Friday, October 22, 2010

You are not a body builder so don't exercise like one.

     One of the things that irritates me the most are the countless men and women I see in the gym each day doing isolation exercises. No matter what their goal is, for some reason they feel it is necessary to break the body up onto several different categories and work each one like its own separate system. They typically break workouts up into ridiculous categories like biceps/triceps/quads, back/abs/calves, chest/hams/traps/shoulders. They do single plane motion exercises, with many of the movement being awkward, dangerous, and completely artificial. At the end of each workout they usually over train their big muscles, and neglect the smaller stabilizing muscles (the average gym member's balance is terrible.)

     Now for many years I was guilty of this too, when I was fourteen I picked up Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding bible and went to town. I dedicated each exercise to a different body part, thinking that was the only way I would get a good workout. Well five years and a personal trainers certification later I no longer workout like a bodybuilder. Why? Because I am not one! And chances are neither are you. Chances are you are a student, a parent, a construction worker, or something that requires natural movements.
    Tell me, when was the last time your life required you to horizontally abduct (move away from your body) your front deltoid muscle in the sagital plane to parallel with your shoulder for 10-12 repetitions? My guess is never, but that is exactly what you do when you perform a front dumbbell raise. You see how pointless isolation exercise is? (unless of course you are a BODYBUILDER!) Now when was the last time you had lift something overhead? (i.e groceries, tool box, textbooks, you name it.) With a exercise program that dealt specifically with movements, these everyday activities will be much easier, allowing you to save your energy things you really enjoy. Say weekend bike ride, an afternoon of flag football, and yes even window shopping.

   One of the leaders in functional exercise would have to be PTA global, they are a personal trainer certification but also have much information open to the public you can check out their facebook page here. In the upcoming weeks I will have more posts that are dedicated specifically to functional exercises.

    I one day hope to open my own gym, and in that gym I hope to have members who are serious about health and fitness like I am. I hope to have members who are excited and passionate about the amazing system that is the human body, and I hope to have members that workout like real people, doing everyday movements. I hope that as this industry grows, more and more people will make the switch from working out like a bodybuilder and start working out like the individual they are.

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