“I was going to drown, then I started swimming. I was going down, then I started winning” ~ The Sound.
Like embarking on any journey, an adventure into the world of fitness can be challenging. To avoid any dangers such as getting lost in the sea of the latest dieting trends, equipment, supplements, training programs, getting a flat tire, or losing your paddle, you need a suitable map and a great guide. Without a plan and the right guidance you can quickly feel engulfed, demotivated, and at worst become injured, when you start training.
We are all so very different. It is nearly impossible to successfully reach your goals using a generic training program. A qualified coach must consider your nervous system, digestive system and hormonal system (think software) when aiming to improve the physical body including the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage (think hardware). It’s not just ‘jump on the treadmill and run’ to get in shape. That may work for six weeks, but after that you’re in trouble.
Let’s start with the concept of the bicycle wheel. If the spokes of the wheel are buckled or twisted you can be assured your bike’s going to crash sooner or later. It’s the same with your body.
Any imbalance in the muscles around the spine leads to abnormal stress on the spine. Makes sense really. If your goal is to get leaner, run faster or lift more, then it’s going to be difficult to attain those goals if you can’t do the basic movement patterns in a pain free manner.
Ideally everyone should comfortably complete the basic human movement patterns which include a full range squat, a lunge, a twist, a bend and a push. A person’s gait (walk, run or jog) should be normal. Once you can move efficiently you can load these movement patterns and then the fun begins.
So if your body is the wheel, then what does it take to build a resilient wheel?
- Great materials (food, sleep and water)
- Great mechanic (your personal trainer or coach)
- Great plan (an exercise program based on an evaluation and assessment)
What do I eat? Paleo, Southbeach, Atkins, or the Chalet diet? To have breakfast or to fast? Do I need supplements? Should a female lift heavy weights? How often do I train? Everyone is unique, and I would encourage you to experiment with one option at a time and see if it works for you.
The following suggestions will at least improve your body composition (read less body fat) enabling you to move with less pain, feel better and perform as an athlete.
- Eat lots of vegetables. Then eat some more. There is nothing wrong with
vegetables with every meal
- If you’re thirsty, you are dehydrated. Drink water. We live in Kuwait – so
drink more water
- Try and have protein with every meal. You will sleep better, have improved
energy, feel fuller and generally have an improved mood
- Eat colorful fruit, but do not over-eat them
- Sugar is EVIL
- Energy drinks are the evil brother of sugar, so leave them on the shelf
- Carbs are good, but stay away from poor choices, like processed carbs
- Coffee before training, but not after 5pm
- Supplements aid great nutrition. Get your basic nutrition sorted first
- If you can catch it, grow it or pick it from a tree or plant, then it’s probably
going to be good for you. If the ingredients were not around when your
grandparents were children, then avoid them
- Try and sleep before midnight and aim for uninterrupted sleep. Your body
needs that sleep to repair, both physically and mentally
- Manage your stress. Stress kills – full stop.
A Great Mechanic
- Acquire a qualified and experienced coach or trainer. He or she may not have
all the answers, but ensure they are confident in referring you to someone
who does when they don’t
- They must deliver results, and if possible make it an enjoyable experience,
whilst educating you.
A Great Plan
- Cardio. Ditch the 60-minute treadmill walks and get sprinting. Think interval
training. Use rowing machines, drag sleds or push the prowler. Get your
heart rate up
- Pick heavy objects up. Lift them over your head or carry them for a set
distance or time
- Go to Yoga. Improve your mobility
- Start weight training. Learn the Olympic lifts
- Climb a rope or use that sledge hammer on that tractor tire. Try
swinging a kettlebell and watch your posture improve along with the
drop in clothing size.
- Have a training program, and change it every 4 to 6 sessions
- Perform your own body maintenance. Think foam rollers, bands and
- Manipulate the reps, sets, rest time, tempo and weight in each exercise
- Set realistic goals. Set them by the day and week
- Have an assessment and constantly check them every 4 weeks.
Remember we will always have ups and downs in life, as we will in training. Not every session results in a personal best or an extra centimeter off the waist. Often we just have to front up and get the job done. But progress is still progress, even when it is slow.
Eat well, sleep well, drink water, decrease your stress, set goals and train efficiently.
Mike Campbell is the GM and Co Founder of Inspire Pure Fitness.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit www.inspirekw.com.