We’ve been talking about what I consider the seven characteristics of Personal Training that has progressed into the 21st century. Weight training and interval training have become accepted by mainstream medicine and are clearly on the radar of the average baby-boomer. However, not all training approaches are created equal. Very few have discovered how to effectively stimulate maximum results without compromising safety. Crossfit type programs address the need for high-intensity work to be performed but don’t provide an approachable and sustainable solution for men and women over forty. On the other hand, your typical senior strength training program doesn’t connect the mature older adult with the life-changing power of high-effort exercise. We have already said that personal training that has truly progress is defensible, approachable, and practical. Now let me briefly explain our position that it is powerful, scalable, sustainable, and measurable.
We believe that personal training should be a means to optimal, total-body conditioning. Through motivation, education, and hi-tech programming we seek to achieve results that simply can’t be triggered by lone ranger workouts. These results should include comprehensive fitness and wellness adaptations. Fitness is understood properly as an individuals capacity to perform muscular work. Wellness is the optimal functioning of the bodily systems. These two states are interconnected to a large extent and a top-notch fitness program should be a path to reaching you full potential for each. It has become abundantly clear to informed professional that this requires clients to work harder than they would left to their own instincts. The question to ask any prospective personal trainer is this, “Do you know how to help me work just hard enough to trigger my body to respond maximally?” At The Exercise Coach we use bio-feedback driven technologies to call the effort level of our clients up to precisely the level of exertion they need for max results. Make no mistake about it. This level is exertion is absolutely higher than most people have experienced, believe they need to experience, know hoe to experience, and would experience if left to their own devices. As I intimated though – it is just hard enough to get the results they after and no more. In a coming post I will elaborate on the absolute requirement for higher-effort exercise and the effect it has on personal wellness.
As I hinted at in the first point, the ideal training program demands a high level of exertion but should be implemented with precision based on on an individuals current fitness capacity. This requires a level of sophistication most trainers do not have. We have made this degree of customization standard in our personal training process. Through the use carefully chosen technologies we measure the unique muscular and metabolic fitness characteristics of our clients and prescribe exercise that is precisely appropriate every second of every workouts. We effectively adapt to elite athletes and seniors that are severely deconditioned. What’s the question you should ask of a prospective trainer? How about, “Can you prescribe precise doses of exercise that are precisely appropriate for me as an individual?”
When we say that a personal training program should be sustainable, we mean that the exercise performed should be safe now and forever. Their are currently trends in the fitness industry that emphasize higher exertion levels than in the past. However, these trends, like Crossfit, are not the best choice for individuals over the age of forty. Why? While they may bring about results in the short term, we like to say, “It’s only a matter of time before the wheels come off.” The wheels we are referring to in our analogy are your joints! Here’s the question you should be asking, “Is this program something I can do for life?” It is also helpful to ask an training center that the average age of their clients is. If they don’t know or it’s thirty-something then it’s probably not ideal for baby-boomers and seniors.
It’s been said in business that “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” We believe that this maxim should be applied to personal fitness programs. Exercise, properly understood, is the intentional imposition of physical demands in order to trigger beneficial adaptations. Experts agree that their is a certain threshold level of stress necessary to stimulate the body to respond. Precision measurement of key factors involved in the stimulation process help us control the application of exercise stress and apply optimal doses with each client. In addition, we take progress analysis to another level. Most attempts to measure progress are just not sensitive enough and do not consider the variables that influence performance measurement. Ask your prospective trainer this, “How will you validate the progress I am making in my fitness levels?” Beware of measures that are really not measure of increased fitness but instead are measures of increased skill – like body-weight movements and balancing acts.
We have shown you several areas must be considered when you looking into personal training for yourself. In addition, I hope we have convinced you that you should really be looking for personal training that has progressed into the 21st century.