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September 18, 2019

The #1 Thing You Need to Know About Exercising

by Michael Hughes

There are a lot of different styles of workouts, not to mention new fads that hit the market constantly. There are offered from different fitness brand, instructors, and even from your iPhone now with online programs. All promise to be the newest and best way to burn calories. All of them seem to have “cracked the code” to a leaner you. But is the hype warranted or is it just great marketing strategy? 

The truth is the barrier to entry into the fitness world to claim expertise is as low a threshold as it gets. In today’s social media saturated world, all it takes is looking good naked for masses to assume everything you say is true. But we know over 80% of “fitness models” have eating disorders in an effort to look perfect all the time. So most “experts” aren’t actually that.

As someone who’s invested over $100k in education over the last decade, post college, trust me when I say the fitness industry is a soap opera of fear-based, guilt-invoking half truths that confuse and frustrate busy people just trying to get healthier in a way they can sustain. Quite honestly it’s painful to me how little 95% of fitness programs promote intelligent and functional movements that will actually improve your body’s natural function. 

So if you’re reading this, you’re probably a little skeptical about fitness, or at least our approach to it. I applaud you. I love skeptics. You are the tribe I want to win over. You are the group that isn’t quickly sold and wants to understand before you buy anything. So congratulations for being part of an elite group who is discerning and fitness trends and styles

The #1 Thing You Need to Know About Exercising

I know your time is precious so I’ll cut right to it, if you read nothing else about fitness, this is the number one thing to know: 

“That whatever you train your body to do, you are training it to do that activity better.”

At first blush, it’s a somewhat obvious statement. But think about it…

Our bodies are designed to adapt to our environment, it’s designed to stay alive and often takes the path of least resistance to achieve the outcome it wants. 

All that means is that your body will adapt to whatever you ask it to do… that’s good AND bad. 

Let me show you some examples of this: 

    • You can train your eyes to look at screens for hours on end. It may have started out giving you headaches, but eventually your eyes will adapt. 
    • A breastfeeding mom will hunch over to nurse her baby and will experience neck and back pain as the body tries to tighten chest muscles and expand back muscles to support this body position the mother has to be able to hold for 5-6 hour per day. 
    • A rock climber builds and relies on the strength of the back to hold it up from overhangs, and the more advanced a climber gets the more their posture shows an upper body curve from the overdeveloped muscles of the back, giving them a primate look.
    • I could go on and on…

So be smart about what you chose to force your body to do. It has long term impacts on you and your health.

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5 Examples of Ways We Train the Body that Impact Our Health or Fitness

1.  Sitting

This first example will seem counterintuitive, but it’s pivotal to grasp to understand how amazing and adaptable our bodies are to our environment and repetition. 

If you sit at a desk for eight hours a day, your body understands this as training the body to sit at a desk for eight hours a day, and do it the next day better than the day before.

While sitting with good posture may engage the core, that’s too hard to sustain for long periods of time. So what does the body do? It shifts. It slouches and rests on the back of the chair. Now you have trained your body to relax as many muscles as possible in a position you’re requiring your body to hold for hours on end. Your body during this time is training to make this activity easier. So your muscles are getting tighter, hip flexors, etc. to make that chair more acceptable to the human body.

That’s why people have postures that indicate they sit for long periods of time. Sadly when they get out of the chair, they’re not able to train their body very well to get out of chair because they’re training their body to stay in a chair.

2. Barre

If you train your body to do barre fitness, you’re training your body to do short, compressive, tight motions over, and over, and over again.

Therefore, the body will respond by having short, tight muscles that can respond to over, and over, and over again patterns.

This may seem fine, and the promise of a “ballerina body” is appealing to many women.

But if you take that body outside, or try to play a sport or do a more dynamic activity, your body hasn’t been trained well for that and that’s where pain and injury start to show up. So we say Barre is functional for Barre, but not for life.

