Challenge your comfort zone

comfort zone

I have come to the conclusion that people will not do exercises they think “look hard”, don’t want to change their routine, don’t want to go out of their way to buy the equipment, and have a lack of understanding & like staying complacent.  This is what keeps some people from excelling in life, and in their goals. As a personal trainer in the making, I have already ran into the type of clients that want to stay in their “cube” and only do what they know and feel comfortable with; which in the beginning may be okay but as you decide that you want to grow and build on yourself, you will need to step outside the cube and do things that you wouldn’t normally do! Why? because growth doesn’t happen to those who aren’t willing to climb the ladder and go beyond. 

When I say step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself, what I mean by this for example is, instead of making the treadmill your safe haven when you enter the gym, instead go do something that you normally would want to do but because you are scared of being judged or because you are scared you won’t know what to do, try it. Sometimes the things that come easy to us, keep us from growing and keep us from excelling and we hit a plateau that does us no good in the long run.   The hard part about challenging ourselves is not knowing how well we will do and taking a risk that might end badly; but it is worth it. 

Tell me why some of you don’t challenge yourself, why you are afraid to step outside your comfort zone & tell me what scares you about doing it, tell me what goals you have and what is keeping you from them? are you afraid to try something new, are you afraid of failure, do you make poor excuses and give up? Some people get so used to the same routine, that change scares them.  I know the feeling because when I started changing my eating habits, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stick to it, and I would get “bored” or wouldn’t be able to afford it.  When I decided to change my level of physical activity, I was the person who jumped on the treadmill and never wanted to venture out because anything outside of that made me nervous.  I knew I didn’t have huge amounts of muscle and I wasn’t the skinniest girl in there with the nicest, roundest butt and so I was afraid to stand next to someone who did have those qualities because it made me think lowly of myself.  As soon as I built my self confidence and produced goals and worked on them, I gained what I needed to run to the weights and never wanted to leave, I slowly decided to focus on myself at the gym and less on the people around me, I started taking things I learned from my exercise science classes and used them in the real world and I started to see results and trusted myself enough to continue on this path.  It isn’t easy, and the journey can be long and sometimes very uneasy but when you realize and notice how the challenges make you stronger; your thoughts & attitude changes. 

As I take this road to fulfilling my dreams to be in the fitness industry, I still have to maintain this type of confidence where no exercise is too scary and no exercise is too hard and looking in the mirror isn’t about whether you look good but how you look doing the workout.  I have to take a few steps back and analyze the type of workout I am doing before I start so that I am doing it safely and efficiently, it isn’t to “show off” mad skills and gain recognition, it is to hopefully open my eyes to new things and variety and keep me wanting to train harder and longer and build me as a person. When you stumble across new equipment that intimidates you, don’t turn your back on it; instead you should want to find out how it works and explore its possibilities. When it comes to fitness, nothing is impossible because in the long run, nothing has a limit, you can always go above and beyond & the only person who holds a standard for you to meet should be you! Hold yourself accountable for how hard you work, strive and keep yourself grounded but don’t not take risk because you are afraid of falling, take the risk because the end result could hold your future!  

Share, follow, comment, like and reblog. Thank you for reading!

Sincerely, 

Your blogger Shay-lon

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Client & the TRX update

Updated information on my TRX experience with the client

 
 

I am back to update everyone on the experience I had with the TRX a couple of days ago.  Also this has me wanting to talk about other things dealing with the personal training industry now that this situation occurred. Let me first start my by saying, my client was confused as to why were going to do a TRX exercise, because in her head she thought “I don’t have one, so why would I want to use this”, well I explained to her about why I chose this particular exercise and how it can replicate some of the exercises she does without it. We did chest press and the squat on the TRX, I of course demonstrated both of these exercises, and gave her options when it came to what stance to use for the chest press (since she doesn’t have upper body strength, we did the staggered to begin with and if she felt it was too easy, I had her do the wide leg stance); she ended up choosing the wide leg stance.  

