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Other Coaches Corner Articles

Coaches Corner #1 - Food After Exercise
Coaches Corner #2 - Lose Body Fat More Effectively
Coaches Corner #3 - Secret To Weight and Fat Loss
Coaches Corner #4 - Don't Hold On For a Better Workout
Coaches Corner #5 - Getting Stronger by Overload
Coaches Corner #6 - How To Tone and Firm Your Abs
Coaches Corner #7 - Staying With an Exercise Program
Coaches Corner #8 - Improving A Sport or Activity
Coaches Corner #9 - To Carb or Not To Carb

The Coaches Corner

Training Trivia Answer:

In the last issue I asked: Which would be the most effective way to train for a skiing trip?

  1. Biking
  2. Swimming
  3. Nordic Trac Cross Country Ski machine
  4. Rollerblading
  5. Elliptical Trainer
  6. Wind sprints in the frozen food section at your local supermarket
  7. Rowing Machine

Answer: Rollerbladding or inline skating works the muscles of the thighs that are employed in the lateral movements utilized in downhill skiing. While doing any of the activities listed would increase your general fitness, inline skating is more specific to the demands on the musculature of the body that downhill skiing places on it.

Training Tip #7

Let's take a look at why only about 6% of the people who start on an exercise program continue past the first month. And how you can improve your chances of sticking with an exercise program.

The reason why seventy percent of people quit their exercise programs after the first workout lies in the fact that most people get extremely sore after this initial workout. It is really that simple, the person was very excited to be in the gym and in this excitement they did too much too soon.

Or they may have joined a gym where they are given an initial workout with a trainer as part of their membership. Unfortunately this "trainer" is not always a trained professional but more likely an exercise enthusiast or someone very new to the field who mistakenly thinks he needs to give them a workout that will make them sore. Or this "trainer" does not take the time to ascertain their current fitness level, taking into account any injuries or limitations the person may have. Or they do not review the person's exercise history and as a result they prescribe a routine that it is way too steep for the person to do. Even when the person says he likes being sore the end result is still a diminished desire to exercise and eventually stopping the activity.

Why a person stops exercise lies in the fact that they have done too much too soon. It was not a proper level or gradient for the person and they give it up. Often there are things that the person does not understand that compound this. Add to this a feeling of uncertainty of whether what they are doing is going to yield the results they are looking for and you get a high attrition rate amongst new exercisers.

How to improve your chances of sticking with an exercise program.

  1. When engaging in a new exercise program always start off at a very low level. I will start a new exerciser with as little as 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise at a very low intensity.
  2. The same goes for weight training. I will only have them do one set of each exercise at a very comfortable weight when first starting.
  3. Progress at a slow but consistent pace. As an example I will have a person add one minute to their aerobic workout time each session. For weight training I will often have the person progress by adding one extra repetition each workout up to a maximum number at which point they would add weight and then drop the repetitions back down.
  4. Educate yourself in the area. This will raise your certainty about what you are doing and help you to stick to it. Be sure to look up any words that you encounter that you do not fully understand when studying the area.
  5. Exercise with a friend. Having a friend to exercise with will increase your likelihood of sticking with your program. Make sure it is someone who has similar goals to you so as to ensure a program that will yield results for both of you.
  6. Set goals and targets for yourself. This gives you the game to play.
  7. Keep some weekly statistic or measure of how you are doing. This could be weighing yourself or measuring how much more time you are able to do on the treadmill, etc. This measures how well you are doing at the game.
  8. The most effective way to stick with an exercise program is to hire a coach or personal trainer. Make sure it is someone who knows how to assess your current fitness level and that they do an initial evaluation to ascertain any injuries or limitations you may have. They should also record your current statistics (weight, measurements, body fat etc) so they can gauge your progress on the program. If they really know what they are doing you should experience only a minimum amount of muscle soreness while getting a challenging workout.

Training Trivia:

Q. Which one of the following activities would you class as anaerobic*?

(*Definition: without oxygen)

  1. Maximum bench press 1 repetition
  2. Tennis
  3. Long distance running
  4. Step aerobics class
  5. Cross country skiing

Click here to see the next Coaches Corner for the answer.