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12 Days of Fitness 2011 – Day 1: The Wrong Workout

December 12, 2011 0 Comments

fitness-faux-pas-workouts-wrong-how-to-fix(This is Part 1 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful fitness tips over the holiday season)

Some might see that statement and wonder how any workout could be wrong.  Isn’t any workout better than nothing? Others might say no workout could be wrong because theirs is the best. Well let me assure you. If the workouts you’re doing are not getting you the results you want, or worse, injured you are doing the wrong workout. In this day and age where we’re always looking for the newest and quickest way to get from point A to point B, most are blinded by ridiculous claims and methods of exercise to what true fitness is all about and how it is obtained.

Must “Not-See” TV

In a series of posts I did earlier this year, I examined 10 pieces of exercise equipment that are sold via the infomercials on late night and weekend TV. In the next few weeks there will be a flood of these ads peddling everything from ab blasters to videos promoting muscle “chaos”.  The take home message: you’ve been wasting your time – this is your solution. Wrong!

Reality TV has become the joke of humanity and no subject is free and clear, including exercise.  The Biggest Loser, while a positive in that it shows overweight individuals can indeed lose weight, is a misleading, unrealistic, unhealthy, and unsafe approach to exercise.  What’s more, every “expert” thinks they are the gods of weight loss leading the masses on more misleading, but profit building products.

Local and network news, because they generally report on the previous two, become the beacon of enlightenment for those who might have missed or ignored them. After all if it’s on the news, it must be truth.  The end result of all this propaganda: weight epidemic that grows each year

The Right Exercise

The answer here is really simple. Doing the right exercise depends on what you want to accomplish. And no, just because you’re exercising doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing. As someone who has spent a lot of time in gyms and health clubs, I can guarantee you that 90% of the people in there are doing the wrong thing. Sure, they’re there and not sitting on the couch, but most of what they’re doing is sweating (may be); grunting (wastefully); going through the motions (assuredly); happy to boast that they go to a gym (it’s somewhere other than home or work). So what are they doing?  Following something they saw in a magazine; mirroring what they saw in a video series; adhering to popular belief, myth, and/or fad; doing what worked for them 20 years ago.  The result? Frustration, poor adherence, Perhaps you know someone that explains perfectly….or may be it’s you.

Doing What’s Right

The majority of today’s workforce is seated for most of their day, resulting in tight hip flexors, tightened pecs from rounded shoulders, atrophied glutes and low back muscles, weak abs, and short biceps. This is due to the posture adopted while seated. This is also why so many suffer from back and neck pain. So as a great start, your objective with exercise should be to reverse the effects of hours of seated posture, not magnify it.  Strengthen the muscles that keep our shoulders back, not the ones that pull them forward; strengthen the core muscles in all directions; stretch the hip flexors and strengthen the hip extensors; perform ALL exercises through the full range of motion. Perform cardio exercises moderately with mixed intervals of intensity, and most of all consistently. One of the goals of any exercise program should be to reverse the effects of aging and poor lifestyle mechanics, not reinforce them. Don’t lift the world if the foundation isn’t there, and don’t run the marathon from the couch.

See you tomorrow for Day 2 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

 

 

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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