This morning, Michelle E. told me, “I’ve had more results in a month at IFAST than in a year of doing Pilates! And it’s easy!”
When I teased her for saying that her workouts were “easy,” she clarified: “What I mean is that I used to do these crazy workouts that really kicked my butt. But I never saw the results I wanted!”
This is a really important lesson. You see, Michelle loves to work out really hard. She loves getting sore because
she’s crazy she likes to feel like she worked out hard. Her work ethic is amazing, and I hope we get a hundred more clients like her.
But getting sore is easy. Don’t believe me? Okay, go do 300 bodyweight squats and 100 push-ups as fast as you can. I guarantee you that you’ll be sore for a few days.
(Please don’t actually do that… unless you like getting injured or making yourself so sore that you can’t walk, much less train.)
It’s easy for me to absolutely destroy you in the gym. There’s not a lot of coaching skill involved in destroying clients. Unfortunately, destroying clients is all too often what happens at commercial gyms and bootcamp classes.
But you see, at IFAST, we’re not trying to destroy you. (I know some of my clients will try to disagree during the middle of their workouts, but it’s true.) We don’t want to give you just a hard workout; we want to give you a good workout.
So what’s the difference between a good workout and a hard workout? I’ll need to explain the difference between training and exercising.
Nationally renowned strength coach Mark Rippetoe has written several articles on this subject. Basically, it comes down to this:
Exercising is what most people do. They go to the gym, they move around, they sweat (or not), and they go home.
Training is what we do at IFAST. We figure out your specific needs, and your specific goals, and we coach you through a customized, individualized program that progresses you toward your goals.
Some of my clients actually don’t know that they’re training. They just want to come in and exercise. And that’s completely okay with me, except for the fact that I think life is too short to “just exercise” aimlessly.
Maybe that goal is losing two percentage points of bodyfat, or maybe it’s working toward a 150-lb. deadlift or a 500-lb. deadlift. Maybe the goal is being able to walk up the stairs without knee pain, or being able to dunk a basketball, or being able to play with your grandkids once a week without feeling wrecked.
These are all honorable goals, and achieving them takes planning and work.
There’s nothing wrong with “just” exercising, but training is, well, better.
Exercising is like learning a few random words in a foreign language. Training is like going to a foreign country and learning their language and customs.
Exercising is like taking a few random classes. Training is like working toward a master’s degree.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. Training at IFAST is a surefire way to work at improving your movement skills, body composition, your athletic performance, or your overall health, instead of just exercising aimlessly.
I love seeing Rebecca W. work toward getting her first (and second and third) bodyweight chin-ups (no band!). I love seeing David F. work toward his first 300-lb. squat. Or Rodney losing 30 lbs. Or Cathy getting her first 200-lb. deadlift.
Now isn’t that better than just getting sore all the time?
Bonus story that made my day:
I recently had an AARP-eligible client tell me that she recently got hit on at church. She’s married, so she declined the invitation to dinner, but it’s nice to know that people are noticing the changes that she’s gone through. Oh, and the reason she wasn’t wearing her wedding ring is that she’s lost enough weight that her ring won’t stay on!
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