JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: Success stories and failures

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First Posted: 4/22/2014

Being in the fitness industry officially since 1991, I’ve seen my share of success stories and also failed attempts at success stories.

Unfortunately, before I go any further, I must admit that not everyone will find success. It’s not for lack of wanting it; everyone wants it. Rather, some just don’t want it badly enough and are not willing to achieve it. And that’s absolutely OK and I will never judge that.

However, what is frustrating to me is that those who continually set out to try, fail, and try again follow the same method that they’ve failed with before, perhaps more than once.

I applaud the determination. I applaud the courage. I even applaud their patience. But truthfully, if that were me, I’d be frustrated with the process and probably also quit, so that I understand.

Personal training is a tough business. Between home fitness programs and “self-help” big chain gyms, selling fitness isn’t exactly what most people seek out to buy and invest money in. And when you actually do muster up the courage and “hire a trainer,” you don’t know exactly what you’re getting unless you ask questions. As a side note, I recommend interviewing trainers, asking a lot of questions, and asking about their education and background before shelling out tons of cash.

Most, if not all of my clients at one time or another hired me to conquer some sort of goal. And while many of them had different objectives, they would soon some learn some basic principles that would undoubtedly change the way they would work out, and as a result, would change their bodies.

Basic principle No. 1:

Regardless of how much fat you have in your abdominal area, your core is not the big problem. It drives my crazy when I see people in the gym doing all these “exercises” for their abs instead of focusing on the problem at hand. My clients know that fat is the problem, and the solution is not found on fun pieces of equipment. Using resistance with weights/cables/bands and doing full compound bodyweight movements is where 99 percent of people need to stay and focus with. Ab-specific exercises rarely need to be done.

Basic principle No. 2:

If a trainer is taking you from machine to machine and spending little or no time on teaching you bodyweight or compound exercises, fire them. My clients know that using your body is superior to machines for life functionality and results. Machines have their place, just as everything does, but solely relying on them is a mistake.

Basic principle No. 3:

You don’t need to exercise for one hour or more. I hear stories of people logging hours and hours in a gym each week without the benefit of adequate results. If this is you, stop. If you’re not seeing results exercising daily for an hour, you don’t need to be going for an hour and a half. What you need is a better plan. My clients know that shorter sessions are better and more effective. Purge all useless exercises and focus on the big picture.

For more useful tips, check out the 4th annual “Precision Fitness” seminar on Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Leverage Fitness Studio. The cost is $20.00. Learn the principles you need to know for success.

-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.