Crunches…only 30 more!
After nearly 25 years as a trusted fitness professional I still don’t, nor will I ever, know everything about fitness. It seems I learn new things almost daily. There are always new ideas I share and receive from colleagues to keep our programs fresh, effective, and safe. I still use the phrase ‘I don’t know, but I can find out’ a few times each week.
It seems not a week goes by where I do not hear some tidbit of fitness information that is utterly ridiculous. Clients ask my opinion about something they have read or something a friend is taking to lose weight. My response is typically based on the science available.
Recently a client asked about heart rate monitor training and effective ranges he should train within. Simple enough, so I thought. I was somewhat puzzled because he had a concerned look on his face about training too hard. He was concerned because he was told he could have a heart attack if he exercised too intensely. I chuckled but assured him that his chances of dying while training was extremely rare.
For the routine gym goers who train 4-6 days per week at a brisk pace, you will be fine. The risk of not exercising far outweighs the chances of a heart attack while training. However, if you have cardiovascular issues, are diabetic, or have other health issues, it’s prudent to get clearance from your healthcare provider prior to beginning an exercise program. That way your trainer can safely train you with some restrictions to minimize your chances for a health-related emergency. Most reputable trainers can easily work with at-risk individuals with great results.
There have been studies published on extreme endurance athletes i.e. marathoners, Ironman triathletes, and ultra-runners that showed an increased risk for arrhythmias and other coronary related issues. Those studies were conducted on athletes who repeatedly compete in long-distance events (three hours or longer.) A heart attack was extremely rare. Elevations of certain coronary enzymes that could show long term damage to the heart usually cleared up after a few days.
Before you are quick to believe something you hear or read, take some time to ask questions and do a little research. As a society, we are gullible and will believe just about anything we hear, read, or see. It reminds me of the Google coffee mug that reads; ‘Do not confuse your Google search with my exercise science degree (or insert your profession.’)
It takes little time to research a topic in medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, Journal of Nephrology, etc. or fitness websites like ACSM or ACE. There are plenty of factually based sites to obtain science-based fitness information. I trust a handful that has sound data and go through continuing education courses to maintain my certifications. Where it gets dicey is when a site, or information, is considered holistic. I’m not knocking it, but most holistic methods are not proven by peer-reviewed journals. I still draw on exercise-science knowledge I learned in graduate school that is still valid today.
It certainly pays to be skeptical. Ask questions and don’t hesitate to fact check before applying information someone told you. This leads me to the next topic of health coaching.
Health coaching has garnered much attention lately as a way to hold you accountable while getting results. Many of you have likely been approached by a friend or colleague selling shakes, supplements, or body wraps promising weight loss and results with their program. They are simply trained reps selling gimmicks. The health coaching simply goes along with it because the supplements are not proven to work, are not sustainable long term, and are expensive. The coach’s ability is limited to what they are taught during the weekend workshops that are designed to pump them up to grow sales. It is rare that they have an exercise-related degree, reputable certification, or much experience as a fitness trainer. They are simply trying to make a few bucks on the backs of gullible, desperate people. Run from these people.
If you want lasting, realistic, and sustainable fitness results seek out qualified fitness professionals, registered dietitians, or attend Weight Watchers. Learn how to eat, and enjoy, real food while getting adequate physical activity.
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Our September Member Spotlight is
After a long absence, we are happy to have Amy Frederick back at FSI and sharing her quest. Welcome back!
I train at FSI because I love the fact that no two days are ever the same. I need to have variety when it comes to training, and I’ve found that with FSI. I love the classes and the camaraderie that is shared with the workouts.
In my initial joining of FSI, I lost about 25 pounds and gained a lot of muscle and strength. I recently had a partial knee replacement. The 8 months of being out of the gym, (3 prior to surgery and 5 after) caused me to gain weight because I was restricted with what I could do. Once given the green light, I was back at FSI, amongst my friends, and training yet again. Chris does a great job of making modifications to suit a client’s needs due to health restrictions, even in a class setting. Since my surgery caused me to lose a lot of leg strength, I hit the gym again. I have been back a month, and I am feeling a lot more like myself. I can see the strength that I had lost slowly returning.
I can’t pick just one. I love the friends that I have made at the gym and with whom I train. I couldn’t wait to get back to the gym because I missed ‘my people’. As I mentioned previously, I need variety as I get bored easily with exercise. I have found that variety with FSI. Chris does a fantastic job of mixing it up and getting in a great overall workout.
If you are looking for a great place to train, where you can lose weight, become stronger, and make great friends, FSI is your place. The fact that I was out for 8 months and eagerly came back is a great testament to what Chris is doing to help make and keep us all healthier versions of ourselves.
Who will be the October Member Spotlight???