It’s the same as random vs systematic. Ultimately, if you want results, you need a system. A program that works. It should methodical, systematic, progressive, consistent and repeatable. So if you are following a random structure to your fitness, expect random, or very little results.
Let’s first define training and workout. How they differ, and how you need to approach your fitness differently if you want to achieve specific results.
With the growing trends on zero commitment options for gyms and fitness class passes, we are driving a mindset away from results.
The initial concept was based on the opportunity to try our different fitness options in your area so you could then choose the best program, facility, option for your goals. However as with most fresh and young industries, as the demand and increased awareness leads to more entry level consumers, they get used the variety, fun and complete flexibility of these type of programs.
First point. Let’s not skip the most important element of our industry. Movement. For most coaches and trainers our goal is to encourage more people to be more active, to move more and live healthier lives. It’s all good. I believe anything that encourages people to be more active is a great thing. Variety is also good. Its keep fitness fun varied, and also the member to try out lots of different activities that they may otherwise not have a chance to experience.
And if you’re not looking for any specific result, and to just be active, then that’s great. However, that approach is probably not going to give you the result you’re looking for. It might be fun for a few weeks or months, however at some point, if you have specific goals and results you want to achieve, then you need to narrow down the specific of what is going to give you that desired physique you are working for.
For terms of simple understanding, these are just workouts. Workouts are random, perhaps structured for that specific workout itself, but no progression, continuity of forth sight towards an ultimate outcome, goal or result. It’s just random.
If your training is random, expect random results. This isn’t to say that by following a random lifestyle of activity isn’t going to give results. Ultimately if your goal is to lose weight and you create a caloric deficit ie: you burn more energy and calories than you consume, you will lose weight. However, who has time for random outcomes? If you’re focused on a particular result, you want to engage in the most effective program possible, that gives you the result you want.
Training on the other hand is the strategic creation of a program that you follow over a set period of time. It’s planned, measured, tracked with a focus on the result. Your program determines your result, so if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you are going to be putting the hard work, effort, time money and energy into your training, you might as well be aiming for the best result right?
The better coaches and trainers will design a specific, progressive program that you follow over 4- 6 weeks. Taking into consideration different intensities, energy systems, frequency and type of training modalities, Strength, conditioning, lower intensity, corrective. And better coaches still, will perform a detailed assessment to identify your muscle imbalances, weakness and pain which should also then be included in your ‘strategy training plan’.
Now we have a training plan. A specific system to follow to achieve a specific result. If you have specific goals you want to achieve, and struggling to see any improvement, getting frustrated with the lack of results even though you are working out every day, consider this a first step to get you moving on the better path for your result.
If you are butterfly floating from one class to the next, and not getting the physical result or changes you desire, consider using that flexibility you have with your current class pass to identify the team, the coaches and facility that can focus in on what YOU NEED to change your body and get the results you are working for.
You can also check out one of our top coaches, Jeff Smith and get his own personal 12 week transformation program that helped him pack on 9 kilograms of muscle and shed 8% body fat.
Daniel Remon is the CEO of Fitcorp. Daniel was the first in Thailand to develop personalised result based training since 2002, and founder of the Aspire Club and CrossFit Bangkok at Asoke. The leading gym for weight loss, and getting lean. Aspire runs fitness and weight loss challenges, educational seminars, nutrition and physiotherapy programs that achieve incredible results and change lives.
For more information visit www.theaspireclub.com or call 02 229 4114 for your free trial and consultation.
I think this is an important message to share, and it involves the traditional warm up, that we are known to do, or have evolved to. From the traditional run or do cardio for 5-10 minutes, to a more specific dynamic warm up before we train or play sport, I’d like to take it to another level. We need to have a specific goal in mind with each component of our training, and the warm up process is equally as important as the essential first step of the training system and foundation of program design.
The strategic corrective warm up.
The strategy, means you have a specific objective in your warm up routine. And not just to ‘warm up’, increase blood flow and circulation before exercise. For 99% of us, we have muscle imbalances. We are dominant left or right handed. At best, ambidextrous, where we may favor left and right sides equally and perform certain tasks, or play parts of a particular sport well with both sides. Either way, we will be dominant left or right handed to write, and perform majority of daily tasks. This in itself creates imbalance, stable and unstable differences, over compensation from standing, walking, running, throwing, writing, carrying bags, drinking coffee, holding anything and drive to name just a few. I’m sure you get the picture here.
Bottom line. We all have imbalances, and therefore prone to overcompensation, weakness, and risk of dysfunction, pain and injury. So we all need this approach, and we, I mean everyone.
The corrective warm is design to be just that. Corrective. An intelligent approach to warming up, active recovery and giving purpose to your warm up routine.
