What is the difference between being active and training?
There are five key points to identifying the difference between an activity and legitimate training program. How does your program stack up?
- Balance. Your program should address all areas of the body equally: top and bottom, front and back and side to side.
- Range of Motion. Each muscle of the body should be trained in a full, but safe, range of motion.
- Intensity. If the program isn’t hard, it won’t be effective. This is indicated by a heartrate of 90% or greater, sweat, heavy breathing and some discomfort both during and after training.
- Adjusts to the Individual. Does each participant have the opportunity to train at their highest level?
- Safety. Exercise, contrary to a popular chain, is NOT a game. Preventable injuries are not acceptable.
There are very few programs and methods of training that contain all five of these key indicators.
Let’s take a look at some popular methods of training and how they stack up.
Running: Only one muscle, the calves, are used to a full range of motion. If running solo, it adjusts to the individual otherwise, it does not. It may or may not reach ideal intensity. Safety is not an easy answer as 85% of runners who successfully completed a recent NYC Marathon reported training related injuries. Running is considered by many podiatrists as an activity that produces significant wear and tear. Each pound of weight equals four pounds of pressure on the body while running.
Yoga. Definitely has a range of motion…sometimes excessive. Safety generally isn’t an issue, but it fails at intensity and challenging all areas of the body equally. A smart yoga program is brilliant for flexibility but contrary to the claims, does not provide functional strength and significant cardiovascular benefits.
Dance/Choreographed Classes. Safety would be the best attribute, but they fail at the other four. The students’ goal is to match the instructor, making it highly likely that they would be over or underwhelmed with the pace. You cannot train all areas of the body equally or with a full range of motion while dancing to the latest beat.
Weightlifting Games definitely are intense and can adjust to the individual, but you need to evaluate each program with a critical eye. Many HIIT programs are unbalanced, follow the wrong sequence of training, or ask for extreme ranges of movement. One even has the dubious distinction of the worst safety record in fitness and lifting techniques that can be exceptionally dangerous. Their “coaches” have frequently stated publicly that, “Injuries are a part of any sport.” That is totally unacceptable. Your health is not a game.
It’s time to take a hard look at your training program. See how it measures up. If it doesn’t, find one that hits the mark or you are wasting your time and money. Shark Fitness has an impeccable safety record with 21 years of training inside, outside and in a wide range of environmental conditions all while producing optimal results and adhering to the five key points every single class.
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