Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First, Move, Then Improve

After spending a long time at a gym, you become familiar with how some of the other regulars work out.  You may notice that most do the same exercises every time.  If you are a bodyworker, trainer or coach you may notice even more.  You may notice not only that the routine is the same, but may have other shortcomings such as over emphasizing some movements and ignoring others, never improving and worst, doing things which may be harmful.

So, what to do?  Well, mostly nothing.  It isn't my, or your, responsibility to correct someone.  And face it- no matter how well intentioned and non-judgmental the advice is it probably won't be welcome.  Still, if I know the person at least a little and they somehow seem like they might be receptive, I look for ways and times to make a suggestion that won't sound like criticism.  I think, at least hope, that people in this business want to help others, and never offering advice would be overly chary of our knowledge.  Of course as a professional trainer in our place of employment, offering advice may actually be part of the job.

What I try to keep in mind is that for most people at the gym the comparison shouldn't be between a poor workout and a good one, but between working out and not working out at all.  Being inactive is far worse than repeating an ineffective routine every gym visit, and far be it from me to discourage someone from trying.

The first thing the body must do is move.

Then, if there's interest in going beyond maintaining the status quo, and spending the same amount of time getting stronger, leaner, and moving better, I'm available to help.

In the meantime, I'll try to stand back, shut up, and (mostly) mind my own business.

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