Do not ‘wing’ your workout

Everyone needs a workout plan. It does not matter what your level of fitness may be, there must be a bona fide workout plan in order to make steady progress and to attain your fitness goals.

Winging it, which we observe on fitness floors across the nation, is a sure fire way to sabotage your success. Examples of winging it might be a client who has not worked out consistently since high school or college, 20 or more years ago, and attempts to perform the program from back in the day. Or, a client who has seen a workout program on television, in a magazine or on an exercise DVD and they assume that these programs are appropriate for their physical fitness needs.

Even those of us with extensive health and fitness backgrounds and education still have to plan our workouts as well as the lesson plans for our group exercise class program and personal training sessions. Winging it is a bad idea no matter how you slice it. Therefore, check out the tips below on how to avoid this pitfall and the inevitable poor results that may occur. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

• Contact the certified, qualified and experienced fitness professionals in your area and set up an appointment for a goals and objectives consultation and thorough fitness assessment. The goals and objectives consultation is crucial as this refines and targets your specific fitness goals and the objectives by which you will achieve those goals. The Functional Movement Screen is an excellent assessment process (i.e. FMS) and will identify strengths and weaknesses throughout the body so that the trainer is able to guide you toward the proper exercise program.

• Once you have completed this process, then either schedule a personal training session so that you have access to a specific program designed for you and spend considerable time with your trainer so that you understand exactly how to safely and effectively perform your program, or discuss group exercise programs that may be appropriate for you. In fact, the combination of these approaches is optimal. Both personal and group sessions provide you with variety, supervision, and instruction which leads to positive results.

• Avoid assuming that once you have a program that you are good to go permanently. Your program will need to periodically change in order for you to continue improving over time. How often it will need to change will depend upon your specific goals. And, when you are ready for this change, do not wing it! If you have been pleased with your results thus far, request another program from your fitness professional.

• If you are uncertain how to perform a specific exercise, do not wing it! Seek out professional guidance first. Learning the pattern of movement, understanding what the purpose of the exercise is, what muscle groups are being focused upon, is critical information for all exercisers.

• Do not be a weekend warrior! Weekend warriors often are winging it. They did it when they were younger, so they assume they can still do it now. While that may be the case, it is highly unlikely and may lead to serious injury.

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