Reality Check with Coach Bob
In any hobby or lifestyle change, there is always that hard decision of when to start and how to best do it. Nine times out of ten, my response would be “jump right in it, head first”. When specifically talking about dieting or removing “vices” from your life, RIGHT NOW is the right time; procrastination will only hurt you. But, when talking about a workout program, or even just an athletic lifestyle, I would say almost the opposite. When it comes to lifting or cardio, I personally believe that a person has to gradually taper in to it.
Everyone wants to be fit. Even if they are not doing anything about it, they want it. The fear, like most other major changes in life, comes from the question of where to begin. I have seen many people hit the ground running, but notice that they lose steam after a couple of weeks because they get hurt, or lose their motivation because they are not seeing results. One challenge I have constantly seen while training others is that they simply are not lifting heavy enough, or (conversely) they are doing outrageous workouts (i.e. things for time, things for rounds, things for reps). A novice can’t expect to be at or near the same level of conditioning as someone who has been training regularly for some time, nor should he or she be doing high volume/high weight on anything, as it will only cause an injury. I am a huge believer in muscle memory, and always focus on perfect form before any strenuous weight is used.
My reason for writing this (while hitting many tangents) is that it is extremely difficult to get someone started and keep them involved in a program. Well, most of the time. I keep hearing about these CrossFit classes that guy and girls will do, with little to no lifting experience at all. I have found it difficult to advise them that it may not be the best choice to start the “athletic lifestyle” with a paleo diet and 100 reps of clean and press for time; SO, I will voice my opinion but I have the fear that someone could get discouraged and give up before they begin. Nothing about 3 sets on squats, lunges, calf raises and then machines seems as fun as doing a group lift with “people just like you.” I am not against CrossFit, but I am against Matt Wilson (random name for the remainder of article) jumping into a high-rep multijoint workout for time with zero background in lifting. How is he going to know what’s right from wrong? Clearly a good coach would not let anything happen that could cause injury, but without 1 on 1 training, bad habits like improper motor patterns and poor form are sure to develop.
So now we have Matt with his hopes high because he is changing his life around, but we can see he is doing things wrong (rolling shoulders, kipping curls, rounding out back and so on), and mentioning it could set him back to ground zero. How does a person fix the issues while still encouraging the lifestyle?
The type-A personalities will see it as a challenge and strive, but what about the type B?
I knew a girl who was overweight and wanted to become fit, and was willing to do just about anything for it: supplements, starvation, killing herself with cardio, and the like. She was so surprised when I bought her a jump rope and told her to contact me in a month. The only rules were: an ice bath (on shins) every night after she did prescribed number of jumps (1000 jumps a day per week, 2000 next and so on). I told her so not eat “shit food”, and that was it.
She lost weight so fast and kept at it, slowly getting into a gym routine later on. She now looks seriously gorgeous, but it started with a jump rope and one simple thing.
That was a success in my book.
If a $10 jump rope can make an impact like that, how can I convince Matt that he doesn’t need some crazy 2-a-day program with $200 of supplements, he just needs to be dedicated?
There is alot of open ended questions and statements, with tangents left and right but how do you guys respond to someone getting in to “it.”
I’m drunk and typed all of that. #merica