When making the decision to get in better shape, the first question often asked is, "What am I going to do?" With fitness, many expect immediate and spectacular results. Searching for the answer to that question leads people to do stupid things because they are usually drawn to the quicker, cheaper options over the better, long-term solution. The habitual dieter never has time to do it right the first time, but they always have the time and the money to do it again. In his book Start with Why?, author Simon Sinek believes that a better question is: Why?
As a fitness professional, my job is to find out why a particular goal is important to a client. Your why can be noble, like the client who wants to be a better example for their children. Or your why can be vain and that is ok. But realize that a vain goal will be more easily forgotten when the going gets tough. If you look a little deeper into the reason why you are doing something, motivation will last longer. Your why can have something to do with the person you want to become.
Another function as a coach is to explain the reasons (the whys) behind the movements chosen to achieve the goal. If you believe as we do at Wah Lum FIT, that our bodies are a big, rolled up bag of tissue; then to borrow from Coach Mike Boyle, we will work on tissue quality, tissue length, tissue temperature, tissue strength, and tissue tolerance. We do that with foam-rolling, stretching, warming up, lifting, and conditioning. Doing the right things consistently over a long period of time is the key to success.
Why don't we choose other training modalities like the ones designed to make you puke during the session, or extremely sore after? You know the type designed to look like fitness versions of Navy SEAL training? One problem with this type of training for the average working adult is mixing exhaustion with highly complex skilled movements. And trying to beat the clock. Complex motor skills degrade with exhaustion and this is a prescription for injury. The crazy thing is that after an injury from a bad program, many can't wait to get better in order to do the same training that got them injured in the first place. It's like burning your hand on the stove and saying, "I can't wait until these blisters heal so I can put my hand back on the stove!"
Here is something that we put a lot of value in at Control Your Health: hard work. We support hard work and believe that you should have to do hard things sometimes and test limits. But most of the time we just need to be active. There is a minimal effective dose necessary to be healthy. Responsible training doesn't mean a lack of intensity; it just means you are smart. Coach Dan John says that the origin of FIT comes from the old Nordic that means knit (probably from Middle Dutch vitten; related to Old Norse fitja to knit). As in "to knit a scarf". If you are going in for your second shoulder or knee surgery; I don't care if you have six-pack abs, you are not a well-knitted person. We believe you can be healthy at 70 or 80 or 90 and not have a sick, broken body with a handful of memories about the glory days.
Here is a great and simple way to check if you are knitted together well.
Do a Get-up on each side. No weight necessary. Pay attention to your body. Go slow and controlled. Once you get the movement down without a weight, repeat... a lot. Then start adding weight.
Now back to the lesson learned from Sinek's Start With Why? After reading the book we decided that Control Your Health doesn't compete against other fitness studios. We show up simply to be better than ourselves. Paraphrasing from the book:
Are we better than our competition? Well, we don't know who they all are and we aren't better than them in all cases. But if you believe what we believe, and you believe the things we do can help you, then yes we are better. If you don't believe that, then we are not better. Why should you come and train here then? Because the work we are doing now is better than the work we did six months ago. And the work we will be doing six months from now will be better than the work we are doing today. For no other reason than to be better than we started. Because we wake up every day with a sense of WHY we come to work. We come to work to inspire clients to do things that inspire them. Our clients stand shoulder to shoulder with us in pursuit of the same goal.
At Control Your Health, our first priority is to do no harm. Then we make sure you are moving better and feeling better. This will make you stronger, allow to reach your fitness goals, and help take control of your health for life. So when you are 90 years old and get home from your daily training session you can relax, finish knitting that nice scarf and think about why you started your fitness journey.