09 Mar

Health and Fitness: The Nuts & Bolts

Health and Fitness may seem overwhelming and a high percentage of people simply don’t know where to start. My goal is to share with you a little insight on how to take that first step towards change.

First we have to acknowledge that  we are all genetically different and have different fitness goals.  This being said, we can conclude everyone’s strategic plan or goals are going to be unique and specific to that individual. Working out and being healthy can be a very simple task or can become very complex depending on how you approach this topic.

I have been exercising, lifting weights, and taking care of myself for over 35 years.  I have come to the conclusion that finding your 35-55% workout intensity is a happy medium that will not only give you significant gains in fitness, overall health, but will allow your body to remain strong, healthy, flexible, and functional for a long time. A body is most effective and useful when it is aerobically, lean, tone, flexible, and functional as opposed to anaerobically, large, stiff and muscle-bound.

The message I want to convey is that going to the gym can be enjoyable and doesn’t have to be serious and boring.  But first you need to understand a little about your body, namely know what muscle groups are weak and how to stay balanced.  Remember that balance is key. When muscle groups get out of balance, your body starts to get misaligned and injuries start to happen.  Keeping your muscle groups balanced will prevent this from happening.

For example, guys like to have a well-defined chest, however, most young men neglect their back muscles to balance out the chest and shoulder muscles, which causes a pulling forward of the shoulders, which also pulls on the vertebrae. However, if you strengthened your back muscles along with your chest muscles the body has a tendency to stay aligned and balanced, and your posture will remain in proper alignment.

Rule of thumb for chest and back routines. I learned this from one of my instructors.  “For every chest exercise, you need to do three back exercises.”  This is a little extreme but makes a good point. You can modify this to two back exercises per chest exercise. However this should limit your chest routine to 2 or 3 at most, depending on how long you want to spend at the gym and how knowledgeable you are about back exercises.

This leads me to the simple fact, you need to have a specific plan, written out, before you walk into the gym. Or you will be wasting your time and money. Your personal trainer should know your expectations and created a unique workout plan just for you. He/She be able to tell you why you should be doing the specific exercises.  If not, you need to look for a more experienced personal trainer.

Have fun and if you need some help, find a passionate and motivated personal trainer. Don’t just accept any personal trainer the gym throws at you.  Interview them,  ask them questions.  What certification/s do you have? Why did you pick that certification?  Why are you a personal trainer?  Get a feel for who they are and make sure they can explain where your imbalances are, and how he/she is going to correct them?  Your workout routine should be unique to your body and your goals.

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