I often meet clients who approach fitness with the sole purpose of weight loss. They typically have tried different workouts and end up with a lot of buts:
• But, I was exhausted & couldn’t get myself to work.
• But, my knees went for a toss.
• But, I have a bad back now.
• But, I gained all the weight back.
• But, I can’t catch up.
Every but has behind it something that you did, that did not work for you.
My clients are from varied backgrounds – from working professionals, to full time moms with post-pregnancy weight gain to amateur runners. I draw from my own experiences and share with them that ‘there is no one-size-fits-all model’ when it comes to planning a regime and getting them to achieve their fitness goals.
The Latest Trend – Marathons
Marathons are the rage these days and they sure have made a lot of people wake up to achieve their fitness goals. What works for a lot of people is the idea of exercising in groups to stay motivated. But here’s the thing – the demanding distance of a marathon isn’t necessarily for everyone. Nor for that matter is any athletic workout without a focus on conditioning the body. Sooner or later, I find that such pursuits lead to a path of injury, frustration and recovery. Not knowing the root cause, we continue to push ourselves and the cycle continues.
Training a group of amateur runners has been my most interesting experience thus far. Most of them have a corporate career; ranging from senior executives to managing directors of various multi national firms. Their collective goal while training was to finish a marathon despite erratic schedules, irregular eating patterns, demanding jobs and the icing on the cake – physical shortcomings like a bad knee or an ankle sprain.But a goal set is worthy of achieving and I made sure I put them on the right training regime.
In a 6-month timeline, their training regime comprised of a mix of strength training, agility drills, rehab and pre-hab sessions. Keeping a consistent, moderate intensity workout made an immense difference in their performance. Apart from the push that one gets in group training, I also worked with each one individually; conditioning them to understand how to play on their strengths and work on strengthening their individual weakness to target a well-timed finish.
Fitness Fads Versus a Fit Lifestyle
A lot of clients tell me about this new fitness regime that sounds interesting and that new form of workout that I should make them do. While I am happy about the variety of options we have now-a- days, I ensure that the fitness regime they follow is inversely proportional to their lifestyle. A drained day at office followed by a killer workout session does not make a great combination. Going the other extreme i.e. dedicating your life to training and obsessing over everything you eat can be strenuous.
I strongly believe that your fitness routine has to be a value addition to your life, not a substitute.
The next time you get to know about the latest fitness app or a new class in the neighborhood, try and listen to your body’s feedback first. This doesn’t mean we stop setting goals or stop striving for improvement, it just means we keep things in perspective. Unless you are participating in a competitive sport, which requires a certain routine – you must try and make fitness a part of your daily regime – like how you brush your teeth.
Your body is one such creation which does not need any upgrade. All it needs is maintenance. I believe in building a well-conditioned body, the rest will take care of itself.