Strengthen Your Body
In the saturated market that is the fitness industry these days, we’ve all heard that phrase or something very similar to it. It certainly sounds simple, obvious, and a good thing. But it can actually be complex and mean something different to everyone, which in turn requires a distinct plan for for each person altogether.
A stronger body has many benefits: improved joint function, boost of one’s immune system, better sleep, strengthening of the heart so it pumps more efficiently, just for starters. Further benefits are strengthening of the bones, improved sex drive, and decreased risk for diseases and medical conditions. There are also many non-physical benefits of a stronger body: improved self confidence, the feeling of being unstoppable, mood lifter, decreased anxiety, higher mental clarity and alertness and productivity. All significant and meaningful changes that affect quality of life. I will discuss all these non physical benefits in Empowering Your Soul.
Almost everyone has physical ways they would like their body to be stronger. What I am referring to here, is what people hope to ACHIEVE through working out, exercise, training, WODing, or whatever you wish to call it. A frequently heard response from people on why they want to do physically activity is expressing that they just want to be “general healthy” or have “overall better health”. Although improving health is a great reason to want to exercise, I ask...what does it mean to you to be healthier than you are now? In other words, what does being stronger mean to you? How will you know that all your hard work is paying off? Or, to take it in the opposite direction, how will you know you aren’t moving in the direction you thought, and do you need a change?
This is why the interview portion is so vital when I first meet a potential training client. In addition to learning about their medical history and lifestyle behaviors, I discuss with them their goals, what they hope to achieve, and what strengthening their body means to them. Some individuals have specifics in mind. Others are uncertain and we collaborate together to answer those questions. Answering the above questions and developing specifics is important. Without them, you cannot know how to program your game plan. These specifics also give you something to refer back to, in order to track progress and ensure that the plan is going in the right direction, and if not, adjust accordingly so changes can be made.
Here are some examples of what to focus on when strengthening and how programming differs based on individual goals. If you are looking to run faster and more efficiently, the focus will be on core strengthening, glute and hamstring activation through hip extension focused exercises along with planned, variety runs and other complimentary cardio.
If you are trying to improve a golf game, movements focusing on rotation/anti-rotation to help increase stabilization and power through the core as well as working to enhance mobility in the shoulders and hips will be key.
For someone needing weight loss, a program should consist of cardio and other movements to get the heart rate up, combined with strength training to increase muscle mass to burn more calories post work. The other key component to weight loss is nutritional training, which I will discuss further in my Nourish Your Mind posting.
Whatever the goal, my focus will always be based on taking your needs, your set of wants, and developing targeted exercises in a thoughtful plan, appropriately progressing over a period of time, so that you can achieve your ultimate strengthening goals. Even if you want to maintain the physical level you are at currently, there needs to be a plan for that, as the body can adapt to doing the same regiment over and over.
So I ask, what about your body do you want to strengthen? What are your goals? Is what you are doing now making you stronger the way you need or want to be? If so, great! If not, what needs to change? NOW is the time begin making a stronger you. I would love to be your partner as you begin your journey and help you achieve your goals to Strengthen Your Body!
To your good health,