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The Difference is RESULTS

Because I SAID So…

The Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) principle, also known as the law of specificity, states that our bodies will adapt specifically to the stresses we regularly place on them. With this basic principle of training we know that in order to improve a certain component of physical fitness, we must train specifically for that component. For example, exercises for strength may do little to improve flexibility, and exercises designed to improve the endurance of arm muscles may do little for the legs. The principle applies to muscle groups, movement patterns, and type of contraction. This is the concept behind cross training; doing a variety of modes of exercise. The best illustration of the SAID principle is seeing it in reverse. The law of reversibility is the opposite of the law of specificity. If we are not training regularly, there is no need for our bodies to adapt. You’ve heard the saying “if you do not use it, you lose it.” Observe the atrophy of muscle of someone with a broken arm or leg once the cast has been removed. If not used, we lose the muscle and the resulting functional ability. I’m often amazed at witnessing this as people age. A very good illustration of the SAID principle is to observe older adults that get very little activity and began to lose functional ability in activities of daily living we take for granted. This process is often blamed on the ‘aging process’ but is in reality the SAID principle in reverse. Our bodies will not allow us to have abilities that we do not regularly and progressively perform.

The SAID principle correlates closely with the progressive overload principle. If you want to improve in those activities you need to perform them at a progressively more intense level as your muscles adapt. An example being if you want to be a better runner, you need to run. If you want to be a better biker you need to bike. And if you want to sit and stand and climb up and down stairs easily as you age, you need to perform those activities, and do exercise that mimic those movements. I see people in their 80’s and even 90’s that have the functional ability of a healthy individual 20 years or more their junior. You probably know of someone in their 60’s or even younger who is already losing functional ability in common activities of daily living, like the simple act of sitting and standing up from a chair. Take note of this and do appropriate exercises that will bode well for you later in life.

Train Smarter, Not Just Harder

The Biggest Winners PT Gym Blog

There is a growing popularity for very intense Boot camp style programs as the answer to our being whipped into condition. However, for the same reason that extreme diets fail for 95% of those that use them, any too extreme program will usually have a stronger failure rate than a success rate.

Although we do advocate specialized intense small group training programs at our facility, the programs are advised only for those in condition and are prescribed along with other more comprehensive modes of exercise. There are some positive points with these extremely intense workouts, but there are many negative points to consider. These points should not be ignored in an attempt to give exercisers a tough workout.

Although some of the non-traditional exercises used in such programs can be beneficial, many risks are involved with the way in which the workouts are conducted. Speed is usually emphasized over proper form. Unfortunately, I believe some rogue trainers don’t take the key exercise concepts into account, and just want to make their clients feel like they were worked really hard. Other problems exist with this ‘hard core’ philosophy. First, no differentiation is made in the workouts for different levels of fitness. Senior citizens and deconditioned participants are supposed to do the same workouts as elite athletes. The second contraindication to this type training is the rebellious nature of the participants who view injuries as badges of honor.

Proper strength training must consider the progressive overload principle, with progressive being the key word. Beginners should definitely not jump right into one of these workouts. They need to start gradually with exercise and follow sound training programs to build their fitness and strength levels gradually in order to avoid injury.

Even experienced exercisers are taking big risks with some of these routines. Associated Press (Oct 2008) reported an ex-sailor winning a $300,000 lawsuit against a Manassas World Gym over an exercise he says left him permanently disabled. Makimba Mimms says the CrossFit workout he did in 2005 caused him to urinate blood and his legs to swell.

In a similar story, a NY Times article reported that Brian Anderson, a former Army Ranger, had to go to the emergency room the night after completing one of these workouts. Doctors informed him that he had developed rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when muscle fiber breaks down and is released into the bloodstream. He spent six days in intensive care. Rhadomyolysis is a life threatening injury. It’s not a hard workout where you just get sore. It is serious cellular structural damage than can poison your kidneys and kill you.

Even without a concern for injury why would you want to go through needless pain and discomfort with a program that has not been proven to be more effective in the long run than a more scientifically sound and safer comprehensive program? Be sure to balance appropriate intensity levels with the other factors important in having an effective and safe program that you will be able to stick with. In other words train hard but most importantly train smart!

At PT Gym…South Georgia’s only Kinesis Studio!

