· Fitness

Three Shades Of Fitness

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by Brian Chacha

Dear Reader,

Happy New Month!

The purpose of this series of articles is to lay down a solid foundation for beginners and intermediates in the gym. I want to help you build a strong relationship with your health as though you’re interacting with a close friend. This should encompass a long-lasting, safe, and fulfilling gym life. So, bear with me as we dive into the various shades of fitness. Let’s get started. You walk into the gym because it’s time to kick-start your New Year’s resolution and this is your year! New year, new me, Right?

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Perhaps you may be thinking, I’m here now, but what do I do? How do I do it? How many times do I do it? Can I even do that? What is that?! I don’t want to do that! You have heard about all the health benefits that fitness has to offer, and you want to experience them now! But, how do you actually do it? Is there some kind of blueprint? Before you jump in, it’s important to have a plan for your exercises and activities. And you want to be sure that those activities fit your goals.

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You probably have one of these three goals in mind; look good naked, become stronger, or slow the aging process. With each new client, I ask myself, what exercises and activities does he or she need to bring them closer to their goals? In order to answer this question, I sought the help of my mentor Erick Minor. He shared with me three nuggets of wisdom that have helped shape both my own training and my clients. Here are some tools that you can use in your training the next time you go to the gym.

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In order for you to acquire physique and health changes, here is what you need to know. All exercise and activities fit into three categories: restorative, developmental, or sports/play. It’s important to know which category your activity falls into because it will help you recognize why certain changes are happening and others are not.

+ Restorative Exercises

Restorative exercises such as walking, Tai Chi, yoga, stretching, and massage, are all activities that help us get back to a baseline of capacity both in body and mind. Doing these activities everyday may not change your physical conditioning per-say, but they play a key role in assisting the changes that are associated with working out. If you’re going hard all the time in the gym without taking time to recover, it won’t be long before you end up burned out, sick, or injured. Incorporating restorative exercises into your routine everyday will help you collect on the investments you’ve made while in the gym.

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+ Developmental Exercises

These exercises incorporate the principal of progressively increasing the challenge over time. In order to take us to a higher level of function with the right technique, this is where most of the change will begin. Strength Training, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strongman, and Bodybuilding are just a few of the many exercises that can spark change by providing the body with enough stimuli to demand a change. Some of you may remember the very first time you lifted weights and the days following. Do you remember the soreness your body felt? That’s due to the developmental stimuli you provided. Learn to be comfortable with temporary discomfort and changes will happen.

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+ Sports or Play

These are actitivites that allow you to compete and improve your fitness while having fun. They can serve as both developmental and restorative, but can also have a negative impact on orthopedic health. Playing football, rugby, cycling, hiking, games we play with our children, rock climbing, the list goes on. These are the type of activities that should be incorporated into your routine as often as possible because they improve your health and enrich your social connections.

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When deciding what exercise routine you should begin or follow, consider your personal goals and the purpose of your training. Do your best to incorporate restorative, developmental, and sports/play into your lifestyle routine. Depending on your primary goal for training (look good nude, be stronger, or slow down the aging process), spending time in all these categories will help you achieve a healthier and more fulfilling life. I understand the gym may be intimidating maybe even downright scary. My hope is that this information will help guide you to the path to achieve your goals. So, take a deep breath, and choose to be active!

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Yours in Wellness,



Fitness Editor: Brian Chacha

Photography: Strikingly, Pexels