 

This particular client is an older lady,  and she complained a lot about how unstable she felt while doing the chest press, I had to talk to her about the benefits and give her some motivation to continue through (for the day at least), the squats she didn’t mind as much with the TRX, because they were easy for her. At the end of the workout, she ended up liking the TRX chest press after getting used it to a bit more.  Due to her not owning a TRX at her house, she does not want to continue using it in any further exercises (except for warmups) so I agreed to establish a new form of exercises using weights for the upcoming week.  She also is having me come up with exercises for her to do when she works out at home, so I am in the process of doing this at some point as well, in fact she only owns 2lb weights, so this will be something I am going to talk to her about because the 2 pounds isn’t going to progress her much at all. Basically we did a circuit that day and it went fairly well, but I have learned something from this whole thing. 1) she doesn’t like trying new things if she has never done it before & 2) if they can find an excuses, they will use it.

 

This brings me to my point, I think this has opened my eyes to the types of people we have who want to be in shape and fit but don’t necessarily like what they have to do to get there, especially if it is out of their comfort zone.  She does cardio 45 minutes 5 times a week and while she is tiny in size, she has hardly any muscle and doesn’t want to work her upper body because it agitates her neck, but since she plays golf and want to have upper body strength, I decided we need to make an effort and work on these weaknesses if you ever want to become stronger. I thought the TRX would be helpful because of her neck agitation but obviously that idea is out now, so I am going to use weights and we will work on exercises that won’t put too much strain on her neck. I think the problem is people want to be able to do big things but hate having to start someplace small, and this is definitely the issue at hand.  Not to mention, she does not like to sweat.  I am looking forward to helping her complete her goals, and while we have a good relationship, I think this experience has given me ideas on how to handle her excuses and what to do to push her past her comfort zones. I want to be the best personal trainer I can be for anyone, and I am not perfect by any means, but I promise you and everyone else, I will succeed no matter the excuses you throw at me because I always have a plan B, C, D, ect.. when all those run out .. I will think up something so fast you won’t expect it. What she doesn’t know is .. I have resistance bands awaiting her, lol and hopefully she won’t throw away the idea because she can actually take some home with her.. (that cuts out I don’t own any) and I am excited to see what she will say or how she will react 🙂

 

All in all, I just wanted to share this experience with people, and see what everyone has to say about this situation. Like I have stated, I love working with my clients and learning and this situation has helped me a lot. I want to make the best choices for them and this goes to prove not everyone will like my ideas but excuses will not stop me from helping you, I can jump excuses like I can jump hurdles. please feel free to share, comment, and like, reblog and follow me. Thank you for reading. 

 

Sincerely, 

Your blogger Shay-lon

TRX

TRX, what is this amazing idea that someone came up with that has everyone so eager to try it at least once? This contraption is an equipment used for those of us who either prefer using our own body weight or want to do something more advanced without the use of weights.  I was first introduced to the TRX last semester of college in my exercise science class and at first I thought “okay, this looks like it belongs in the circus and I most likely am not going to be able to do any of these workouts using it” because I have gotten to the point where I was becoming more comfortable with free weights and have had experience with using the machines; this equipment intimidated me!

I was probably the only one in the classroom at the time who had no idea as to what it was and what it was used for, all I knew was it was something that had to do with exercise and that sounded pretty good to me at the time.  When my professor explained this TRX and had us do the exercises (beginner-advanced); some of them I did pretty well doing and others.. it was fairly embarrassing and my form was always off. I have to admit, out of everyone in the class during the time, I was the only one having difficulties warming up to this TRX.  I felt as though for some reason, I didn’t understand it and it frustrated me because I wanted to be “good” at it but I just couldn’t for whatever get things down. 

At the end of the lesson that day, I had decided that this was probably going to be the only time I ever use it or want to use it because I had decided I am not good at it and I would much rather save myself the frustrations and anger. Well newsflash, this semester I am going to be using it again for my client and I haven’t yet prepared myself for what is to come on Tuesday but I have decided that I am determined to get certain exercises correct and to work on my form because I know the TRX is a good idea for this particular client and I want them to get the most out of their workout.  Of course, if my client decides that this isn’t something they are interested in or have issues with it then I will make the necessary changes as we go along. I know for sure that Tuesday morning I am going to show up to class fairly early and practice on the TRX any movements/exercises I will be having my client do because I am going to need to demonstrate these same exercises in order for them to understand the form and technique and I will have to be confident while doing it so that it seems that I know what I am doing without question.  

