Devising fitness plans are like building a Rolls Royce. Their significance lies in their customization. Just like each Rolls Royce is one of a kind so should be your fitness plan based on your specific lifestyle and individualistic nuances.
Fitness activities can be broadly classified into structured and non-structured activities. The latter include your day to day activities like travelling to work, waling to the nearest shop, paying with friends and family, taking part in sports while the former involves resistant training, structured cardiovascular training, yoga and other activities which are aimed at specific muscle groups with a specific intensity and time period. It need not involve going to the gym.
While its impossible to avoid non structured activities, many ignore the importance of a structured activity to supplement their lifestyles. The role of structured activities is to simply assist you in performing your daily activities, even the unforeseen ones, optimally. Many mistake fitness for bodybuilding, which actually is a sport to show case muscle groups.
Structured fitness activities should be customized as per your specific needs. Only you know what your daily activities are and what muscle groups you use predominantly so you have to be mindful while establishing a structured workout plan.
The Fitness Five
Here is a little insight into what you should be looking for from your workouts. Find your fitness plan keeping these aspects in mind. The body needs a portion of these 5 activities to sustain and work optimally:
- Cardio Vascular Endurance – Rhythmic usage of big muscle groups in the presence of oxygen for a long period of time. eg Swimming, Cycling, Running
- Muscle Endurance – Utilization of a muscle or group of muscles to produce muscular force against resistance for a prolonged duration of time without fatigue. eg- Weight training (High rep workouts at 60% of your one rep max), TRX
- Muscle Strengthening – Utilization of a muscle or a group of muscles to produce maximum force against resistance without fatigue. eg. Weight training (more than 85% of your one rep max)
- Flexibility– To ensure pain free range of motion across a joint. eg. Pilates, yoga, taichi
- Rest– Both active and passive ( sleep ).
Any fitness plan should combine all these parts in order to produce optimum results. I will further elaborate on these aspects individually.
You should mimic another persons enthusiasm for fitness not their fitness plan. Don’t take the easy way, utilize the knowledge around you to find out specific workouts for yourself or better still, hire someone who cares enough to make you knowledgeable.
The Helpless Fitness Trainer
The general trend at gyms is that underpaid trainers are willing to do anything to make their clients depend on them as they need the money to survive. This involves fulfilling all their whims and fancies without focusing on diagnosing and recommending personalized plans. They are too afraid that their client would run on hearing the truth.
The generic mentality gives impetus to aesthetics and hence you see a lot of young boys and girls over training muscles which are seldom put to use. This makes the task easy for Gyms and trainers who market the same workout plans for everyone.
Another misgiving in this area is the want to look like an actor or a wrestler without having any acting or wrestling ambitions. There has to be a mutual effort on the part of the trainer and the client to set realistic targets which would actually benefit both parties, one in building trust and credibility and the other in building a fully capable body.
The Age of Lifestyle Experts
The age of lifestyle experts is upon us, just like people have family doctors, who are like an extended family, who know your medical history and typical allergies etc, and prescribe medication based upon their knowledge. Similarly the time is right for people to consider hiring lifestyle experts who will know the likes, dislikes, injuries, body types etc of the entire family and can organize fitness plans specifically for every member of your family.