Back to basics

With all of the access we have to information today, it is easy to be drawn into a sense of urgency that if we do not read every blog, watch every YouTube video, read every email, text and article, that we must be missing the key ingredients in a perfect exercise program that will most certainly transform our bodies and minds.

While there is certainly valuable information available, it is important to vet this information based upon the source and what their motivation may be for “sharing” this information with you. The fitness industry has grown leaps and bounds throughout the past 28 years that I have been a fitness professional. Much of that growth has been necessary as we study, research and learn more about the human body and human movement.

However, what seems to proliferate is this misconception, this myth, that there is someone out there that has “the” answer. There is no one answer for all bodies. All of our bodies are completely unique. We are individuals, made up of unique DNA and what works for one body may or may not work for another. In fact, in my experience, each and every client requires modification to each and every exercise so that we can address their limitations and individual goals safely and effectively.

There is no substitute for a trainer knowing their clients individually, no substitute for performing comprehensive fitness assessments and no substitute for teaching our clients, helping them learn about their bodies, how they respond to training and encouraging them to continue this process throughout their lives as their bodies change.

Consequently, getting back to the basics of the F.I.T.T Principle of Exercise (frequency, intensity, type and time of exercise), the specificity principle (to be good at it, you must do it regularly), listening to your body (“if it hurts, don’t do it” ), and the S.M.A.R.T. principle of goal-setting (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely) combined, with the specifics of your body, will guide you to a healthier and fitter you. The basics work — it is about what you do safely and consistently that works for a lifetime.

I have addressed the “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” rule many times through the years because many continue to be drawn into quick fixes that pop up with incredible consistency in infomercials, blogs and websites. Avoid these hooks and know fitness is a marathon, a journey of a lifetime, not a sprint. Seek out a long-term approach when searching for a health club. Look for the trainers and instructors who possess verifiable, excellent educational and training backgrounds and that continue to research and study to keep you on the cutting edge. Additionally, require excellence in service and training, providing accurate information to you and for the fitness professional to practice within their scope.

Getting back to basics does not mean ignoring new and relevant research which helps us fine-tune and modify how we design and perform exercise programs. It simply means that we use the basics as a foundation and progress from there, not forgetting that a strong foundation is required for safe and effective health and fitness passage.

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