In a world where absolutely everything is over shared (and over exaggerated if we are really honest) it is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle – especially when it comes to exercise.
The definition of a good workout
Over the past 10 years there have been so many different exercises crazes taking the UK by storm. Somewhere along the line it has become trendy to beast yourself beyond your capabilities in order to have worked out: “Go hard or go home”, “If you ain’t puking dying or fainting you’re not working hard enough”, “No pain no gain”.
How did this category of motivation all of a sudden become the definition of what makes a good workout? I’ve come across so many people who genuinely believe that blood, sweat and tears and the inability to walk for a week is something to be celebrated and a badge of honour showing that yes, they “worked hard”.
It’s not their fault though – it’s ours. By that I don’t mean me personally, I mean the industry. Those fitness professionals who preach this kind of stuff to their clients and overwork them during sessions when they are clearly only beginners just to keep up with the “trend”.
Those instructors who shout orders to keep going when their technique is failing, rather than taking it down a level and teaching the correct technique. I know this is not everyone in the industry, however there is still far too much of it going on and now with social media promoting this kind of stuff at the top of our feeds, what hope have we got?
If Instagram says its ok…..
I totally get that this might be what clients come to us wanting to do and thinking it’s what they should be doing because they’ve seen it on Instagram…….and obviously, if its on Instagram then hey, it must be right! 🙂 BUT it’s our job to teach them how to do exercise effectively and safely and if that means taking them back to basics first, then so be it. We are doing a disservice to our industry but more importantly our clients if we don’t.
We have lost clients in that initial session when we have taken a client’s training right back to the foundations – Alignment Breathing Core. They have come to us wanting to jump around at high intensity, throw heavy stuff and push themselves way beyond what’s safe and effective for their level. Yes, we could just take their money and let them come week in week out and watch them slowly injure themselves and drop out of the class as another willing victim (sorry – client) takes their place. We could… but we don’t.
Angina inducing warm up
What’s interesting is these people who leave that first session because the workout isn’t angina inducing enough, often end up coming back to us later down the line for injury management and only then understanding why building the foundations of fitness first, are so important.
So yes, we may seem ‘boring’ at first glance when you’re embarking on a new fitness journey and stumble into one of our sessions. You won’t find tyre flipping or any other crazy equipment in our sessions. You won’t be box jumping, squat jumping or probably any other kind of jumping if you can’t perform a good basic squat first.
What you will find though is a specialist Personal Trainer who will fully assess YOU and YOUR needs and prescribe a suitable exercise programme to meet them, not just do what Insta tells us is cool. Don’t get me wrong, once the foundations are in place some of these exercises above are great ways to add variety and intensity to your training and of course we will use them……but no way for a beginner to exercise.
Allow yourself to be a beginner
The thing I think people find hard, is to allow themselves to be a beginner. We are all so impatient and want results yesterday but actually, if we take the time to be beginner the results will be so much better in the long run. Think of it this way, would you build a house on shoddy foundations? No. It might look good to begin with, but cracks with start to show and eventually problems will occur and ultimately it will fall down.
So if you’re new to exercise, don’t feel pressure to jump straight in at the deep end just because social media tells us we should be. Listen to your body, allow yourself to be a beginner and find a trainer who is confident enough in their abilities to take you right back to the basics and not just go with the crowd.
By allowing yourself (and your clients) to be a beginner you can take the time to build a strong base that will set you up for life, not just exercise. Remember, no one starts off being excellent.