I would of taken option A if I knew there was an option A.
Tips are awesome! They can make a big difference in helping you get to where you want to go, and usually quicker. Depending on the tip, it can also be the difference between doing something right, and doing it wrong.
When I used to work in construction, the days I finished the job assigned to me early I would watch what the other trades were doing, the person laying the ceramic tile, the countertop installers, the fireplace surround guys. Whatever trade was working, I would watch and ask questions as to why they were doing something a certain way. These people had all the tips on how to achieve the desired goal, quicker and easier. I would then use those tips whenever I had tile work, or whatever to do. It made a big difference. The same can be applied to our workouts.
This is no different
Just to be clear, when I talk about tips, I don’t mean short cuts. What I am referring to are various things that will help you get your results utilizing proper technique and hopefully without injury. I guess you could call them shortcuts, a shorter path to get to the goal, but I’m not a fan of the word in this context as people may interpret the term as a way to get what you want without as much work. Well, that would be totally against what I believe fitness is about. Hopefully we all know that you have to put in the work, the hard work. If you aren’t working hard, you aren’t getting the results you should be.
So let’s see what we can do to help us get to our goal quicker:
- Me – Ok, gratuitous self-promotion time. If I didn’t believe in the value a personal trainer can bring to your workouts, I would have never taken the time to become a personal trainer. Personal trainers can bring many things to your workouts. Proper technique, identifying muscle imbalances, basic nutrition, exercise routines and more. I’ve purposely listed this one first as I feel it is the most important. Even if you feel you are in fantastic shape, know a lot about fitness you would be surprised on what a personal trainer can do for you. They will definitely take you to the next level.
- The mirror – Believe it or not, the mirror is your friend and can help a lot with enforcing proper technique. Once you know how to perform a certain exercise, use a mirror so you can see yourself go through the movement. It’s a really simple thing but I think a lot of us go by how we feel our body doing the movement. You may be surprised when you watch yourself in the mirror as to how you are executing the technique. It’s a great way to reinforce proper technique.
- You – Yes, you. You are responsible for yourself, your health, your fitness, you staying injury free. A fitness instructor, or a personal trainer cannot always tell what’s going on with your body. Only you really know. If an exercise you are doing is painful, or if you feel uncomfortable performing an exercise, it’s up to you to tell your trainer. A good trainer will listen to you, probably ask some questions to understand what’s going on, and more than likely offer alternatives to the exercise that is causing you problems. If you feel an exercise, or exercises are detrimental to your wellbeing, it’s up to you to have that discussion with your trainer. Don’t feel like you have to ‘suck it up’. If your trainer isn’t willing to listen to you, or dismisses your concerns, it’s probably time to find a new trainer.
Just to be clear, I am referring to muscular or skeletal pain while doing an exercise. Remember, it’s a trainer’s job to get the most out of you they can. Be aware of that when they are pushing you a little further to help you grow.
- Feedback – Our bodies are pretty good at letting us know what’s going on. But I think sometimes we don’t always listen to our body, or we don’t always actively look for that feedback. When you are exercising a particular muscle or muscle group, try to be engaged and feel the muscles working. If don’t feel those muscles engaged, it may be that you are not executing the exercise properly. Listen to your body the next day. Does it hurt? Are you feeling the DOM (delayed onset muscle soreness)? I hope you are. If not, maybe you have plateaued and it’s time to change your program. If you are feeling muscle soreness in muscles you didn’t even know you were working, then it could be a technique issue. It’s not uncommon for people to set out to train a set of muscles and end up with other muscles getting the workout. This usually points to poor technique. Listen to the feedback from your body, then if this happens to you, you can then make appropriate changes.
- What’s the hurry – Lastly, we need to slow things down. Most of us when resistance training tend to go much too fast. It makes sense though, when you think about it. If I go fast I can get 12 done instead of going slow and only getting 8 done. Who doesn’t love to feed the ego? It makes us feel great! But, we are not getting the gains, the benefits we could if we go slow. Try it the next time you work out and I know you will feel the difference. And, you will start to notice gains in your strength by slowing it down.
When it comes down to it, down to what really matters, maybe I’m wrong. Yeah, I am wrong. You are the most important tip. You are what matters ultimately. You have the power, you have the control to do whatever it is you want. You can be whatever it is you want to be. Want to be faster, want to be stronger, want to have endurance, whatever it is you want to have it’s totally up to you. You just need to figure out how you are going to do it. Maybe this will help you get there, and get there quicker.
Yours in health,