Believe it or not, man is not created equal. We have quirks, abnormalities, limitations, and differences. We are hardwired differently so our bodies and minds behave differently. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing! How boring would life be if we were all the same? But when it comes to fitness, we need to keep in mind that we are all different. We don’t gain strength the same way, we don’t lose weight at the same speed or with the same dietary habits, and our bodies move and behave differently.
So it can be easy to get into the “unfair” mindset. “It’s not fair my best friend can eat Cheeze-its and cupcakes all day and look like a super model.” “It’s not fair I work twice as hard in the gym and I’m not as strong or as fast as my workout partner.” “It’s not fair I can’t squat past 90 degrees.” “It’s not fair I keep getting injured.” “It’s not fair my body doesn’t look or respond the same way it did 10 years ago.”
UGH, just typing those made me want to cringe. Trust me, I get it! I spent three years in CrossFit classes wondering why I didn’t look like the “women of CrossFit” with huge 6 packs and perfectly sculpted arms. I didn’t understand how I could work my hardest in every class, but still couldn’t do the “prescribed weight.” It wasn’t fair that I ate a Paleo diet, but gained weight. It wasn’t fair that I kept getting injured instead of getting stronger and leaner. Then I realized, I’m different. And that’s okay!! I need to find a program that works for me. I need to stop doing things that make me injured, and start doing corrective exercises that make me better. I needed to stop eating bacon, and start eating foods that give me energy and help me perform better. I need to go down my own path. I need to MOVE.
One of the downfalls of group fitness is that it isn’t tailored to the individual. Everyone is doing the same workout at the same time. That’s why many people turn to personal training. It allows you to work one on one with a knowledgeable coach who can identify your weaknesses and set you up on a tailored plan to achieve your goals. There isn’t any comparison to anyone else because it’s just the two of you. You are able to chart your progress and go at your own pace.
But what if you just want to be fitter, leaner, and healthier and you love working out with others? Insert MOVE classes! We have designed our MOVE classes to emulate personal training. Each coach has an invested interest in your well-being. They are your cheerleader and your support staff. Each workout is based on cyclical programming, that when done consistently, creates stronger, faster and healthier individuals. Goals are able to be set and achieved through modification and changes in intensity or rep scheme. Class sizes are small so you are given the attention you need. Form is corrected so you stay safe. Mobility and durability drills are programmed into every workout to keep you injury free. I may be biased, but if you ask me, it is the perfect baseline of fitness.
However, you still have to remember, we are all different and “life isn’t fair.” Sometimes we are going to have to modify our own training program in order to reach the results we are after. This can mean putting in more work, backing off, or modifying a movement. You may need to come in early to do preventative exercises. Maybe you need to sign up for the Nutrition Challenge to get nutrition counseling and accountability to reach a weight loss goal. Or maybe you want to get faster and need to add in an extra day of sprints on the track. Your coach is your resource and wants to know your goals so we can help you achieve them. I have male clients who are focused on building mass and strength gains, so I know to slow them down during workouts and increase their weights. I may even change their rep scheme or equipment based on our programmed MOVE workout or what cycle we are in.
Or maybe your weaknesses are caused by your genetics or an old injury. For me, I genetically have weak hips. I turn my feet in and it causes a chain of reaction throughout my body. But because I have come to terms with this and am sick of it becoming a source of injury, I do preventative exercises. Yes, I do more than what my fellow MOVER has to do, and I am OKAY with it! Once a week I do a plyometric circuit that engages my hips, glutes and posterior chain. If I go out for a run, I wake up my hips with lateral lunges and hip drills so my body knows to engage my hips when I run.
I also have internally rotated shoulders. I’m not sure if it’s from years of Volleyball, standing with my arms crossed, driving, working at a desk…who knows, but it’s a problem. It makes it hard when I workout to keep a straight bar path overhead or to breathe correctly out of my diaphragm. Thankfully, I learned this one early, so I have been working on it. I focus on standing up straighter and doing extra shoulder mobility so it doesn’t turn into an injury. I am now able to keep my elbows high on a front squat and press straight overhead–YA! Improvement after 5 years of work! But I am still working on initiating my rhomboids (tiny back muscles) so I don’t use my traps (muscles in my neck). I learned that I can feel really stressed out when I don’t breathe through my chest because it puts all the tension into my neck.
As you can see, we all have our own issues. Whether it’s flexibility, not being able to breathe from your diaphragm, back issues, etc., you may need to put in some extra time to stay injury-free and reach your fitness goals. Communicate, ask for help, and do the work. Your body is your vessel. There is no point in training it, if you are not going to take care of it. It is natural for your body to get tight and out of whack. Listen to it. Do your preventative exercises, have a massage once a month (or week!), go see an ART (Coach Jake is an Active Release Therapist) and chiropractor at the first sign of pain, take ice baths or Cryo Therapy after workouts, don’t forget the power of an epsom salt bath when you’re sore, eat nutritious food, and sleep. It’s not fair, but it’s YOUR path towards the BEST version of your different, quirky, amazing self.
Keys to Success:
1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
2. Do what you gotta do to stay injury-free and see the results you want to achieve.
3. Trust the process and stay consistent.