D.I.Y. Personal Trainer

"complex movements lead to better functional strength"

me, myself, & I – be your own personal trainer

You can absolutely become your own personal trainer by following a few simple guidelines.  Personal trainers are effective because they develop a plan and make you stick to it. They also supply a good dose of motivation to help you clear the mental roadblocks that keep you pushing yourself to the limit. These are the guidelines of becoming your own personal trainer:

set goals and have a plan

Using the SMART principle of goal setting; you’re signing a contract with yourself.  It’s important that you put these goals down in writing. If you don’t your mind has a funny way of fooling you into thinking your on track, but if it’s in black and white it becomes instantly measurable. 

schedule it and log it

If getting yourself in peak physical shape is important to you, schedule it in your calendar.  As noted author of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People , Stephen Covey wrote, you must take time to “sharpen the saw”.  It makes good sense that if you are in good physical condition that will make you more effective at everything you do, including sleep. It’s almost magical how being in shape can brighten your mental function, bolster your confidence, and melt away the stress from your daily life. Having the discipline to stick to your fitness program will pour over into every aspect of your life.  Be sure to log your workouts too because the record speaks for itself.  Don’t allow your brain to fool you.

strength first

The very foundation of any fitness program starts with strength training.  You need to know where you want to be on the Strength Continuum and incorporate that into your written plan.  You cannot ignore some form of resistance training, whether it’s body-weight exercises and calisthenics or full tilt power lifting.  Yes, even if your goal is weight loss you’ll have to add a strength training routine to your plan.  I will write about the necessity of that in next week’s post.

focus on the weak to be strong

You need to assure that you workout all the stabilizer muscles around your mid section and each major joint. – knees, hips, and shoulders.  These areas are subject to injury when we just focus on the large muscles around them, because of the extra force that we create around those joints. This is especially true if you use machines in your workout.  Machines concentrate your effort in one plane and on one muscle.

interval training rocks

Using Tabata’s or Interval Training is one of the best ways to burn more fat and increase your VO2 max.  Not only that, it will shorten your workout time substantially.  Shorter time in the gym and better results. . .sweet!!!  It does come at a price.  The high intensity will leave you sucking wind.  Pushing through one of these 5 minute routines becomes self-perpetuating. As you hit each mark, you’ll want to push yourself a little more the next time helping you breakdown those mental barriers I mentioned.

complex equals functional

Using exercises that require complex movements lead to better functional strength.  That’s why dumbbell and kettle bell routines are so effective.  You have to involve the stabilizer muscles in the movement and they more closely resemble the movements we use in everyday life – translation, better functional strength.  When we use machines to train, we become stronger for that particular movement, but to the detriment of overall fitness.  Don’t get me wrong, machines have their place.  You can pack  on muscle mass quickly in a short time, but it should be used only as part of your workout routine.

So, become your own personal trainer and don’t look back.  Three months from now you will be truly amazed at the transformation you have undergone. Go set a target date on your calendar and get to it.   I can guarantee success if you stick to your plan. 

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