This one has been on the burner for a few months now, but life has gotten in the way and I haven’t had a moment to breathe. Until now.
This is for all of the body rockers. Yeah, you in the gym, swingin’ and a swayin’, rocking’ back and forth as you workout. No, I’m not talking about the people who dance during their workouts (yeah, we’ve got some of those at my gym). I’m talking the people who use their body’s momentum to get that weight up.
I see this a lot in my gym. Usually from May to August. Why that time span? Let me break it down:
• College kids come home. Some are battling that dreaded Freshman 15 and refuse to go back to school without shedding what they’ve gain. Some are trying to stay in shape for whatever sport they play in college. Some are just beginning their fitness path and want to just plain be in better shape.
• Summer is coming (or here) and gym newbies want to get in bathing suit/beach shape. Pool parties can be a bitch when you’ve got love handles as your plus-one.
I’d like to give them all the benefit of the doubt, but after so long, I can’t. Why? Because in this day and age, there is just simply no excuse for it. And there are ZERO studies that can lead anyone to believe that this is remotely right or okay.
Guys, cut it out. You look completely ridiculous. You cannot lift that weight. Well, sure, yeah you actually can, but can you do it the proper way? Without swinging your butt back and your body all around to get that curl up from your side to even remotely close to your shoulder? No? Okay then. Stop it before your hurt yourself.
You’re accomplishing the seriously absolute complete minimum by doing this. Yes, you are working out. Yes, you are making your muscles work (so they will grow, a little). You’re not going to get stronger, your muscles won’t get their maximum workout (therefore: GROW A LOT). So put that weight down and get your hands on a weight in which you can do properly. A bicep curl should NOT involve the use of your entire body to “sling” the weight up. The ONLY thing that should be moving is your ARM(S). Got it? Good.
Another culprit is YouTube. While yes, you can find some really great and thorough videos on YouTube, demonstrating proper form and how to properly execute an exercise, there are A LOT, and I do mean a lot of videos out there that show you the very wrong way.
Solution? Just bite the damn bullet and get a trainer. You don’t need to use the trainer every time you work out, or even every week. You may not even need said trainer for a full hour long session.
A trainer can hook you up with a program that suits your needs, your ability, and your goals (not that super awesome workout you just saw your best buddy’s friend’s cousin do who has been in fitness and hitting the gym 7-days-a-week for 20 years and has muscles bigger than Phil Heath). I should correct that to say: a good trainer can do that for you. There are some that pass out generic workout programs because they want to make the most amount of money with the least amount of effort. It’s the sad story of this industry.
A trainer will also walk you through your workout program. Demonstrating each exercise in proper form. Then, they’ll have you do that workout program through completely while they’re there supervising. It gives them the chance to correct your posture and form, and explain to you as their client, what you need to be watching for and keep an eye on so that you don’t make the mistake again.
Spend the little bit of extra dough to get yourself off on the right (and better for your body) foot. Sometimes it’s even worth it to after a few months do a sort of “check in” session with your trainer. Make sure you’re still doing everything right, even get tweaks and changes to your program so that you don’t plateau.
Some of my clients, I only see once every 12 weeks. Why? I saw them for the initial consultation, then again for the first, and maybe a second training session, and then they felt okay (and so didn’t I) going of on their own for the remainder of the program. Then, when they hit the end of it, we reconnected for a session. It helps the client progress on track and actually see progress at a good rate of time and it also helps keep them out of the doctors office for unnecessary aches and pains.