Think about this… the U.S. has become the most obese country on the planet, yet we spend the most amount of money on weightloss and fitness products and supplements! If there were a pill or packaged meal that actually worked to get you a perfect body, we’d all have one! The fact of the matter is that there is no substitute for exercise. The amount of effort put in, is equal to the results obtained. Period.
When watching people “workout” in the gym, I can’t help by think that poor gym habits, inexperience, and lack of motivation are a major factor in this obesity epidemic we’re facing. You go to the gym to workout… so do it!
Newsflash people, the 3-4 hours a week you spend in the gym are not what determines how your body looks! It’s the other 165 hours in the week that do!
Having said that, I need to address a couple of my Personal Trainer Pet Peeves.
1. This isn’t happy hour. It’s one thing to be friendly with your fellow gym goers and exchange polite greetings when you see each other, it’s quite another thing to spend 15 minutes discussing the Presidential Campaign or your kids soccer team playoffs. In that 15 minutes you could have burned 100 calories. If you’re at the gym. Workout!
2. Waiting for machines. When I see someone just standing there waiting to get on a machine, I feel like snapping a resistance band upside their head! REALLY?! Unless you belong to a gym that only offers one machine for everybody… get your butt moving. I watched a girl stand in one place for 10 minutes the other day waiting to get on her machine. When she did, she was done in less than 5 minutes! So does that count as 15 minutes of workout out? Run in place, walk around the track, stretch, jump on a bike… do something besides sit or stand around!
3. Working in. This goes along with my point above. When someone asks me or my client if they can work in on our machine, I’d rather just let them have it and come back to it. 90% of effective training is the mind-body connection. You need to concentrate on the muscles your’re training and the movement of the exercise. You can’t do that when someone is standing and staring at you, or you have to readjust the seats and weights every time you rest.
4. Time yourself. Seriously. Take a stop watch with you, or use the timer setting on your phone or iPod and keep track of how much time you’re actually exercising when you’re at the gym. The clock starts when you start your first rep, and stops when you finish. Don’t count the resting time, the socializing, or waiting on equipment. I’ve found that the average person spends less about 1/4 of their total time working out on actual exercise.
5. Say NO to camel toe! I don’t believe you need to have a name Brand workout “outfit” when you go to the gym. I don’t care if you’re in pajamas, as long as you’re exercising. Ladies let’s pay attention to what’s going on down in that va jay jay region. If it looks like you’re squeezing a pair of swim floaties in your crotch, that’s a sign you’re shorts are a bit too tight! And guys… spandex biking shorts were invented to make you more aero-dynamic. Unless that elliptical machine or weight bench is sailing down the street at 6 MPH, they’re doing nothing for you. We don’t need to see your little roll of breath mints around the gym. Lastly, your triple velco strapped weight lifting gloves aren’t fooling anyone. If you can’t see your toes when you’re looking down in the shower… you don’t need to be wearing bodybuilding gloves!
6. Count in your head. This is one of the biggest pet peeves of mine personally. If I’m doing 60 second ab planks and you start counting your reps out loud, what do you think that does to my concentration? I get it, it’s sort of a self motivational thing, but you’re in a public gym not your living room. Count off in your head.
7. Watch the fittest people in the gym. Granted they may not be performing their exercises properly necessarily, but you are what you eat… and in the gym you are what you do. The most ripped up guys aren’t spending hours doing cardio or weighting for machines, they’re lifting weights. The women with the most fit bodies aren’t standing around chit chatting, they’re working up a sweat. Keep your focus and go to the gym to get exercise. Go hard or go home!
8. The Un-Personal Trainers. First of all, if you’re 30 pounds overweight or out of shape, I don’t care how big the Personal Trainer logo is on your shirt, you shouldn’t be a trainer. You are in the Fitness industry. Your body IS your business card. How effective is your advice or experience if you’re out of shape yourself? And if you do have the knowledge, you clearly lack the self discipline and self motivation to put that knowledge to practice. In addition, when my clients pay me per hour to work them out, I WORK THEM OUT! Just yesterday I was in the weight room working out and watched a “personal training session” in progress. The entire time her client was doing her lateral shoulder raises workout, the personal trainer was giving a play by play account of her latest acting audition! The client’s form was completely off, and I’d be surprised if she wasn’t causing injury or muscle spasms. Here’s a Personal Training Tip – You’re not there to keep the client company, you’re there to help them reach their fitness goals. Pay attention!
Phew… thanks for letting me vent! I pursued a career in the Health and Fitness Industry because I have a passion for it personally, but also because I enjoy helping people realize their goals. Lot’s of people can’t afford to have a personal trainer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same results! Stay focused when you go to gym, have a structured workout ready to go, and have a plan B in mind if they gym’s too crowded or you get pushed off course. Remember you’re there to workout. What you put into it determines what you get out of it.
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