Archive for March 12, 2015

When I meet friends, old and new, they usually ask me how to recover from an injury or how to improve their fitness. This is one reason why I put up this site. It is where people can learn concepts and some exercises that they may try if they think it would safely and effectively work for them. It is not a site for online coaching. All physical activities have injury risks and those who have no lifting skill require actual coaching and supervision to safely learn how to lift that is why there are Fitness Professionals and Strength and Conditioning Coaches.

Questions about health or fitness are not answered in one discussion. It is a continuous process and as we go through the process, more questions come up. If you want to get more out of life, do things which would benefit you in the long term. Acquire the services of professionals who specialize on the particular area of your need and get the most out of it. Here are a few steps on how to start:

1. Identify your fitness goal.Goals

What you want may not be what you need. It may not necessarily be good either. If you want to lose 2 kg of your body weight in one week, what good does it do for you? The easiest way to do it is to be dehydrated. But once you are fully hydrated you would weigh the same. It is better to improve your body composition which means lowering your body’s fat mass while maintaining or increasing your lean mass. Fat mass is your stored energy. Energy is used when you do work- when you move. The more work you do, the more energy expended which means fat is used. Lean mass is composed of your bones, organs, and mostly muscles. You move using your muscles. Muscles require energy to move. Strength training demands great amount of energy during the training itself plus the energy used during the body’s recovery process. This is probably the misunderstood role of strength training in making ladies more sexy. Admit it, most ladies say they want to lose weight but what they really want is to look sexy and beautiful. Losing weight may be just a byproduct of the process of becoming sexy. Except for the obese population, becoming sexy may even mean gaining some weight– or lean mass. Most of the thinner lady athletes that I trained through the years started mostly with straight lines- very few curves. After a few years, they are far stronger than when they first started, with curvaceous bodies, and better postures. What is more important for them is that they perform better at their sport. Being more attractive was just a by product of the years of work dedicated to the training program.

2. Talk to the right personlistening5_full

Strength Coaches are there to coach a person how to lift to improve strength. Teams as well as individuals come to us for their strength training. After all the discussion and assessment, we implement the training program. Then some athletes would say something like “My physio said I should do this certain exercise to balance this problem… blah blah blah…” No offense to Physiotherapists, I am one myself (though we are called Physical Therapists in our country). But if they identified a problem and prescribed an exercise, then they should implement it themselves especially since it is for rehabilitation. That is what I do if I am working as a Physical Therapist. If I think the patient/ athlete is ready to return to training then I would go talk to the Strength and Conditioning Coach along with a written document describing the condition of the patient along with some precautions if there are any. If there are some things that the athlete/patient has to work on with the Physiotherapist/ Physical Therapist, then by all means they should continue. And it really helps a lot if there are written forms of communication between the Physio and the Strength Coach.

3. Shop around and choose the right service provider

It is the consumer’s right to look around and choose which one to buy. If you want a medical clearance go to a medical doctor. If you want to learn how to lift go to a strength coach. Sometimes I meet people who say their training is prescribed by their doctor. Yeah right! Would you want your plumber to prescribe your medication, and your gardener to do your haircut?barber

There are many Fitness Professionals, they offer many different types of services for many different types of clients. Go to the one who you think can help you. Ask around. Talk to them to see if they can offer what you are looking for. No one is an expert in everything, and good Fitness Professionals would not take in any potential client. Good Fitness Professionals render their service to clients who they know they can help. If the client wants services which are beyond the skill set of the Fitness Professional, they should be referred to the right person. Personalities can clash too and it would not be good to work with somebody who you would not get along well. Talk to a prospective Fitness Professional, and if you think you would get along well, see if they can deliver what you want. It would be good to ask for their credentials and work experiences. This also justifies the fees. Experienced and specialized Fitness Professionals may charge more than the average but not all those who charge high fees have the experience and internationally recognized qualifications and standards.

4. Listen to their advice which you asked for and give feedbackwww.valstrengthtraining

After identifying your goal and talking to the right person, then hear what they have to say. If you have tried something similar already and it seems it did not work, tell it immediately to the specialist. Maybe it was not done how it was supposed to be done, maybe it was not done in the right intensity or duration, or something else was not right. And the right advice is sometimes NOT what we want to hear. But, to be fair to consumers, there are always professionals who would make a mountain out of a molehill just to “scare” a client/patient and extract more profit. They are doing a disservice to their profession and sooner or later people will discover. What goes around comes around.

5. Put into action that which has been learnedwww.valstrengthtraining12

The Fitness Professionals who works hands on with clients can actually see the clients doing what they planned to do in the gym to realize their fitness goals. The things the client does outside the gym can only be controlled by the client, not the Fitness Professional. The desire to change should come from the client. No matter how good the Fitness Professional is if the client does not assume responsibility for his or her health, progress will be very slow if there will be any. Through interaction, the client would learn from the fitness professional what other things can be done outside the gym to support the process of achieving their fitness goals. These things work if the client would put them into action.

These would help individuals get the most out of the services of Fitness Professionals. They do make a big difference in your training but the ultimate responsibility of improving an individual’s health and fitness rests on that individual. Change has to start from that individual. Good Fitness Professionals guide that individual on the steps leading to their fitness goals but the one making the journey is the individual. Look for a Strength Coach, or a Nutritionist, or for that particular Fitness Professional who can help you to make better decisions and who can make suggestions and options to help you to Train Better, Live Better!