By Peter San Nicolas
OK. OK. Maybe your workout doesn’t suck completely or maybe you have yet to make the life changing decision to start on your path of fitness, but the traditional workout routine does not work for the majority of people. This is especially true of the 70 percent or so portion of the population that comes in to to see me for weight loss.
What is the traditional workout routine, you may ask? Let me give you a quick history of the fitness business and this will unfold the reason most people think this “traditional” workout is for them.
It was the groovy ‘70s and Arnold, with the help of Joe Wieder, made his way from Austria to dominate the bodybuilding world. In fact my first bodybuilding book was Arnold’s “Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.” In this book you could learn all the isolation techniques a bodybuilder would need to hopefully build a physique like those in the magazines.
This is where it all went wrong. In comes Nautilus and its line of “state of the art” chain and cam driven machines that locked your body in place and allowed you to further isolate and concentrate on the biceps, lower abs, inner thigh muscles and every other muscle on your body. Well this was fabulous if you were a bodybuilder and wanted to focus on building those calves that you weren’t genetically gifted with.
Forty years later and you will see people at most gyms doing just this. In fact a member today told me she was doing lat pulldowns to get rid of back fat. Sorry, not going to happen by isolating and concentrating on individual muscles. To be totally honest, my club has these very machines and I actually used two of them today, but this is not the best way to get in shape and burn adipose or body fat tissue off your rear end!
Let’s imagine how our bodies were designed to be used. When in real life would you sit down on your bottom with your back against a back rest, while keeping your elbow locked into your side and try to lift 50 pounds up to your chest? NEVER! You would squat down, use your gluteals, lats, and pull that 50 pounds off the ground. Again, there is a place for isolation work, but not for 99 percent of the population.
Check out this photo below.
In the ‘20s we actually had it right. Squat down keeping the rear back, grab the weight, quickly explode upand clean the weight to your chest. Balance the weight at shoulder height, now push press the weightdirectly overhead. You used your full body to lift this and utilized the kinetic chain (skeletal, muscular and nervous systems) and burned a signifigant number of calories.
The other picture, at left, is me and my training staff doing some TRX training. This exercise is called an atomic pushup. Lower your chest down to the floor, contract the chest, shoulders and triceps, all the while tucking your knees to your chest working your abdominals, legs and back muscles. Now that is an efficient use of time and one heck of a calorie burn.
The moral of the story this week is get the most out of your time and use the body as it was designed, to move as a whole.
Peter San Nicolas, owner of Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main St., may be contacted at 760-789-3500 or www.ramonafitness.com.