Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I can only show you the door, your the one who has to walk through it"

The title of this blog is from the movie "The Matrix". At one point during the movie Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) says this to Neo (Keanu Reeves) to try to get him to realize that no matter how much he teaches him, and no matter what the Oracle (Gloria Foster) says to him, everything that he can and will accomplish will be by his own beliefs......his own efforts, and nothing more.

In the world of health & fitness......more specifically personal training, the personal trainers are playing the role of Morpheus while the clients are playing the role of Neo....so to speak. As a trainer, i can create programs, make assessments, help define goals, make dietary recommendations, send motivational text messages and e-mails etc. But ultimately, the power to change comes from within. Making changes to improve a persons health, performance, physique, and self confidence doesn't happen by accident. It's a belief in yourself that you can be motivated to put in the work and the time necessary to make the changes you are striving for. And, it doesn't happen over night. For most of the population, becoming unhealthy and unhappy with themselves occurred slowly over a period of years......sometimes many years. So, to think that an individual is going to make drastic changes over the course of a few weeks isn't very realistic.

It takes hard work.......consistent hard work, discipline, and perseverance for sustained period of time. I too often see members, who's intentions are good, just going through the motions, or disappearing from the club for a couple of weeks here, and a couple of weeks there. To make change it takes EFFORT! It's black and white.....there is no gray area.

Even with the aid of a personal trainer, it's still up to the client themselves to do the work necessary to achieve their goals. There are 168 hours in a week. Generally clients meet with their trainers one hour per week. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. but, that still leaves 167 hours that the client has to be self reliant, and self resilient. Meeting with a trainer, and then having a beer and a pizza on the way home from the gym is not the best way to get results. Or, meeting with a trainer, and not doing a bit of exercise until the next session with the trainer... which isn't until the following week isn't going to cut it either.

Once you have defined what your goals are, ask yourself this: Am i ready to open the door?

My hope is that your ready to break the door down!

Scott Fleurant

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daniel-san, first learn BALANCE, then learn punch!!

If you have ever seen "The Karate Kid" you may remember Mr. Miyagi saying the title of this blog to Daniel-san. Well, the balance I'm referring to is not the kind of balance found in martial arts, but balance in the overall development of one's physique in order to improve performance, aesthetics, and to reduce injury.

Too many times i see people exercising in a manner that's to focused on specific muscles while others are neglected. A couple of good examples of this are the guys you see with fantastic upper body development, with legs like twigs. It's to the point they have to wear long pants on a 90 degree day. Or, the person with great pec (chest) development with little in the way of any back development........only training the muscles they see.

When setting up your program, be conscious of the balance of training your body in a manner that's 'balanced" from top to bottom, front to back, and side to side.

If the pecs are over developed in relation the traps and back, there will be a tendency for the shoulders to round forward. If the abs are trained constantly, but no attention is paid the the low back.....low back pain could be in your future. Too much force generated by well developed quads without strong hamstrings to balance that force out could be a knee injury waiting to happen.

Athletically, if all training is done in a linear (straight line) manner without anything being done side to side (laterally), if nothing is done in a rotational manner, or everything is done bi-lateral (both legs at the same time) vs uni-lateral (one leg at a time) the benefits of your training program in hope of improving your performance will be reduced.

Some body parts are not always fun to train, and some exercises are not always fun to do, but if you remember to maintain "balance" in your training program it will help give your results the "punch" you're looking for.

Scott Fleurant ACE - CPT