I recently had an athlete that was struggling with an exercise. He just could not keep his balance and could not seem to figure out the movement pattern. I could tell he was frustrated.
So, I took him aside and explained to him exactly why we were doing this exercise and how it will benefit him in his sport. He immediately understood, and the next set he crushed it.
Why am I telling you this?
Because, as a trainer, I want my clients to understand how to move correctly outside of the gym and how certain exercises are training them for this.
It is great to exercise, but there are more benefits than just improved cardiovascular health and body composition changes. Most, if not all, exercises we utilize at IFAST teach efficient movements patterns to keep us healthy and functioning at our best outside of the gym. However, if our clients do not know what an exercise is for, very rarely will they replicate that same pattern outside of the gym.
For example, I have discussed how a deadlift (picking a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell off the ground) is very functional to activities outside of the gym. But, if you do not know why you are doing a deadlift you may never consider the connection between picking up a heavy box and picking up a heavy weight in the gym. The deadlift is teaching you to spare your back by using your legs to lift the weight – this is both safer and more efficient.
So do you know your WHY for exercising? Why are you doing a particular exercise, why are you doing 8 reps instead of 3 reps, why are you running for a few miles versus running a few 100 meter sprints?
As I said above, it is great to exercise, but if you have a goal and you want to reach it in the most efficient way then it is important to have a plan in place and know WHY you are doing something.
At IFAST, we have a WHY for everything we do. From the exercises we choose to the rest periods we have our clients stick to, we can always explain WHY we are doing it – it is always for a reason.
I understand that sometimes it is good to just do something active that is fun. You do not always have to have a WHY – the most important thing is for you to enjoy the activity. However, I think many people assume they are doing an activity because it is good for them, but they fail to take into consideration if that activity really suits their goals the best.
Jogging is a good example. Many people think of jogging as a great choice for losing weight, but in truth, jogging does not burn that many calories. If you enjoy it, then do it. However, you can burn just as many calories in a shorter amount of time with some high intensity intervals. These intervals require you to work really hard for a short period of time (10-60 sec is the norm) and rest for a slightly longer period of time (30 sec-2 min.). Sprints, burpees, KB swings, and battling ropes are all great choices for intervals.
This is just one example, but there are many others. To make sure you are getting the most out of your time in the gym make sure you have a good reason for doing something. If you are unsure how to get started, come check out IFAST, and we will help you determine an effective and efficient plan for you to reach your goals.