There are a number of reasons we chose to work out each day
- “I work out to look better in my clothes.”
- “It helps me de-stress after work.”
- “I’m training for a marathon.”
Ask any person in the gym why they workout and you could get dozens of answers, but under all of the external reasons, lies the intrinsic desire to feel better, and that is what keeps most of us coming back. We know that after that workout, things will feel a little bit better. Not only will the body itself will feel better, but our spirits will be lifted knowing we just accomplished something.
At Hustle, many of our members come in after a long day of working behind a desk and if not an hour commute, a 15 minute commute that just became an hour because of the stupid POLAR VORTEX, and they are ready to strangle someone out of frustration. They know that even if the workout is tough they will feel much better “taking it out on the iron” and leaving their frustrations at the gym so they can go home and enjoy time with loved ones.
Having a personal trainer to work with, or a place you can go to and channel your energy in a positive way is a valuable thing. You really can’t put a price on it. Many people do a variety of different things to manage stress. Working with a trainer or fitness coach is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being in a safe environment.
Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it, as long as you have the courage to take the first step
In the book “David and Goliath”, Malcom Gladwell, tells stories about how situations we see as disadvantages can become advantages once we look at them in different ways. I once had a client who had lost his job and also just ended a five-year relationship within the span of several months. In addition to this, he was at the heaviest he had been in his entire life due to emotional eating from stress. He was essentially at rock bottom and looking for a way out.
He decided to join the gym and eventually hire me as his trainer. I saw him three times a week and checked in with him on his diet and the workouts he was doing on his own. He heeded what I said, and achieved great results. In addition to his achievements in the gym, he also found a job after three months of training and was soon dating again. This man I was training was depressed and desperate for help. This desperation helped him reach out and start on the road to a happy more fulfilled life.
Had he not reached that low point, he may have never made those changes and may have kept going on the same path he was on. I cannot take full credit for his transformation, nor do I want to. He also hired a therapist and was doing work on his own to change – but doing appropriately challenging workouts helped to build his confidence, and that confidence carried over into other aspects of his life. This person was brave enough to take that first step, and that step helped him make the changes he needed to improve his quality of life.
Assess, reassess, then start over until goals are met
Working with a trainer is an investment in your education. Just as your degree from a university or technical institute or even the cooking class or guitar lessons you take. One difference, however, is that training with a qualified fitness professional teaches you how to use your body with proper biomechanics and teaches you exercise protocols to achieve your desired result.
Being a personal trainer is a full time job. For the past Eight years I have been a trainer and I can’t say a day goes by I don’t learn something new or work on perfecting my craft. A lot of work goes into being a professional in this industry. Trainers need to be able to assess and reassess clients throughout a training program so they can spot potential limitations and dysfunctions when designing and altering the best course to reach individualized goals. We also reassess the program itself to ensure goals are being reached and movement and body function are improving.
Progressive overload refers to increased stress (time, pace, reps, weight, balance) on your body throughout a training program. Done in a safe and controlled manner, this principle causes adaptions such as increased muscle mass, increased bone density, and central nervous system stimulation. This is how you make progress in the gym and how you see results.
Real world example #1. Periodization training put to work:
I have a client, who I have been training for a little over a year, whose results to date perfectly embody the benefits of supervised progressive overload. She is 5’2’’ and a healthy 115lbs, but when she started training, she couldn’t do one push up and she couldn’t even press 20lbs over her head with focused control.
Now, a year later, and with the proper coaching she is now able to do sets of 15 pushups and press 85lbs over her head for 5 reps. She is so happy with her results that she wants to continue working with a fitness trainer when she moves to California next month. For her, years of attending a gym on her own had yielded a maintence of her physique and strength that was acceptable to many, but left her feeling she could do better. Now, she feels rewarded and healthier than ever before – to the point that she will be actively looking to invest in the experience of training when her journey at our gym comes to an end. As a trainer, I see this as a great compliment that she wants to continue training after working with me.
We achieved the above results through a process of increasing load and systematic deloading periods called periodization. Often, an athlete’s training schedule is constructed to cause adaptions in accordance with a competition schedule. Most of our clients are just looking for general fitness, but we last year we started a team for the Tough Mudder. Josh wrote a 3 month training program to prepare for the event and we trained together as a team to physically and mentally prepare for the race. Our team has doubled in size since last year. This periodized training was primarily done to optimize our performance in the race but it also built camaraderie between our members as they all worked together to finish the workouts and see each other getting stronger for a common finish line.
So why do you work out? Really?
Most people reading this article already know the benefits that come from working out. It’s not hard to sell increased energy, lower body fat, longer and healthier lives, and just feeling overall better after a workout. If you ask someone who has dedicated a large amount of their time over the past few years to tell you why they workout, there will probably be a long list of reasons. “It just makes me feel good. I feel better after I do it,” should top the list. Most of us know why we should workout, but when we stop and think about it, there are many added benefits we often overlook.
Add an educated professional who lays out the ground work for you and holds you accountable, who is there to motivate and inspire you to do things you never thought you could do, who challenges you and supports you at the same time and works to make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts and in turn your life, and who helps you make the most out of the time and money you spend on personal fitness. We all want that return on our investment. A personal trainer or fitness coach is there guide you to get the most out of your time, money, and YOU.