Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Have you ever gone the cheap route when purchasing something only to later realize the quality was lacking and you actually had to go back and buy another one?  That’s exactly what I’m talking about in today’s blog about doing what you are doing right the first time. If you have questions about how you can keep progressing rather than taking one step forward and three step back, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

Recently, I had a chance to vacation in the mountains. I saw thrilled about it. We went to go hiking on a trail with some serious elevation gain.  It proved to be quite challenging.  The trail also had a lot of switchbacks (zig-zags up the mountain to reduce the elevation gain over the course of so many yards). There were other parts where the trail just followed the face of the mountain straight up.  Shorter pathway, but whoo that was intense.

I was climbing the trail and realized that a lot of people view their health. Some people prefer to take the longer route. Slow and steady like a switchback. It will get you where you’d like to be, eventually, but until then you get to enjoy the experience while gaining in intensity slowly overtime.  Others like to choose to go on the shorter path (shortest distance between points A and B is a straight line, right?).  It looks challenging, but what the heck, let’s get it over with like the face climbs.  This would be similar to crash dieting where you start one, finish, then do it again.  You feel like you took the short path that you thought would get you where you wanted to be, but in actuality you got way off track. You went through the diet and now you’re gorging yourself on potato chips so you have to start back over.

The mountain face climbs do not seem like the best approach if your ultimate goal is health and fitness. It’s hard to reach a specific goal if you are having to backtrack all the time. There’s not a lot of point in putting work in, in the first place if you’re going to have to redo your efforts again later. I don’t mean that to discourage you. I say that to encourage you to find the right path for you the first time.

The key to success is tapping into the approaches to fitness and health that have been proven to work time and time again. They require a bit more effort. The require a little bit more time. But in the end, they are well worth the work.

I’ve been a personal trainer in Amarillo for a while now and lately I was needing a little help upping my game, so I participated in a 12 month coaching program.  The entire first week, the mentors were telling us “it will take you the whole 12 months to reach this goal. It will be a journey. You aren’t going to see success until this is over. Progress, sure, but success has to unveiled.”  What a great way to wrap your mind around a delayed goal in a world full of instant gratification. Too often, we go into new situations and expect our results to appear in 3 weeks or 6 weeks. If we are going from A to B, it’s not going to happen overnight.

At Custom Fitness we typically have clients who will try us out for 3 months. We know that at 12 weeks they will already have some results start to peek through. Granted, this may not be their end goal, but by the 3 month mark, we know that they have learned how to make this a lifestyle change and they have learned how to approach fitness as a slow and steady change. They have already experienced results in the first couple of weeks. That is intentionally on the trainers part to foster motivation and the client’s commitment to their goal. We don’t do this through crash dieting, or putting them on a mountain face and asking them to summit. Instead, we teach them better behaviors. Choice by choice clients begin to notice their bodies changing. They are sleeping better, they have more energy, and some cases have been able to reduce certain medications! We are working with one woman who has stuck it out with us for a month and she now can take less of her diabetes medication because of the way her body is responding to our program. That’s really exciting.  

We use actual food. Actual exercise. We ask clients to put their effort in, so you have some skin in the game. You can be told all day long to do this or that, but it is not until you decide what you will do that something actually happens.

Next time you have a choice between the slow and steady incline or the dramatic jump, think twice.  Remember there is no point in cheaping out if you’re just going to be doing the same thing again in a few weeks (Einstein’s definition of insanity, anyone?). Make sure that what you do is a lifestyle change not temporary activity.  Find the path that is best for you through proven methods.

Today I have two unilateral technique based exercises for you.  If you go to the gym and you are using both legs or both arms to perform an exercise that is called a bilateral movement.  Rarely do people think they need to do unilateral training. As you use these types of exercises, you are going to strengthen areas you often overlook when doing bilateral training.  For example, think of the machine shoulder press. If I sit on a machine with equal weights on both sides and I suddenly look to the right.  All of my effort is going to be coming from my right arm. My left arm will just be along for the ride.  If you use a unilateral exercise, you don’t have the option for one side of your body to be lazy.  

So, first exercise is a side lunge with an overhead press. In this exercise you have one arm and one leg working. The core and your opposite leg are stabilizing. Grab a dumbbell and begin with toes together. Step out to the side with your toes and knees facing forward and your core engaged. Sit your hips back, tap the weight to the ground (or as close as you can get it). Bring your feet back together, lift the knee that just stepped out and raise your weight to the ceiling.

Now for the overhead pass you begin by having one leg extended to the front or side with the foot off the ground. To modify, you can put either the toes or the heel down on the ground, but not both. Don’t put any weight on the leg that is out front or to the side. Keep all of your weight in the leg that is stabilizing you. Grab your dumbbell and come into an arm curl position. Press the weight up in one hand while the other hand reaches for the sky, pass the weight to your other arm, and bring both arms back down. This will cause your core to activate because you are offsetting your balance. Keeping the dumbbell in the same hand you just finished, press it up, switch sides and down. You can go for X amount of seconds or X amount of reps per leg.

Two great exercises to try out this week during your routine. Leave us a comment to let us know how they go.  If you are interested in learning more about the slow and steady path to a lasting lifestyle change with real results, that’s what our team is here for. Give us a call at 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.