So with this all being said and done, I will keep everyone posted about this particular situation sometime in the next week hopefully.  I mainly wanted to talk about the good things that revolve around the TRX and how the gentlemen who created it, probably made one of life’s best inventions; and even though I struggle with this, it doesn’t mean I don’t think it is beneficial and I want others whom haven’t yet tried this, to do so because I want people to be open minded to other things and workouts using a variety of equipment; especially if you are in the fitness industry as a personal trainer or instructor of some sorts.  Down below I have listed some of the benefits of using the TRX and keep in mind the TRX equipment works the same but can look different depending on the size.  

 
 

TRX (total body resistance exercise)

 
  •  Incorporates nearly every muscle of the human body (core activation is one of the most important aspects)
  • The workouts can range from simple to more advanced; and you can complete a total body workout using one piece of equipment in 20 minutes
  • The straps are mobile, you can take them everywhere with you and attach them anywhere.
  • TRX is safe if done correctly
  • It is for anyone, you can be a yoga instructor, personal trainer, runner, cyclist, swimmer, ect. The TRX isn’t for any one specific person, it can be used no matter the type of activities you partake in. 
  • Beginner friendly
  • Cardio-strength training connection. You can do both using the TRX, it isn’t just limited to one or the other (raises heartbeat and helps build muscle)
  • beats boredom, you can a various amount of exercises you can do at all times and you have a choice in the matter as to how hard or easy you want to make them

Now, does this mean it doesn’t have any cons? No. As a matter of fact, many scientist are proving this TRX to be less effective then using weights.  It depends on how you look at it and how hard you work your muscles and what you expect to get out of it.  Would I recommend to someone to ditch the weights and start up TRX, no, I would recommend that one should do both for no other reason than because it will allow for you to change up your routine and try something different every once in awhile. Not many gyms offer the TRX but if you know a place that offers classes or has one at their location, I highly recommend that you try it at least once; you may or may not like it.  I, personally still enjoy free weights and want to continue working out using free weights and machines, and I already know I am hardly close to good at using the TRX but I could get better if I practiced and possibly took classes; just I don’t have that readily available at my disposal.  I do like how versatile the TRX is and how many lower functioning clients enjoy it more so because they aren’t confident in lifting weights yet and I enjoy the fact it is something you can take on the go with you.  The downside for me is having to adjust the straps for certain exercises ( I have a hard time remembering), the feeling that the exercise isn’t doing much for me because I don’t feel a “burn” and the fact that I don’t own one to practice with and of course the fact I have a hard time taking direction for the TRX.  

 

I want to know everyone else’s opinion of the TRX, do you use it? do you like it? or no, would you recommend it? what exercises do you like to do? why do you use it or why don’t you like it? Share with me all of your opinions and comments.  Like I said, I am horrible at the TRX for the most part and can only do about 3 or 4 exercises correctly with no issues but I like the reasons behind using one but because of my lack of confidence when I use it, I wouldn’t make it my “go to” when I am at the gym or something I would normally train someone on unless I was able to demonstrate the exercises correctly and confidently. 

Comment, share, reblog, like and follow me!

 

Sincerely,

Your blogger Shay-lon

The back squat or the walking lunges, who wins this battle!?

the winner is 2

So this has been one of the craziest debates for years now and it always starts a riot when you have a strength and conditioning coach who prefers walking lunges and another who prefers back squats and they begin listing the pros and cons of each and it all comes down to the same thing pretty much and that usually is a fun argument and neither people win.  Have you ever wondered why this topic of discussion is so important in the fitness industry; and wonder which one really gives better results? Well I am going to be totally honest with you and give you my final opinion of each because quite honestly, I can’t give a straight answer because no matter what I say or think someone will agree to disagree and we will end up going round and round about which one beats out the other.   Now although this is just my opinion, my opinion has some truths in it and might offer some advice for each because in the end I just want to help people become healthy and happy with who they are inside and outside; so no matter what.. keep in mind my goal as you continue to read through this and every blog after and previous to this.  I write blogs because I want to help inform people and because I love being apart of the fitness industry and offering advice and tips and giving people the motivation they need to get started and although my life is hectic, I try to maintain a blog a week to keep everyone interested so I hope when you read this, it will make you excited to want to learn and act on all these possibilities! 

