Chiseled cheeks, bulging pecks, core to die for. Who doesn’t want that? For women, a slender and small waist is what most want. Definition is on everyone’s wish list. Many of us differ, and I would most definitely decline the newest rage; big bass. Never desired the apple bottom–but to each her own. Getting my sweat on at my favorite gym, I notice a few things. Most of the trainers, male for female, really show little differential. Not just in the way they train, but in the way they look. Now that for me, is a problem. It should be for you too.
How many of you, if working with a trainer, found that most of their routines focus on machines, ropes, burpees, free weights, and a litany of other torture tactics they favor? This is fine, if you’re looking to be a reasonable facsimile of THEM. Which in many cases, not all, means CONTRACTED. Your forte doesn’t have to be fitness to understand. Have they ever talked about lengthening, or ECCENTRICS? CONCENTRIC exercises shorten and strengthen; which is needed to build muscle and burn fat. BUT ECCENTRIC exercises–those which lengthen and strengthen, is equally important. And this goes for men as well as women, but it’s the latter who usually desire longer, leaner muscle. Men focus on power and strength. But how many of you really want that hunched, shoulder elevated look, when standing? If there’s no balance in your routine between eccentric & concentric exercises, that may be your future–if not your now. It doesn’t have to be that way.
VARIETY–not just the spice of life, but essential to your routine
We all have routines we enjoy. For some this means running, others the gym, others still yoga, Pilates, ballet, or a combo platter of the all of the above. I’ve always loved running, but there came a time when it didn’t always love me back. Enter in my delve into the world of Pilates, ballet inspired exercises, and ESSENTRICS. If you’re unfamiliar with the latter, take a look-see. Originally billed as CLASSICAL STRETCH w/Miranda Esmonde-White, these exercises do more than just lengthen out contracted muscle. They can help you do & do more of what you enjoy. Another tip? BIKRAM yoga. Bikram yoga for many, is considered the original hot yoga. How does it differ from other types of yoga? The room is heated to about 105 F. The same sequence of 26 postures is repeated in every class. While this may seem counter-intuitive to variety being the spice of life, it really is a “reset.” A reset which like Essentrics, can enable you to continue with your favorite form of exercise.
While it is true a body in motion tends to stay in motion, it is equally worth noting this. Repetition without re-calibration can breed contempt. And not just your contempt for the exercise, but your body’s contempt for it as well. This can manifest in a number of ways. From overuse syndrome, to some muscles becoming more tense while others are underused, it all adds up the same–too much of one thing, and not enough of the other.
So if your personal trainer, favorite form of exercise, or New Year’s resolution has become battle fatigued, set it or him/her aside. Do your homework, and rethink your training techniques. If you’re not seeing the results you want, it may be your exercise guru doesn’t know how to get you there. Or perhaps your routine will not yield what you long to see. Either way, “being like,” isn’t being you. You can be your own worst enemy or best friend. If the latter, investigate these suggestions. You will find your routine less routine, with energy and refinement you believed were from a bygone era.
As always, check with your nurse practitioner or MD before you make that commitment. New Year New You is overrated. The Old You may need some adjustments and fine tuning, but that’s what people like me enjoy doing.
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.
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