My name is Liam Pinson, I’m a personal trainer at Optimal Self Community Health and Wellness Center on Congress Street. I work with clients specifically on correcting their movement patterns and creating a foundation for stronger, functional movement.
Depending on who you ask, and who you are – exercise can’t be too easily summed up. Within the industry, we love to debate the nitty gritty details of the “best” programming – what exercises, how many days per week, the duration of your rest intervals – but all of these factors inevitably will depend upon the personal goals of the client – and the personal opinion of the trainer. This isn’t an article like the one’s you’ve probably seen – “five new moves to a six pack” “ten diet mistakes you didn’t know you were making” because those articles (I’ve read almost every single one) can’t take into consideration your current position, your habits, and your body. Every good question I’m asked about exercise and nutrition inevitably turns into a small evaluation of the person’s current routines and program – because I can’t just give people a single answer without understanding the other factors involved. When I realized this problem that just about every exercise recommendation runs into – I began to wonder what things can apply across the board – to every human being – to every type of exercise – to every kind of athlete.
These are the two I’ve come across – Quality and Consistency. When I talk about quality I mean quality of movement – taking the time to make sure your form is flawless. Whether it’s the depth on your squat, the wobbly point in your transition between warrior two and three, or your footstrike while you jog – you owe it to your joints to make sure that you’re using your muscles the right way – every single time. Remember – one good rep is worth ten flailing ones – even if you have to use half the weight you normally do. This can mean a lot of work, unlearning flawed movement patterns (we all have them) asking for help and spotters, and maybe reevaluating your exercises entirely, but your joints will thank you. Your muscles are designed to move your body in movements which your joints can handle – if you’re experiencing joint pain – I’m willing to bet part of your musculature isn’t working right. Fix this, now.
When you take the time to really learn the most anatomically friendly movement patterns for your exercise, the second factor comes much more readily. The best program is worthless unless you keep showing up. By protecting your joints through mindful movement you significantly increase the chance you’re able to show up for your next workout. Don’t pick up a program and drop it after a week – don’t drop it after a month – drop it once you reached the goals you set for yourself at the beginning. Identify the things in your life which convince you not to workout – stressful jobs, relationships, children who keep you up, can all be serious obstacles. I’m not telling you to quit your job and abandon your families to get a pump – just identify the scenarios which add up to missing a workout and see what you can do about that. It might mean waking up earlier to dodge traffic, it might mean packing extra food to keep your energy up by the time 5:30 rolls around, just remember – if it were easy, you would have already done it.
So next time you’re wondering what your program is missing, why you aren’t seeing the results you want, take a moment and make sure you’ve really got your quality of movement and consistency locked down.