 

I say depending on the circumstances and the person depends on which exercise should be the “go to” exercise whether it be inside a gym or at home.  I also think it depends on the expertise the person has and the environment they are in and if they have the means to be able to do either exercise.  Although both of these exercises can technically be modified so that anyone can do them and can be done without using equipment, most people are doing the back squat with a barbell and most people are using dumbbells for their walking lunges.  Just saying. If you an athlete of any sorts, and being in the weight room is something you have to do often, I believe the back squat is a great idea for no other reason then you are more conditioned, can add weights, knowledgeable in a sense, and have the equipment to properly do the exercise and hopefully a strength and conditioning coach to help you with your form and technique so you can avoid injury. On the other hand, if you are of the general population, you more than likely don’t either know how to perfom it correctly, do not have the equipment, do not belong to a gym and probably aren’t as conditioned which means you are more likely to do walking lunges. Nothing is wrong with an athlete doing walking lunges and nothing is wrong with a person of the general public doing the back squat, as a matter of fact, I believe doing them both or adding them both to a routine at different periods could be a positive thing if anything else and I believe that knowing how to do both is probably semi important for both groups of people. Now these might be the “major” groups of people, but we still have to consider someone who is handicapped, injury prone/recovering, older, younger, the specific person’s goals and needs and also take into consideration their background history.  These all play a part in whether either exercise should be done by certain individuals and quite honestly if neither of these can be done then it is time to find a 3rd option. 

 

The problem with this argument is that, no one looks at it from different perspectives much anymore, we just look at it from a job point of view; or from a “opinion” based point of view because everyone has their own preferences. If we were to talk about these two exercises, we could list pros and cons of each one easily and at the end of the day, they both win because they both offer tremendous amounts of benefits and still have cons that could potentially cause injury to someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and both exercises help pretty much the same muscle groups give or take.  In my personal opinion, I love lifting and I enjoy the weight room probably more so than cardio nowadays but I like doing lunges for no other reason than I feel more comfortable doing them and I don’t have to worry about the barbell hurting my back sometimes, on the other hand, I love doing back squats because I love the feeling it gives my lower body afterwards (the next day); I always know when I have worked those muscles hard because I will feel it the next day and it feels good to say the least. Hands down the winner is both, because both of them are plenty amazing exercises and if I really wanted to be bias, I would have picked the one I do more often or I like the best but I will let that be a secret for now.  

 

I would love to hear everyone’s opinion on either exercise, I want to know which one you prefer doing and why and how you do it (modified or not modified) and if you want give me your age and tell me about yourself and workout routine so I can compare the different kinds of people who enjoy one or the other that would be an added bonus!  Thanks for reading, please share, like, comment and reblog; I would love that! Also follow me on all social media and or add me, I love new followers and I always keep in contact with everyone:) 

 

Sincerely,

Your blogger Shay-lon

Back squatting for days

 

The back squat:

The back squat is probably one of the more popular forms of exercise in the gym and it always amazes me how people believe that in order to “form a round butt” you have to squat more, when I know that their other forms of exercises and that really all squatting does is strengthen this particular area. You don’t get a booty from just pure squats nothing else; it takes time and dedication and multitude of things that come together that create the “round booty” effect.  Now I personally don’t do squats daily, but I am going to start to and this may amaze you that I don’t; this is mostly due to the fact I just never had squats as my “go to” exercise, but I do enjoy them even if they hurt like hell some days. lol. I highly recommend squats for no other reasons then what I am going to list down below and because if you are someone who enjoys lifting, like myself then this is a fun and very versatile exercise that can be done in many, many ways. The squat I am going to refer to today is the infamous back squat, the more adaptable one and probably the one that is done more often than the rest if I was to guess.  Keep in mind that squats don’t have to be done with a huge amount of weights, you don’t have to overdue it to have a good effect on your muscles, take your time and don’t rush something especially if you don’t have form and technique down (which is the MOST  important thing during this exercise), back squats don’t have to be something you go all the way to the floor either, you can simple do them at a 90 degree angle and or bend as far as you can without hurting yourself.  If you are someone who has bad knees or horrible core strength this might be a bit difficult and you may need to start out without using the barbell (this is perfectly fine).  