Kinesis is an innovative and unique system that focuses on movement through balance, flexibility, and strength. The Kinesis wall is constructed of four panels with cables, grips, and weight stacks that allow movements to be easy, natural and without restrictions. Designed to accommodate movement in any direction and from any position, Kinesis provides unlimited exercises and movements to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

Users of all fitness levels and backgrounds can benefit from Kinesis. Those looking to burn calories while toning up will find that training on Kinesis recruits more muscle groups than traditional strength training, resulting in 30% more calories burned. Kinesis helps to train and improve balance with movements that simulate everyday activities, making it a useful tool for rehab patients, active aging members, deconditioned users, and anyone looking to strengthen the connection between mind and body. Athletes find that Kinesis programs can be designed to mimic their sport to help maximize performance.

Kinesis trains muscular strength and endurance; it also helps to improve balance, stability and flexibility. Kinesis is an elegant way to achieve functional fitness.

Kinesis Training Recommendations

We recommend one to two Kinesis sessions a week in conjunction with your current workout or activity program to optimize your training routine. If you are new to exercise, or returning after a long break, Kinesis is an ideal activity that will allow you to simultaneously train balance, strength, and flexibility. Our Kinesis sessions are led by certified instructors who have completed intensive and specialized Kinesis training. Each session is 30 minutes in length, with two to six participants.

Those looking to burn calories while toning up will find that training on Kinesis recruits more muscle groups than traditional strength training, resulting in 30% more calories burned.

Definition of a Workout

What is a workout?

A workout is 25 percent perspiration and 75 percent determination. Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline. A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday.

It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind and toughens the spirit. When you work out regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows. A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination. It’s the badge of a winner – the mark of an organized, goal oriented person who has taken charge of his or her destiny. A workout is a wise use of time and an investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for life’s challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it. A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a good workout, you don’t simply feel better, you feel better about yourself.

- George Allen

George Allen, now deceased, was football coach for the Washintgon Redskins. I first saw this quote printed on a President’s Council on Physical Fitness poster  in the early 80′s. It’s still one of my favorites.

Get a SMART Start

When you wish to accomplish any task in life, developing defined goals will enable you a greater chance of success. The first step in starting a successful fitness plan is to set a goal. This simple act, when done correctly, will instantly give you the feeling of success. You need to get SMART!  You may already be aware of this much used acronym. There are a number of slightly different variations, but we will use a definition that will be more suited for you to accomplish your fitness and wellness goals. Here’s how to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

Specific: What do you want to accomplish with exercise? Is it to lose weight and shrink your waist? Is it to lower your blood pressure or improve your health? Do you wish to improve your performance in a sport or is it to simply pick up a bag of groceries with more ease? Specify exactly what you want to achieve. Do not be too general or vague.  An example is “I want to lose 23 pounds of body fat” vs. “I want to lose weight.” Your goal should be clear and well defined. Only by having a specific goal can you structure an effective strategy and tactical plan of action.

Measurable: You have to be able to track your results to measure your progress. What gets analyzed gets done. What you measure will depend on what your specific goal is. You can measure pounds, body fat percentage, inches, and blood pressure. It could even be fitting into some pants that you haven’t been able to wear or maybe just measuring the improvement in the way you feel.

Action-oriented: A goal without a plan of action is just a dream. Your course of action should be relevant to your goal and be results-oriented.

Realistic: You should set goals that are stretching, but you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration if they are not realistically attainable.  This step involves asking two questions. First, what type of program would you realistically stick with? Look honestly at your abilities, but don’t underestimate yourself either. You’ll need to push yourself to achieve your goal. The second question, is it physiologically possible and probable with your action plan? Otherwise you defeat your purpose. I find for many this is the number one reason for failure. As an example, it is impossible to lose 5 pounds of fat a week. Notice, I said fat. It is possible to lose 5 pounds of weight but then you’ll be fatter at a lighter weight. It is possible to lose 2 lb of fat a week, but you may not be able to be compliant. If you have fifty pounds to lose it won’t all come off in a month. Setting unattainable goals simply sets you up for failure.

Time Based: Set an exact time to achieve the goal. Every great goal is set on a time line. Keeping the above steps in mind, give yourself an exact date and time that your goal needs to be accomplished. Your time line should match up with your realistic step. If you have a major fat loss goal then break it down into small attainable goals. As you achieve each smaller goal you will reinforce your progress and ultimately can attain any desired goal.

Before setting a goal make sure it is relevant to what you want to ultimately accomplish, is significant and worthwhile. There is always a plan of action that follows a goal, so set goals that are meaningful and motivational. To keep you accountable, be sure to write down your SMART goal and place it somewhere that you see often then tell three people of importance in your life about your goal. The goal should be tangible and rewarding, so decide how you will treat yourself when you accomplish the goal.