There are a lot of misconceptions in the world of fitness. Most people tend to stick to doing things the way they’ve always done them. Things have changed a lot in the last decade as far as what we understand about the human body and how it adapts to exercise. This month I wanted to lay out a couple of concepts that we take into consideration with our programming that you can use in your own workouts. Next month we’ll be back with more specific advice for workouts you can do at home on your own that put these principles into practice.
- Warming Up should include more than just getting your heart rate up
Although getting physiologically warm is an important and necessary step in warming up, and often overlooked aspect is moving through different planes of motions and getting your joints moving. We start our warmups from the ground and gradually work up to standing, trying to involve all the major joints and doing movements that involve different directions – challenging stabilizing muscles and getting you moving in ways that are different than the day to day behaviors that make us tight (such as sitting at a computer like you most likely are while reading this)
2. Work out in 4-6 week phases
Your body makes adaptations and gets better and stronger at exercises from repeated exposure. We do our workouts in 4 week phases. This give our members a chance to learn the movements Week 1, dial into the best weight to use on Week 2, and then pick at least one thing to move up in weight or up in level during weeks 3 and 4 to continue challenging themselves. Then we start on a new phase. It may be fun and exciting to always do something different in every workout but at the end of the day would you rather always be doing something new or would you like to see yourself make noticeable progress in something you’ve been practicing?
3. Progressive Resistance
Building on the concept from above, start out making sure you feel comfortable with any new exercise you try and truly OWN that movement. Then gradually start to move up in weight and add extra challenges. Don’t stay at the same weight if it gets easy – keep moving up. Always keep in mind, however, that form is more important than moving more weight.
4. “No Pain No Gain” is a myth
Muscle burning and feeling tired and fatigued are uncomfortable. One thing we try to stay entirely away from at all times at Pursuit is PAIN. Our general rule is, “If it hurts, don’t do it.” We encourage our members to let coaches know if something feels uncomfortable or painful. Sometimes it is simply an issue with form or range of motion and when we work on it there is no longer pain. Other times it means doing alternative exercises that are working on something similar, but in a different way, that no longer creates pain. Trying to push through pain is a losing battle that will ultimately take you away from your goals or possibly lead to you abandoning your exercise routine altogether.
Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful and can incorporate them into whatever you’re doing. Stay tuned next month where we’ll have some concrete examples of exercises you can do at home and a sample routine to follow.