As a fitness instructor I see so many people desperate to get in shape who take the approach ‘the harder the better’. All they want is to get sweaty, sore and tired super fast. Being drenched in sweat and unable to move for days after the workout gives them a sense of achievement. Sadly this attitude is extremely dangerous. In my daily work I see clients complain about lower-intensity workouts, that they aren’t tough enough yet they are unable to perform any given exercise correctly. What is the reason for that?
Desperate to Get in Shape
First of all many people, especially beginners, have little awareness of their own body and movements. What do I mean? For example, when I say ‘chest parallel to the floor’, most clients only bend down a few inches and reach nowehere near the correct position. That’s why it is crucial to learn basic exercises and movements first, before you add dynamic combinations, speed and music coordination to your training.
Second, but perhaps most important, CORE! It’s very common that we have a weak CORE which makes us unable to perform exercises without damaging our spine, joints etc. Sedentary jobs and lack of proper training cause the core muscles to become weak and the other muscles, the more superficial ‘vanity muscles’ take over. For instance, if the multifidus is weak our spine erectors take over, become overly strong and tense and in time cause massive problems and back pain. The pelvic floor muscles, on the other hand, are responsible for holding our organs and weak ones can cause incontinence and even a dropped uterus.
It happens often that, in hope of getting in shape quickly new moms or overweight clients come to these high-intensity, high-impact classes. It is, in fact a huge mistake, because without a solid core you will most likely injure yourself. The trampoline classes involve multiple repetitions of movements which performed incorrectly and without the proper use of deep core muscles will most likely cause more harm than good.
Same goes for pole fitness. It is advertised everywhere as perfect for beginners and I strongly oppose to this! I went to a pole fitness class, around 15 kg or 35 lbs overweight, weak core, no upper body strength and not only was I not able to do much on the pole, I also injured my wrist. When your muscles are weak it’s your joints and bones that take a beating!
So What Should I Do to Lose Weight and Get Fit?
First of all, be patient. You won’t get results overnight, period. No matter how hardcore your workouts are: CROSSFIT, pole, trampolines… the key is patience and consistency. Start with Pilates or CORE classes. I can’t stress this enough. Pilates has elements of strengthening the core and other muscles, teaches you about your body and breathing and prepares you for more intense workout. You may want to consider slow controlled weight training to gain some muscle strength before you get into the intense, fast paced workouts.