When I first started training folks my goal was to be something for everyone. If you know me personally, this should make sense. I generally enjoy people. I like to engage with people, so it’s very easy for me to ask someone what their fitness goals are, and what do they expect from our training. After I ask those questions I typically follow up with an important step. I listen. If they want to drop fat, then I draft a program that will assist in fat loss. If they want to be stronger, we focus on strength. If they want to improve their overall cardiopulmonary strength we strive to improve their lung capacity & efficiency. I do my best to let people know that they are in the driver’s seat. I work for them. I recently met a gal that wanted to drop a significant amount of body fat. She was obese and out of shape. Trying long bouts of exercise out the gate were out of the question. I recommended we focus on strength training for caloric burn plus the added benefit of speeding up her resting metabolic rate. I also recommended that it would be more valuable for her to try brief (20-30 seconds) of intense work, followed by a 1 minute rest interval. My reasoning was that pushing yourself is a bit easier mentally when you know that the set is going to be brief. I explained that 12-21 short burst of intense exercise could be completed in 30-45 minutes, and would give her more benefit than slow & steady workouts that could last an hour or more. Slow and steady workouts create minimal disruption to your metabolism, and burn minimal calories. This isn’t just my opinion, but rather what the research has proven. She gave it some thought and decided to opt for water aerobics because it was easier. Not that it was better for her or would give her the results she wanted. The “hard work thing” just didn’t gel with her.
I try to always learn from every experience, and what I learned from this is that perception is very important in fitness. Working hard has become perceived as hardcore. Hardcore to me is working out twice a day 6 days a week. Hardcore to me is an 1 ½ hr workout. I may use a sandbag with someone and have them learn how to deadlift it off the ground. This is not only a great functional exercise but also a useful tip in life - how to pick something heavy up off the ground. Not hardcore, but functional. But because it’s not a shiny machine, some people may question it’s usefulness. I’ve learned that kettlebells, as great as I believe they can be, are not for everyone. In an exercise program I believe that you need to embrace that training modality. Be all in or out. I’ve come to understand that some people may opt not to use kettlebells, sandbags, bodyweight, or the TRX for exercise. I’m not a Pilates or Yoga guy, but I understand their benefits, and respect those who choose those forms of exercise. That being said, I still don’t get Gyrotonics.
There was a time that I would try to persuade people to follow the training programs that I believed in. But I’ve learned it’s like picking a restaurant for a large group of people. Everyone is going to want something different and have a different tolerance level with menu selections. This is probably why the fitness world is so segmented right now. Spinning, Barre, Cross-fit, Yoga, Hot Yoga, kettlebells, suspension training, mixed martial arts…. and those are only the popular choices. My only suggestion, in my new state of mind, is to pick something. Embrace, it. Enjoy the journey and try to master it. If your goal is fat loss using the TRX, kettlebells, and sandbags I’m your guy. If it isn’t, I now understand why you may try water aerobics.
For more information on our New Torch Workouts in Las Vegas please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.