How to train wisely Part II
Following part I, let’s dive into how you can take responsibility for your own training, even whilst not knowing much about it all. Because yes, you are responsible for your own training. You are not only responsible for what you do with your body, but also who you allow to be your trainer, what form of training you choose and what environment you place yourself in.
So often I come into classes where the trainers are hardly correcting people, where workouts are just being made up randomly and aren’t thought through to serve the bodies in the class. Now this again isn’t to say that they are bad trainers or bad people, I truly believe most trainers do their very best from their point of view and the knowledge and training they have had.
But still, you might come into a class or have a trainer, which isn’t offering what you need or doesn’t meet your standards. Or where you leave feeling a bit disappointed, things just felt ‘off’ or your body tells you that the exercises weren’t the best idea for you. Before we look at how to choose the right trainer or class for YOU, let’s look at what comes before that. How do you choose what form of training to do?
I say: try things out. Follow your curiosity. Always wanted to try belly dancing? Go for it! Like being out in nature? Go for a run. Interested in lifting weights? Hit the gym. Not sure whether to go by yourself, with a buddy, a personal trainer or join a course or class? TRY THEM ALL OUT! And this also goes for the time of your workout. Are you a morning person or do you prefer to train in the evening? You want to workout at the time of day where your energy is the highest in combination of how it fits your lifestyle.
The most important thing is that you enjoy what you do. You will be way more likely to stick to it; the results will be better and time flies when you’re having fun. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether the type of training is something for you:
Are you excited to go beforehand? Or are you feeling it is a ‘have to’?
How do you feel during the workout?
What thoughts were going through your head?
Are you able to lose track of time or are you counting the minutes for it to finish?
How does your body feel? Stressed or being challenged in a good way? Flowing through and excited?
How does your body feel immediately after? And a few hours, a day, 3 days later? Does it give you a feeling of ‘thank you’?
What emotions are you feeling after the workout? A joyful burst of energy or relieved and you couldn’t wait to get out of there?
A few days later, are you looking forward to doing it again and become better at whatever you were doing?
These questions help you determine whether a certain type of exercise is working FOR you. Even if you’ve been doing the same thing for years, work through them and see if it’s time to switch things up.
Now if any of the answers are ‘negative’, this doesn’t mean that workout isn’t for you. Being uncomfortable trying something new is completely normal. And so is being insecure and freaked out in a new environment, or around new people. Have a good look at WHY you are feeling or thinking the way you are before really deciding it’s a yes or no. Give something a few tries; don’t decide after only going once.
Now, let’s look at the quality of your training. How do you know whether your yoga class is the right one for you? Or your personal trainer a right fit? These are general questions to help you figure this out:
Is your trainer giving options to modify exercises?
Is he or she clear in their instructions?
Do you feel like they know what they are talking about and are they able to explain why they choose the exercises?
Do you feel like they come prepared?
Is he or she attentive, gives positive energy and do you leave feeling better than when you came in?
Are they giving encouraging corrections to help people improve and train safely?
Do they also focus on the quality and technique of the execution of the exercises?
Do they ask about injuries in the beginning of class?
Do you trust your trainer? Do you feel safe and guided, yet challenged and working hard?
Then lastly, when you are in a training session and your body is telling you something isn’t working, stop doing it. Find an alternative that does work for your body and be unapologetic about it. Choose YOU, instead of following the crowd in fear of being ‘different’ or being judged. Because everyone is there for their own workout, no one really cares about what you do, as long as it is serving your body and you are working to become the very best version of yourself. You might even inspire someone else and empower him or her along the way! We as trainers merely give you suggestions on what we believe is the right exercise at that given moment, however we can’t feel what you feel in your body. So we much rather see you switching it up whenever you need to or ask us for an alternative than you leaving unhappy or even worse.. injured.
So let’s bring more awareness to our training and higher our standards around the quality of the what, how and who we allow to train us. You only have one body and it’s a magical gift that deserves to be treated with the most love, care and respect!