Is your “fast-food” workout working for you?

Today’s guest post come from M4L’s Fitness Director, Tim Facciola:

Convenience has become one of the most determining factors in selecting everything from food choices to exercise prescription. The quick and easy route is often the path of least resistance, but is it working? Even if it is the most convenient selection, is it serving you justice? With food, many of the health conscious consumers have realized that the fast-food convenience did not out-weigh the negatives associated with that convenience. The educated consumer has chosen a less convenient approach to their dietary habits to better suit their goals. However, now you must ask yourself—“Do you have a fast-food workout?” The freshest ingredients, the safest practices, nor the best chefs are found in the kitchens of fast food restaurants. The parallel exists in the fitness community as well. All sweat is not created equally!

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As the fitness industry continues to boom with more $19/month memberships, low cost boot camp classes, and online/app based exercise programs, health and wellness has never been more convenient. While this is a great initiative to get busy people to find the time to be more physically active, you must ask yourself, “Is this working for me?” Don’t you deserve better than the barely educated instructors parroting techniques that they learned in a weekend workshop concocted into a cookie cutter exercise program for the one size fits all client? We believe so!

Exercise program design should be driven to meet the body’s needs to force adaptation to the desired goal. In the fitness community we have a phrase, also known as the SAID principle—Specific Adaptations for Imposed Demands. What does this mean? Your body will respond to the exercise you do based on need for success and survival. If program design does not progress, you do not progress. Your body is a well put-together machine that only does the minimum it needs to do to ensure self-preservation. If your exercise program is stagnant, your body has already adapted and will not see the need to progress. If your goal of exercise is to maintain, then you are doing fine just being consistently active. However if your goals are body modification, whether that be weight loss, weight gain, strength development, injury prevention, or increased flexibility, “maintenance program” is probably not what you want to hear.

Understanding the human body is the first step to creating a well-balanced exercise program, one that progresses as you do to ensure consistent results further stimulating both the mind and the body. The human body was designed to move in all three planes of motion, the sagittal plane – forwards and backwards, the frontal plane- side to side, and the transverse plane- rotation right and left. Your exercise program should acknowledge this fundamental truth at each joint in the body. These joints help the body to push, pull, hinge, and squat, all of which can be done by tweaking the planes to increase the demands on the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. In addition, at a deeper level we have three different levels of “energy systems.” These energy systems highlight the differences between steady-state cardio, prolonged effort, and high intensity interval training. Another way of thinking about this is comparing a marathon, to an 800 meter run, to a 40 yard dash. The pace is vastly different and therefore the demands on the body and how it responds differ as well. As you can see there is, or should be, a lot that goes into program design. If you desire general fitness conditioning, these are the vital components to help prevent deterioration, imbalance, or chronic overuse injuries. Is your body getting what it craves?

Here at Movements 4 Life all of our programs are designed to address what the body NEEDS in addition to what you may WANT in your own personal goals. We have both small and large group training options that allow you to thrive in the environment you enjoy and your body craves.

The small group training environment blends the programming, motivation, and guidance of personal training with the social camaraderie and excitement found in the large group setting. Capped at six participants, the small group allows for the best of both worlds with flexible time offerings seven days per week. With diverse program design and several different formats on the schedule you are guaranteed to have a rewarding experience regardless of goal or fitness level. Below are the descriptions of each program which can be mixed and matched to further compliment your fitness needs or schedule.

  • Modern Meathead/Muscular Maiden: This small group programming model allows our clients to have a more traditional exercise regimen focusing on movement patterns. This allows for increased volume within each session to focus on building lean muscle in a balanced program. Here our clients will be challenged utilizing supersets, compound sets, strength/stability compound sets, and strength/power compound sets.

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  • Skills Workshop: This small group focuses on technique and finesse as our clients learn toward developing new movement skills. These workouts comprised of progressive calisthenic-based movements allow our clients to take a load off (LITERALLY) as these programs have significantly less external weights yet are designed to challenge the body’s neurological system. Here our clients will be pushed to seek their thresholds by utilizing “practice sets,” where they focus on a new skill, and then “work sets,” where they can perform until fatigue. These classes will progress each individual from kneeling push-ups to single arm push-ups, bodyweight squats to pistol squats, bodyweight hinges to shrimp squats, and pull-ups to muscle-ups.

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  • Movement Conditioning: These small groups focus on utilizing two different pieces of equipment taking you through a full body workout. This non-stop format seamlessly flows from one movement to the next, challenging the cardiovascular system. These pieces of equipment will be mixed and matched to bring our clients to a new height of physical fitness.

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Where the small group addresses the specific movements of the body, the large group focuses more on developing the energy systems. To keep with the food analogy, think about your energy systems as the macronutrients found in food—fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Your energy systems are Aerobic Glycolysis, Anaerobic Glycolysis, and your Creatine-Phosphate System. Just like with food, the body needs all three energy systems to function optimally. The correct amount of work performed in each is determined by the goal. Your nutritional needs should match your exercise demands, and your exercise demands should match your goals. Digging deeper into the sciences of fitness nutrition can help accelerate you to your goals. The large group classes at Movements 4 Life take these sciences into account to allow your body to efficiently use all three energy systems through all three planes of motion.

With the oversaturation of the fitness industry, the low cost boot camp classes, and online/app based exercise programs; it is very convenient and readily accessible to maintain the status quo and follow the path of least resistance. Now is the time to ask yourself, has convenience taken priority over your better judgement? Have you always felt that something was missing from your exercise program but couldn’t put your finger on it? Try adding a little science to the equation. Train smarter, not harder and start to look, feel, and perform better!

Express passes to sample the Small and Large group classes at Movements 4 Life are now available. The fast-food craze is over.

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