Yesterday I had someone ask me how much I bench press. My answer, “I have no idea”. The lady that asked me this was shocked by my answer. She could not believe that I do not know how much I can bench press. Don’t all personal trainers and fitness competitors know how much they can bench press?
A few days earlier a client challenged me to high box jumps. I did not take the challenge and I love a challenge. Those that know me well know that I am extremely competitive.
Recently at a local ladies social club we played the get to know you game called “2 Truths and a Lie”. Each person tells the group 2 things that are true and one thing that is a lie. Everyone tries to guess which one is the lie. My lie was that “I love to run”. No one in the room guessed the lie. One of my truths was that I love Pizza. The group thought that was the lie. As a fitness professional, how could I not love to run and surely I wouldn’t have anything other than chicken and broccoli in my diet. Right?
Why don’t I run, do high box jumps, or know what I can bench press? It all comes down to Risk vs. Reward for me. My goal is to get the most reward from my exercise with the least amount of risk. Maybe you could call me a lazy exerciser. I want to do the least amount possible and get the most results possible. And I want to keep my body feeling the best possible and injury free. Every injury cannot be avoided. We can get injured doing just about anything. However, I am a safety girl and I want to do everything possible to avoid big setbacks. I know that slow and consistent progress is much better than going full speed ahead and having a major setback.
When I am exercising I believe in working my muscles and taking them to failure or almost failure. However, I have no need to ever “max” out on an exercise to do this. I want to be able to listen to my body during my workouts and know if something is feeling tight or strained so I can adjust accordingly.
Running – First of all it hurts my joints so I avoid it. There are other ways to accomplish what I want cardiovascular wise without aggravating my joints. The avid runners reading this are screaming right now. I know many people love running and if it feels great for your body then I say go for it. However, if you are feeling little aches and pains you should definitely listen to your body and make adjustments. Ignoring a pain will not make it go away. Pushing through sounds great in theory but not when it comes to joint issues it is asking for an injury.
Box Jumps – It is not just box jumps that I avoid. There are tons of “risky” exercises posted on the internet daily. You can insert any of those exercises here. Box jumps are pretty popular right now. If they work for you and you love them by all means jump away. For me personally, I do not like the risk of missing my jump once my legs get tired and having an injury/setback. There are other ways for me to strengthen my lower half and get my heart rate up that involve little to no risk. If I feel the need to jump around I can more safely add weight to a plyo squat to kick and get a heck of a leg and cardiovascular workout while keep it safer.
Exercise/Eating Balance – When it comes to exercise my goal is to do as little possible and still get the results that I want. Shocker! By balancing my food (not eating pizza more than 1 x/week) and my workouts with strength training and yes unfortunately some cardio my body performs at optimal levels. I am even able to compete as a Pro Figure Competitor with no maxing out, no running (unless I am being chased), and no box jumps.
My philosophy is very off trend right now in the world of let’s see how high we can kick up the intensity and what kind of crazy exercises we can do. I work with ladies of all ages from teenagers up to 70 somethings. Many ladies come to me with some type of joint issues. I show these women and a few men how to still get a great workout while working with or around those joint issues. Exercise is something we should be able to do for a lifetime. Because I only get this one body I want it to carry me as long as I need it.
My exercise motto: Keep it Simple, Keep it Safe & Keep Progressing.