Post originally appeared on the MAX Fitness College Site
After being in the fitness profession for 30+ years there are a few things that I have become certain of. Firstly, common sense is not common. Secondly and sadly, many folks do not think for themselves, they follow along blindly to what the crowd is doing without thinking or
asking WHY? Thirdly, if you mix a little bit of science with a lot of, “Cow Poo” you come up with something that most followers will believe and follow.
In a time when everyone wants to sell you their latest training “toy”, philosophy, opinion or idea for weight loss and health, it is vital, as a Fitness Professional, to develop and maintain a deep knowledge and understanding of applied functional anatomy and physiology. If you don’t, you will, like most, be lead down the “Not think for yourself path” based on other people’s, mostly unsubstantiated training opinions, ideas, methods and motives.
As a Fitness Professional, you will know that one of the most important components of weight loss, metabolism speed and overall health and well-being is strength training-getting stronger from lifting heavy things. The Tufts university lists the top 10 biomarkers for ageing. Loss of muscle and a loss of strength being the two at the top of the list-we get old because we lose muscle and get weak! So you must be prescribing strength exercise if you don’t want your clients to get old, weak or lose muscle (have a slow metabolism). If you are picking exercise for yourself, you must be doing exercises that make you stronger-so you stay young, have a fast metabolism and burn fat faster.
So how do you select strength exercises wisely?
The overall purpose of any strength training exercise is to GET STRONGER!! The scientific explanation… Maximise the load and force applied on the muscles to stimulate the super-compensation process, to develop strength, while minimising the force and stress applied on the joints, to protect and maintain the functional integrity and stability of the joint and articulating surfaces.
Here is an “Exercise Effectiveness and Safety
Evaluation System” to put any new training method, machine, “toy” or exercise through, to decide if it has scientific, anatomical, physiological and biomechanical merit and most of all common sense and reasoning.
This system will ensure that you, as a Fitness
Professional do not get lead down the wrong crowded path based on the deceptive marketing, uneducated opinions and the wrong peer group pressure.
Before you decide on the effectiveness of any new or old exercise, ask the 4 following questions...
1. Is it Safe?
2. Is it Functional?
3. What is the Benefit?
4. Is this the best exercise/Is there a better exercise?
Do not answer these questions from your past
experience, your personal opinion or an emotional point of view, particularly if you are already doing or promoting the exercise and believe in it. Only answer them from an anatomical, physiological and biomechanical point of view. If you have forgotten your anatomy, physiology and biomechanics that you should have learnt in depth, in your initial certification course, then best you go back to the books, classroom, school, university AND until you do learn, know and understand functional anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, STOP calling yourself a certified Fitness Professional or Personal Trainer, because you are not!! Do you think a great mechanic knows and understands the parts and functions of the car engine? YES!! If they did not, you would not be so silly to take your car to them to service and fix it.
Be the Fitness Professional who is
respected for your in depth knowledge, not just a pretty body!!