3. CrossFit

When you do CrossFit, you’re training your body to lift heavy weights in single plane motion patterns as fast as possible. What I mean by single plane is that the body was designed to move in three planes of motion (forward and back, side to side and rotational.) CrossFit and of today’s bootcamp training is predominantly training you to move front to back or up and down. That’s the sagittal plane.

Just focusing on one plane means you’re missing out on 66% of the body’s movement potential, leaving your body at risk. Inevitably your body can’t manage it, so it collapses and breaks.

The result is CrossFit is functional for CrossFit workouts and the CrossFit Games, but when you try to do other movements like an endurance run or lifting heavy boxes overhead in rotation, your body is unlikely to be successful because it hasn’t been trained for that.

4. Running

If you love competing in marathons or just getting runner’s high after a long run, then chances are high your training includes a lot of running and not much else.

When you train yourself to run, you train yourself to run in a straight line for the most part on a very constant, sustainable pace. Your body will learn that range of motion and that pace. You try to break that pace, it doesn’t like it, so it revolts.

Running is functional for running. If you find yourself playing tennis or picking up your toddler, you may strain or struggle to increase your range of motion. Why? You’ve trained to control a limited range of motion to have maximum control over your running stride.

5. 3D Functional Training

If you train your body to do multi-plane of motions, strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular and through different heights, and variabilities, and different environments, you’re training your body to be successful in all these motion patterns.

This is the style we use and it includes all three planes of motion, focuses on full body movements and is designed to imitate daily movement patterns we need to master in our lives to live socially active lives.

In our training we design each workout to strategically move you through a mix of strength and cardiovascular workouts that are full body, multi-directional and incorporate play because it’s engaging and fun.

We also invested a ton of money and time into our coaching staff to be able to tailor each workout to the members’ goals. For example, I may have 5 athletes in my workout, I know two are runners, one loves yoga, the other is a busy mom, another is a stressed out CEO who sits over 40 hours per week. I show them the same workout but I am armed with modifications to uniquely cater to each person’s capabilities, mindset and goals. Only highly trained coaches can do this for so many athletes at once. It’s the secret sauce to our training experience. 

This kind of training allows us to help athletes do more of the activities they love outside the gym. Believe it or not, we also prefer sunlight to fluorescent lights. We build workouts to set our athletes up for success for all the range of adventures and activities they love doing. We believe just loving the workouts isn’t what people really want, it’s loving that their body can do whatever they want, when they want to. With that end in mind, the training looks vastly different.

The Bottomline

The #1 thing to know about exercise is whatever you train your body to do, you are training it to do it better.

No matter if it is better or worse for it, it will do it. The scary thing is you could be training your body to be less healthy, less capable, less agile and this will set you up for more injuries, more falls, and more disappointments.

So be intentional with the style of training you chose. It’s not good enough to make workouts hard, your training has to be smart. 

Our Advice

The best advice we can give you is to train your body to do everything you want to do in your life. Train with the end in mind. A lot of people get sucked into training programs because of friends or convenience and never reach the goals they have. Don’t sell yourself short.

Train with the functionality of what you actually want your body to do most of the time. Make sure the program you pick can offer that. If not you’ll end up spending a lot of time and money investing in a style of movement that doesn’t actually improve your quality of life. Life is too short for that.

There you have it – “The #1 Thing You Need to Know about Exercising”.

I hope this article helps clarify your goals in fitness and what style of training will ACTUALLY help train your body to be successful in the activities you love doing or want to start doing.

So, if you’re serious about wanting to get into shape and get adventure ready, I want to offer you a limited offer to explore 3D functional training. It’s quite honestly something that’s better felt to evaluate. If you are serious about your health, this is the best way to get started with NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

We normally offer new guests promotions around $99 to get started, so I’m not sure how long we’re going to offer two weeks for $50. It’s one of our best deals of the year. There is no better time to start.

Click Here to Claim Your 2 Weeks of Unlimited Group Training at Gymnazo for ONLY $50

Have a great day!

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