This also leads back to a previous article on randomness. If you are investing, time, money, energy into your training, you should make it as effective and valuable as possible right? And that starts with your warm up. So make it strategic, rather than random.
What Most of Us Need:
There are a couple of key physical issues that most of us need help with. In technical terms, they are called lower cross syndrome, and upper cross syndrome. A quick break down will help you understand which major muscles are weak, which muscles are tight, which then explains why we end up in pain and have poor posture. To keep things super simple, Ill break down both symptoms in an easy to understand format.
Lower Cross Syndrome: The result of tight hips / lower back and weak core / glutes. This results in an ‘anterior tilt’ of the pelvis which can be seen by the excessive curvature of the lower back.
Upper Cross Syndrome: The result of tight chest / pectoral muscles and upper traps and weak posterior chain / mid back muscles, resulting in the typical hunch back and rounded shoulder posture.
Warm Up with Purpose and a Specific Objective:
Have an outcome for your warm up exercise. Work with a health professional trainer, coach or physio to identify your weaknesses, muscle imbalances and develop a program. Choose 8-10 exercises. In our system, we follow this very simple, yet logical method.
Choose 2-3 exercises for each key component of your corrective warm up program.
Shoulders – Any exercise that helps to improve range of movement, activation of stabilizers and engage all shoulder joint muscles in a functional way. Majority of movements should be backward motion.
Hips – Any exercise that focuses to improve range of movement, motion, stability and muscle activation of the hip joint.
Core / glute activation – Switch on the central nervous system (CNS) and active they key muscles needed to stabilize, generate force and are the prime moves in major movements.
Movement preparation – Start to get the heart rate up, full body movement and move outside the square for multidirectional flowing movement.
Side note: If working on mobility and range of motion, still focus on posterior or backward movements, as opposed to forward. Forward motion will still be amplifying the tightness of pectoral muscles that we are trying to undo. So while movement in both directions is important, working on a higher ratio of backward motion to accelerate improvement, neural activation and correction of muscle imbalances and to optimize function.
Even if you are not sure where your imbalances lie, I can give you a pretty good idea of what most people need, and more than likely, you will benefit from this also.
A good example may be like this:
Shoulder – Shoulder circles, scap push-ups, arm rows
Hip – Leg swings, fire hydrants, spiderman
Activation – Single leg bridges, side planks, anterior / posterior tilt
Movement Prep: Butt kicks, high knees, lateral shuffles
Perform each exercise for 20-30 seconds and move on to the next.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. As Many Times As Possible (AMTAP):
You’re not going to undo ten or twenty years of poor mechanics and posture with a light three minute warm-up three times per week. It’s going to take time to reverse the muscle imbalances that have developed of years and years of poor ergonomics.
You’re going to have to do better than that. As they say, repetition is the mother of all learning, and your bad habits if years gone by are going to be unlearned. Then you have to develop new musculoskeletal adaptation to correct those imbalances.
This is what I have been doing with my clients, and now applied into our program design system for all coaches to implement with their clients. Once you have been screened, or told by your coach, trainer or physiotherapist your muscle weaknesses, make sure you have a corrective program developed and prescribed. This becomes your ‘essential’ warm up proud.
Better than that, this needs to be performed continuously for weeks ahead, and then ongoing. So in addition to your warm up, you can follow the same exercise after each major super set in your training program. I call this your active recovery set. You will probably need a little extra recovery time if you are working at any kind of intensity with your weight training. So use this time wisely and constructively to continue your corrective plan.
Repeat your corrective plan post workout also.
Now this is where we can take it to the next level.
To really make in impact, reach new levels of muscle balance and function, as well as moderate, reduce and eliminate pain, you need to be doing these exercises DAILY and if possible, multiple times per day.
So choose the exercise that you can do easily before you leave home, at the office, when you are anywhere and perform again at night. Think of them as your rituals. It’s just what you do. And more important it is what you NEED to do perform better, functional optimally and live a pain-free life.
Track your progress:
Like you hear me say with pretty much everything!! Track your progress. If you can get some initial baseline markers, whether it be a measurement of pain, level of function, flexibility, functional strength / stability or range of movement, then you have something you can track, monitor and measure your progress. What gets measured gets improve, and if you’re, not then, well, you’re just waiting your time.
Train and move with purpose.
If you are in pain, you can also follow my friend Mike Jones and join his awesome ‘Pain Free Me’ program at www.mikejonestoday.com/pain-free-me – he has some great tips and online program to follow to get totally pain free. As physical Therapist, Mike knows what he’s doing and will definitely get you started in the right direction.
Hope you enjoyed this, you can also check out a few different variations of strategic warm up plans over at the site, with videos and pdf handouts. Most of the exercise are appropriate and applicable to pretty much everyone. Start implementing them today.
Roll, Activate, Mobilize, Prepare