â€œAt least theyâ€™re exercisingâ€
Itâ€™s the worst blanket statement I consistently hear next to â€œsugar is badâ€, â€œgmoâ€™s cause cancerâ€, and â€œJustin Bieber sucksâ€.
#1: Sugar isnâ€™t bad
#2: GMOâ€™s donâ€™t cause cancer
#3: Bieberveli aka Buggatti Biebz aka Bieber da Don aka Justin Bieber makes awesome soulful music. He justÂ gets reckless. Who doesnâ€™t to a degree?
Anyhow, back on to the topic.
Iâ€™ve been labeled a â€œhaterâ€, â€œarrogantâ€, and â€œignorantâ€ in my position against anything that doesnâ€™t include weights such as the treadmill, stairmaster, spin classes, cardio kickboxing, zumba, and most recently, whatever the hell that trampoline EDM thing is about.
Now, before you get you boxers and panties in a bunch and say, â€œwell at least theyâ€™re exercisingâ€, lets see who â€œtheyâ€™reâ€ are and lets see where my problem lies.
I am all for people getting some form of conditioning in. In fact, it is absolutely unequivocally needed and important for cardiovascular health (heart health). I was admittedly a person who made the blanket statement that â€œrunning makes you fatâ€. That was my once ignorant mindset but as I have networked with strength coaches who primarily run AND lift* (*key word), I now understand they not only do it for cardiovascular health but they ENJOY running as a SPORT and NOT as a WEIGHT LOSS SOLUTION** (**as this is key with where Iâ€™m going with this). With that said, by all means, RUN!!! And I will say this, runners, as you strength train, especially your posterior chain, you will not only enjoy running more, you will be a much stronger runner and more efficient runner.
In fact, some of my female runners are my strongest clients.
To that degree, the people mentioned previously are not who this is intended for.
I am a trainer and coach who mainly works with the population that wants to not only feel and move better (general health population), they want to LOOK better aka AESTHETICS. I am not a running coach, a baseball coach, an Olympic lifting coach, NONE of that. There is definitely some intertwining amongst all sports and goals but to that end, thatâ€™s about it as the rest is sport and goal specific.
Whenever I speak with someone, be it a potential client, someone in passing in the gym, or reading online, the common theme among them is:
â€œI want to get rid of thisâ€ as they wave their â€œOprah armsâ€
â€œI just need to get my mid-section to look better with the summer coming.â€
â€œI put my bikini on from 2 years ago and I AM NOT HAPPYâ€
â€œI canâ€™t fit in a slim suit even though they look good.â€
You know what, I can go on and on and on with what I hear. Maybe youâ€™ve heard it, too. Maybe its YOU who has said it.
This is for the people who have this misconception about how to achieve their goal, which in MANY cases as you go to gyms around the globe, is the goal.
Letâ€™s be brutally honest:
Classes (spin, yoga, barre, Pilates, EDM trampoline whatever, zumba, etc) are usually marketed towards woman and taken by them because itâ€™s â€œmakes them sweatâ€ and doesnâ€™t get them â€œbulkyâ€ (false).
Men tend to feel like hitting 2-a-days (fasted/steady state cardio in the AM and weights in the PM) will get them looking like a demi-god.
This is where I see the issue lies:
In my opinion, many people donâ€™t do the above because it â€œfeels goodâ€. Many do it as a weight loss solution (which if you have NEVER exercised in your life, it may be a great catalyst). This isnâ€™t to say you shouldnâ€™t do it because if you LIKE IT, I LOVE IT.
Many people, because of what they see in social media, television, and in their gyms, have this ideal look. Hey, I WILL NOT KNOCK IT. Iâ€™ve learned in my time training that not every woman wants to look like a runway model and some do and not every dude wants to look like Arnold while others do. MANY people just want to be able to fit in their clothing sizes of the past, get slimmer, and feel good about themselves. The common theme behind that all is the same thing, â€œI need to get tighter.â€
The majority of peopleâ€™s mindsets when entering the gym is they do what they know or heard because it sits well with their beliefs and thoughts (confirmation bias) and without a plan. So they come in and out daily, sometimes 2x a day and never look any better.
Woman generally hit classes and the stair master, avoiding weights, in fear of getting â€œbulkyâ€.
Men generally lift AND do cardio but the balance tends to not be right.
In the overall, MANY people have nutritional problems (where fat loss is driven).
So the cyclical habits for woman is class and more aerobic cardio, no strength training, and poor/yo-yo dieting lead to more than just lack of weight loss, thereâ€™s usually fat gain, hormonal imbalances, body-shaming those who DO accomplish the desired body, and a negative emotional toll.
For the men, itâ€™s more and more supplements in hopes to break the body fat, more cardio than necessary, 2 or 3 a days, and more of an â€œI got itâ€ ego.
BOTH will leave the gym day in and day out not feeling great as they question what theyâ€™re really doing.
Is the end result being reached?
So this is where I stand. If youâ€™re goal is to LOOK better, because in essence, we are ALL bodybuilders as we try to create a respectable physique, both men and woman, YOU MUST LIFT. Yes, STRENGTH TRAIN.Â IT MUST be a staple of your quest.
Now, IF YOU LIKE a class, fine BUT DO NOT LET IT EXCEED YOUR WEIGHT TRAINING.
As for the guys, there is no need for two-a-days. Not sorry about this. If you have a program thatâ€™s been intelligently geared towards your goals, youâ€™ll realize LESS is MORE. Donâ€™t waste your time doing 2/3 a days because honestly, unless you are Kai, or Phil, you donâ€™t need to spend that type of time in the gym.
EVERYONE, without a doubt, needs to focus better on nutrition.
Do not sell yourself short by doing too much and/or doing too little. Itâ€™s a tough cycle to break physically and mentally but when you can learn the right way, youâ€™ll be wondering what took you so long to figure it out.