I know that fitness market is full of various attractive ways of exercising but have you ever been wondered what you really need to catch?
First and foremost, someone needs to completely asses you (injurie and exercising history, potential chronic diseases, functional testing, finding strong and weak body links…) before an exercising get started (first of all a medical examination should take the role). This is the most important thing because after that your trainer will know WHAT YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY REALLY NEEDS!
It’s a nonsense that you stick to some suspicious yoga classes if you feel low back pain (for example) just for the reason your best friend attend the same. Socialization is important for sure and you feel more comfortable when you go on sessions with your friend(s), but if you unconsciously make a wrong decision (because of ignorance) exercising could make your hidden problem(s) even worse.
I understand that group workouts (most popular among women especially) are fun, exciting and well feeling presented after that (the last is because of hormonal mechanism, you can feel well even after the worst exercising in case you don’t vomit – I am talking about well feeling in your brain, not muscles – muscles and bones could stick you a few days at the bed in case of overload 🙂 ; of course you will have well feeling in brain and muscles both but only after appropriate exercising) but trainer can’t pay attention on your technique (take a look on the last pic below), individual load or individual exercise selecting (one size fits all approach will never live). According to this, if you have started exercising because of some constant little pain and weakness you could feel even worse after unappropriated exercising – your problem could become bigger!
Also, after group (mostly endurance) exercising you can’t gain an appropriate strength which is something most important to anyone (you can correct almost any problem with a proper resistance exercising).
“Do you want a sexy drill or a drill that works? Personally, I like drills that work and I hope you do as well because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how ‘fancy’ or ‘cool’ something is if it isn’t effective”. – Ryan DeBell
“Rather than constantly changing your workout program and trying to “shock” or “confuse” your muscles, follow a fundamentally sound program that addresses YOUR needs and goals, work at improving your form, apply the principle of progressive overload, do so consistently, and indefinitely. You might be surprised at what happens 😉 . Jumping from one program to the next because “you get bored easily”, or because you believe in the concept of muscle confusion, will hinder your progress, and quite frankly, will make you feel bored and unmotivated”. – Meghan Callaway
I strongly believe that a good exercise technique till details and a proper – individual load are among the most important things – therefore 1 on 1 or small groups (2-4) sessions are the best exercise option. Trainer’s attention will be devoted only to you or to 2-4 people (that’s what I call the quality). Exercise session should never last over 1 hour and 10 mins, of course that can be shorter – 1h is average (obese people are the exception – 1h and 30 mins approx.).
If you don’t feel motivated – not mental strong and willing to “compete” with yourself – to exercise alone (or your trainer is not motivated to motivate you – change the trainer if it’s case) or you like to “compete” with your friend(s) or someone else (your friends are “pushing” you) the small group setting is the great option. Some people just love to speak with some exerciser(s) during the session. Others feel great if speak just with trainer. Someone don’t want to talk at all. Everything is individual. Coach Charles Staley said something interesting: “If you lack sufficient motivation, your goal isn’t compelling enough”. Think about it 🙂 .
Other important thing is that your body needs individual training program with a proper progression when you properly adapt on the previous one.
At the end, a few words about some well-known and most popular exercising types. Yoga is good for mobility, stability and relaxing – through proper breathing (everything makes sense if yoga teacher understands how human body works) but there is just a few good teachers. Don’t get me wrong, I took a lot of good flexibility (for dynamic and static flexibility/stretching purposes) exercises from Yoga and some good muscle activation – soft strength drills from Pilates, but you must to have a proper knowledge for implementing it correctly.
Group workouts (Aerobic, Pilates, various dancing, popular boxing…) can also be good but without too many effort and jumps – especially for older people (it’s not easy to learn a proper jumping technique – it’s a very complex).
Power plate is good for athletes (work on stabilizers mostly – small muscle groups; faster recovery process…) but not for someone who wants fat loss results or muscle building (how can you gain some serious results with small stabilizers?!).
Oh, I almost forgot his highness the CrossFit. What to say man – it’s brutal in original settings (only in good shape serious recreational or athletes both with perfect technique could do that correctly – any other should stay away of it). But you can smart modify settings for sure. So, train smart (and learn from mistakes of others)! Every AMATEUR CrossFit group need’s a few coaches for keeping things under control!
I know that male population is crazy for ball games. I don’t recommend football, basketball, soccer and similar for average population because a ball is a bait and I know you can’t wait to catch it without or with a little warm up before – injury risk is high because of a lot speed-agility-quickness demands (you need a SERIOUS warm up, otherwise the micro traumas theory is waiting for your muscles-joints-ligaments-tendons). Furthermore you need to be a perfect prepared for almost every game with a ball (I mean on constantly strengthening some well-known weak body links) and can’t go just 1 or 2 times per week to play soccer with friends and that’s all about your exercising (it’s a big stress for your musculoskeletal system and some serious – probably acute – injury will probably occur sooner or later). Every time is a new big stress – soreness, because it’s a pretty rare recreation.
Bicycle riding is a very popular kind of recreation (especially here in the USA – I am really surprised, they look like a pro bro :0 ). Why I don’t like it is due to bad sitting position of the body. Shoulders are rounded (results on pecs shortening adaptation); a whole back is mostly rounded (it’s a really bad when your upper back and especially lower back aren’t in neutral position); your glutes don’t have a chance to activate properly (full range of motion doesn’t occurs due to constantly bended torso position); neck is not at neutral position mainly (forward head with cervical spine lordosis); m. iliopsoas tends to short – adaptation on sitting position (if you ride a bike rarely it will not happen). So, most common postural deformities among a huge amount of people (kyphosis, lordosis and forward head – cervical spine lordosis) could become even worse (that deformities are closely linked and complement each other). But how it’s possible, it’s healthy – it’s a physical activity?! Yeah, it’s great for improving cardiovascular endurance but worthless when it comes to functional strength and postural status improving (your legs will become stronger but it’s not a quality way of strengthening at all).
Running is maybe the most popular type of exercising. I will be quick – like with ball games you need to be prepared and slim (running is not a simple thing – your whole musculoskeletal system could really suffer after a while if the technique isn’t correct and if it’s almost everyday activity). You can check more on my previous topics HERE and HERE.
I strongly believe that you can’t solve your body problems just with one sort of exercising. In my opinion, resistance (+ bodyweight) exercising in combination with endurance sessions – 2:1 ratio approx. if you got alternately days (less joint stressful options: aquarobic, fast walking on soft ground…) is the best exercise option. When I say resistance (+ bodyweight) exercising, I mean on multijoint (compound) resistance exercises – can be in conjunction with balance and coordination, and on bodyweight exercises in combination with coordination and balance also.
“Put a premium on strength development and you’ll reach any goal. Even losing fat is tougher if you’re not strong”. – Eric Bach
Last but not least, a proper (individual) intensity-volume ratio is crucial if you want to feel like on “seventh heaven”. If you get out of gym by crawling and with smiley face, and think that was a GOOD session and the only session like that can be a good one – I must tell that you are masochist! No, that was horrible for your body and you will feel it soon after.
Thanks for reading and all the best,