for. *2-3 minimum