As many people do, I believed more exercise was better and you had to push harder to see results. I learned the hard way that this is very incorrect. One principle we need to keep in mind that exercise is stress to the body and that stress needs to be balanced with recovery. This is what keeps our most valuable asset our body healthy and injury free. I learned over the last decade to ditch chronic cardio and found that getting adequate sleep, balancing stress and rest, personalizing my approach to training, carefully structuring high intensity, and engaging in complementary movement and mobility practice will build a body that is strong, healthy and fully functional.
In my early 30’s I changed how I approached my training. This change helped me to achieve fitness goals that my personal coaches had told me were impossible. I trained for my first Ironman in less than 6 months. In that time, I learned how to swim freestyle, and had my first ever 30+ mile bike ride. The marathon portion of my Ironman was the first marathon I had ever ran. The only way to achieve that goal was to work with my body and find a training method that worked for me, with high functional training and no excess cardio. You do not need to beat up your body or spend every day in the gym to produce results. We do not have to add more chronic pain to the population.
21% of population experience shoulder pain, 14 % experience neck pain, 80,000-100,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries a year1. Previous studies have found a high incidence of low back pain in sports, for example 85% of male gymnasts, 80% of weightlifters, 69% of wrestlers, 58% of soccer players, 50 % of tennis players, 30% golfers, and 60-80% of the general population were reported to have lower back pain2. These numbers are astonishing. We often consider athletes to be examples of healthy, functional bodies but these statistics show that exercise can be detrimental if not approached correctly. The prevalence of this back, hip and knee pain can be attributed to inappropriate training including overtraining and repetitive movements.
Lifting weights is critically important to our well-being especially as we age, and we begin to lose muscle. Research suggests that lifting weight promotes fat burning fast-twitch muscle fibers and even protects DNA from the wear and tear of aging3. Lifting weights while adding functional movement creates a functional dynamic movement pattern. This benefits the muscles as well as the joints and the fascia.
Lack of movement can change the architecture of the body and make the tissue stiffer and more fibrotic. My training style helps my clients access fully functional joint movement. Arthritis usually starts in the area of the joint that has the least amount of movement. By looking at an individuals' lifestyle I can create a personalized program that helps joint mobility to increase by introducing alternate joint motion patterns.
I begin all clients with 2 sessions a week for the first 8 weeks of training. This is important to allow the body appropriate recovery time and to give the body time to integrate the work. I highly encourage them to move or as I call it play. What we do between workouts is as important, or more important to keep our body healthy and functional. I suggest low impact activities such as going for walks, bike rides, agility ladder, slack lining, swimming, yoga or any activity you enjoy to add some extra movement.
If you are looking for an online personal trainer who trains in way that is functional, sustainable and wholistic, then MK Dynamic Performance will be happy to help you on that journey. Remember, your body is your most valuable asset.
1)N. (2014). The Rational for Corrective Exercise. In 916300921 720256092 M. Clark, 916300922 720256092 S. Lucett, & 916300923 720256092 B. G. Sutton (Authors), NASM essentials of corrective exercise training (p. 3). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
2) N. (2014). Section 1. In 916308190 720260039 M. Clark, 916308191 720260039 S. Lucett, & 916308192 720260039 B. G. Sutton (Authors), NASM essentials of corrective exercise training (p. 74). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
3)Greenfield, B. (2018). Longevity and Lifting. In 916295499 720252789 N. Roberts, 916295500 720252789 N. Roberts, & 916295501 720252789 N. Roberts (Authors), Boundless (p. 184). New York: St. Martin's Griffin.