By Karyn Gallivan, MS, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT
Contributor, Sports+Fitness Network
Last month, I wrote about the Boston Marathon and mentioned the variety of body types and fitness levels of the many folks that were participating. This point rang true again last weekend as I ran in a race in Maryland. This event began as a fundraiser for a cancer treatment center and the participants range from cancer survivors to serious athletes raising money for a great cause and in honor (or in memory) of friends and loved ones.
Now, back home on a beautiful spring afternoon and I am watching as the walkers, runners, cyclists go up and down the street, and many backyard and landscaping projects get underway. I also hear many of my friends talk about golfing for the first time this year. This after another long, cold winter in New England.
As a fitness professional whose job it is to help our patients/clients/athletes reach their fitness goals, we also need to keep in mind the many activities (such as those mentioned above) that folks are doing in addition to their official training program. At first glance, this may seem like a recipe for injury, but in fact, there can be great benefits obtained from an intensely active weekend. The key to obtaining the desired results from any training program is to appropriately balance both training and recovery. Too much of one and not enough of another can lead to either over- or under-training. Either scenario is not optimal, and could potentially cause one to completely give up on exercise.
While a more balanced approach may be standard, fewer and more vigorous bouts of exercise can also provide the desired benefits. BUT . . . we must keep in mind the client’s safety, desired goals, and weak links. As such, my focus then shifts to making sure that the joint stabilizers and weaker muscles are strengthened appropriately and that the typically shorter and tighter muscles are stretched correctly. If a client can be suitably consistent with these activities a couple of times each week, then their intense weekend activities can be performed injury-free.
The important thing in our line of work is to help people to find an activity (or set of activities) that they enjoy and that work for them. In addition, any activity that is added should not create any added stress for the client. It is all of these variables, and approaching them in a manner that ultimately helps our clients reach their goals, is exactly why it is called Personal Training.