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Funny Exercises, Part 2

August 6, 2008


I know I’ve written about functional exercise and other topics related, but it’s been on my mind again. I’ve been seeing funny stuff at the gym lately. All over the place, in fact. And what boggles my mind the most is that the innocent victims of such radical exercises are told to perform them by…their trainers!

Ok, ok…I am not knocking trainers or functional exercise. I’ve made mistakes in the past, but I do my best to learn from them, educate myself, and choose more wisely and make better decisions as a result.

We all have our reasons for working out; however, through years of training, I’ve learned the number one reason why people work out is to look better. Health usually comes in second, or takes priority when change is absolutely necessary or as one ages. I wish more people felt inclined to work out because it improves cardiovascular health and does all sorts of miraculous things to the body, but that usually isn’t the case.

So, we have people wanting to look better. Then, why, why do I see poor clients balancing on top of balls while squatting and lunging in quest for better abs (where on earth did that one come from?) Or less than trained people performing push-ups on top of medicine balls? Or my personal favorite-the combination movement, which done correctly can be effective, but most of the time it’s sloppily executed, with no attention to which body part has been worked. Yikes.

Whenever I consult with a client, I always ask them their primary goal. What is it? And we go from there. I’ve always believed that many trainers don’t work their clients hard enough. Changing the body requires a lot of work and it should never be underestimated. If you aren’t constantly changing your work-outs, the weight you use, and the intensity at which you do it, you won’t see much change. Even maintenance phase requires work.

I hope trainers will realize that making exercises different and interesting is not always better. I am a big believer in the classic movements, adding variety and functional exercise when necessary, focusing more on bio mechanics and what the exercise is going to do for my client. Yes, workouts should be fun, but the real fun for me is seeing the change in my clients’ body, not in the creative design of my workouts.

Until next time, train smart!


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