People hurt themselves all the time in fitness classes because they compare themselves to everyone else. In this episode I talk about how to keep yourself safe in a fitness class. (HINT: don't compare yourself to anyone else!)
Core Balance Podcast. Episode 77.
What do you think your body would look and feel like if you continue to move like you did when you were a kid, before fitness became about treadmills and calories. There is a better way and now you've found it. Welcome to the Core Balance Podcast with your host Chris Janke-Bueno.
Hello and welcome to the podcast, I'm your host Chris Janke-Bueno and I want to welcome you today, I'm really glad you made it, I'm really happy to be here as well. Today I want to talk about fitness classes specifically. Now you know in fitness classes unfortunately we as humans have this tendency to compare ourselves to other people. It's just the nature of being human I guess and in a fitness class it's no different. So I just want to talk today about how to avoid some of those temptations, some of those you know wanting to either compare yourself to another member of a fitness class or maybe you are trying to impress the teacher and I just want to reiterate, just talk to you a little bit today about what the goal should be in a fitness class. So I know a lot of people take fitness classes. I first want to say they are great, I'm a believer in fitness classes you know you can get instruction from a teacher and many people can benefit at the same time. Even in those classes that are – I have never been to one but I have heard of them, how there's like 80 people in a class, the instructor is there on a microphone, there's a couple of assistant teachers floating around, those are great. What you want to just remember is that you need to be grounded in your own experience. So that's point number one that I want to make is that you want to ground yourself in your own experience, that you need to walk into that door with a very clear understanding of your own goals and your own objectives and make the class mostly about communicating with that teacher, almost as if you are one on one. Now obviously when they are talking they are talking to the whole group. But internalize it as if they are talking to you, focus on your form, ask yourself questions like if the teacher were standing here right next to me and it was just them looking at me am I doing this correctly. Sometimes maybe you want to be in the front of the room. I mean these are all real simple strategies and techniques. The main thing that I want to hit home is that if the teacher requests that you do something that your body is not able to do, that you have 100 percent permission to modify it. Let me say that again because some people do not believe this or they don't – they act like they don't believe this – if the teacher tells you to do something that you cannot do or for whatever reason you believe your body will not be able to function the next day if you try this or maybe it's so far beyond your limits that you feel like you know you need some kind of bridge, you need some kind of way to bridge the gap between where you are and this very intense move that this teacher is trying to make you do. And in that case modify, modify the exercise.
So here's an example. Let's say you are doing like a side shuffle step. You are taking like one step and you click your heels together. You take a step to the other side, click your heels together, maybe this is like an aerobics class. So you go on side to side and maybe every time you step to the side the teacher has you like punch her arm up in the air and straighten your elbow and squeeze to the side. And maybe either they are going too fast or maybe you can't get your arm fully locked out in that position without it kind of wrenching on your neck, I don't know, this is just an example. But if that's the case, slow it down, maybe go half of the beat and then maybe don't lock your elbow up you know little things like that. So again just it's a very simple concept but I just want to encourage you don't get hung up with comparing yourself to other people of the class, don't get hung up with trying to impress your teacher. Go back to the goal of your fitness program. What is the real reason you are in that fitness class? Did you wake up one morning January 1 and say man I really just need to start impressing some fitness teachers or did you wake up and say something like you know what I got to get my weight under control, I'm going to lose 15 pounds this year. Probably the second. So keep that in perspective. If you get injured, if anything else happens it's not that fitness teacher that is going to be there at your side in the doctor’s office or doing the rehab or anything like that. It's you. So be very aware of your body and just know I mean as a personal trainer and fitness instructor myself I want to know what people’s abilities are as well and I have a pretty good idea by looking at them but there's a communication loop that has to happen.
So if I ask you to do an exercise I want to know a lot of things about that exercise. I want to know where you feel it, I want to know how hard it is. On a scale of 1 to 10 how intense is it. Where do you feel that exercise, what muscle do you feel – and if you feel the wrong muscle I'm going to modify you anyway. So I don't want you in an exercise that is beyond your capability at this moment. So that's where you are responsible at least equally responsible as the teacher in your class. So be the one to take the reins. If anybody tries to tell you that they know better than you about your body, run – run away or if you are not able to run, modify it and walk fast, walk away from that class. Bottom line is no matter how many certifications, no matter what that trainer’s body looks like, no matter how long they have been doing it, they may know a lot about the human body, about how it works but you know more about your own body and how it feels.
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You’ve been listening to the Core Balance Podcast, I'm your host Chris Janke-Bueno. We'll talk again next time. Until then let's be fit, let's be healthy, let's be happy. It feels good to move, so keep moving.
Stop relying on willpower, motivational tricks, and pump-up strategies and learn how to top into your inner fitness fire with Chris' 60-minute audio book: Ignite Your Fitness Passion (published 2015)
Relieve your back pain with this easy-to-follow video program designed to get to the root cause of your pain: muscle imbalance. Check out the Back Pain Module.
Learn the basic principles that make a successful fitness program with Chris' 60-page book, Functional Strength: The Key To Pain-Free Movement (published 2008)