Is your workout helping or hurting you

Is your workout helping or hurting you?

Is your workout effective?

“Squat till you puke!”… “No pain no gain”… “Make them jealous” …“Pain is weakness”, all popular gym quotes. The principle of overload does state that you must challenge your body to see results. Is it that simple? If the answer is yes, let’s analyze it further.

Is your workout helping or hurting you?

Benefits of fitness and personal training:

Weight loss: The majority of people aspire to lose weight. The US, by state population, is hovering around 30% obesity. Each year that number has increased. Today’s over-prescribed medications can be linked to the obesity epidemic.

Stop popping pills: Money spent on medication and the time people spend organizing their pill boxes can be alleviated by adding an organized exercise program. Less pills means less doctor visits!

Increased Confidence: The physical. Enjoy the activities of life, such as, the ability to keep up with your friends/kids, participate in activities, wear the clothes you prefer, catch a train without huffing and puffing, or participate in a company’s pickup games.

Limit clumsiness and balancing problems: The average person’s body awareness is limited, due to daily inactivity, tight muscle groups and improper body alignment. An organized program can increase body awareness and decrease daily accidents.

There is no question that being active is healthier than being inactive.

Present day fitness and training 

Today’s popular training techniques/programs consist of high-intensity-endurance workouts, and performing advanced exercises. The large muscular recruitment and calorie burning of these workouts are perfect for increased muscular overload and developing muscle tissue. Advanced exercises: Bar cleans, Bar snatches, Kettlebell swings, Kettlebell snatches, explosive jumps/throws (plyometric), and sprints, all challenge the principal of overload. There are a variety of ways to train incorporating these advanced techniques/exercises, from strength, to power, to muscular-endurance. The question is, “should the average person with minimal training experience, from a neurological to a muscular standpoint perform these exercises?”

Advanced training techniques/exercises:

Advanced exercises are important, no matter the age or gender. However, there is a development process. Currently, people looking to lose weight and/or increase lean muscle tissue (get more cut) start following 90 day training programs through dvds (insanity, P90x), the workouts can be beneficial. Others complete a WOD (the Workout Of the Day, often Crossfit but not necessarily). A WOD may consist of effective exercises as well. “Then what’s the problem!?”

The weight loss and training goal Problem:


When a person’s main goal is weight loss, “No pain no gain” is the mantra. No matter the wear and tear on the body, watching a video, even if the instructor of the video is teaching proper form and technique, the average person does not have the body awareness to complete the exercises properly. Initially, they may understand it, however, as the person begins to perform the workout, fatigue will set in. Once fatigue sets in, the person’s form will diminish, no matter how experienced and popular the instructor on the dvd is. They are not present. The person completing the workout is content! They’re breathing heavy and sweating. They must be losing weight! They don’t realize or care about form, they want to get through the workout. They’re main concern is weight loss!


“What is your goal… What is your plan” no specific plan, a cookie cutter workout for everyone but now there is an instructor present. A solution! Except the workout has not taken your needs into consideration and the instructor in many cases completed a weekend workshop on advanced training techniques, which take years to truly master and especially teach. (we’ll delve deeper into WODS and crossfit/muscular endurance training in an upcoming article).

Fitness center Classes:

A class of 10-15 people, boot camps, body pump, cardio-kickboxing. Beginners through advanced, get in and push yourself at your own pace. No matter the exercise just do the best you can. Hopefully, if you’re doing something totally wrong the instructor corrects you.

Is fitness training that simple:

If you’re losing weight, increasing lean muscle tissue, getting faster or stronger than you were before you started, kudos! Activity trumps inactivity. However, when performing advanced exercises there is a fundamental prep stage. Before you complete Tuck jumps  or 30 inch box jumps, you must be able to properly squat. Common sense you say? I often see competitive athletes who are unable to properly squat. Yet, there are average people who sit at a desk for 8 hours performing box jumps. A fitness program must be a progression. For the majority of people, the first two weeks of training should consist of body weight exercises. Learn the basic movements, understand the proper loading phases in different exercises, and have the ability to coordinate movements of one side of the body as well as all at one time.

 If I said, take this pill. You’ll lose all the weight that you desire but the side effects are you’ll have trouble walking because that pill causes extra wear and tear on the knees and you’ll have back problems for the rest of your life. Would you make that trade?Honestly think about that offer. We’ll examine further how that “magic pill” possibly connects to your current workout in our next article…

To be continued…

Weight loss freedom

Written By: Kirill Vaks

Fitness Specialist


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