  • Great total body workout
  • tones the legs (slowing down makes the workout more intense)
  • lifts the butt & tightens
  • strengthens the core muscles
  • increases flexibility (joint flexibility)
  • Upper body workout (when you add weights)
  • increased hormone release
  • reduced chance of injury for someone who jumps, runs 
  • increases vertical jump
  • improved workout efficiency

Squats are a good exercise because we pretty much replicate this type of movement in our daily lives, and for that reason alone it will only enhance our chances of being able to bend down with less aches and pains and as we age it might become easier, but whose to say? I think personally when people squat they shouldn’t worry so much about the loads but about the form and technique and how well they squat. With squats can come injuries if they are not performed right or if someone has prior injuries and does not recognize the damage the squat could possibly do and not to mention overtime it can cause wear and tear but that is with any exercise and doesn’t mean it is “bad” for you. If you are someone who isn’t comfortable performing the back squat using a barbell, try something less with less weight and or with no equipment like the above picture. Don’t be afraid to squat in the gym either, I know sticking your butt out might seem uncomfortable and may cause you to worry about what others are thinking but honestly.. everyone pretty much back squats the same way if they are doing it correctly and if you do choose to squat, using the mirror is very important as well so you can keep an eye out for bad form. Thanks for reading, please feel free to share, like, comment, reblog, and follow me! 

 

Sincerely, 

Your blogger Shay-lon

Step lunges-with weights

 

Now I know we talked about the basic non weighted lunge, but I wanted to move on to something more advanced for those of you who may want to spice up your workout. I posted another video to help give you an idea of what it looks like so that you have a visual and can do the proper form and technique. This weighted lunge is more difficult if you are someone who already does not know how to do the basic step lunge with no weights; if you have difficulties with the basic one then do not move on to this one until you are fully ready. Down below I have listed some benefits with using dumbbells/weights while lunging:

 

Weighted step lunge

 
  • Good for athletes who sprint and jump
  • determines if one side of your body is stronger than the other & if so, then work on the weaker side
  • improves core strength and stability
  • inhale lunge down and exhale when you stand up
  • find your center of gravity; know that when you use proper form and technique, you should not be leaning to one side or wobbling over.
  • heavier loads will strengthen your hips, core, and ankles without excessive pressure on your knees 

So like the basic lunge, this offers the same amount of benefits pretty much but also helps decide what your body is able to handle. Most of the time you will see people using dumbbells but you can also use other weights such as kettlebells and weight plates that can also get the job done in the same manner. Deciding what equipment to load up with depends on your strength and your ability to do the exercise. I would start with a lighter weight before moving on to something heavier; especially if you aren’t someone who usually uses weights or doesn’t have a great core strength to begin with.  It is important to practice the form and technique before adding more weight to reduce the chances of injuries & lower back pains. Again, this exercise is great and will do tons of things for your body as long as it is done correctly, I highly recommend it and changing it up as you go and excel!

Share, comment, follow, reblog and like.

 

Sincerely, 

Your blogger Shay-lon

Walking lunges-no added weight

lunge

Finally, my blogs have reached their end on background information on fitness and health and have now started their journey on actual exercises, actual foods, everyday dieting, ect. We have met the first official chapter of fitness and health. I decided to start this road with walking lunges because after hearing two strength and conditioning coaches bicker on whether walking lunges or back squats were a better exercise for an athlete and/or general population, I decided that I would talk about each of them separately then make a post where we bring them together and make a pro and cons list of each and then determine which is best for which situation because quite honestly this discussion has been going on for a long time in the fitness industry and it will never be 100% on which is best because everyone is different and has different preferences. Personally, now only will we talk about this exercise but I am going to post videos of them so you can do them! yay! for videos and pictures. This is something new I am doing because videos get more views and I want views to become followers, and followers to become friends. 

The walking lunge

I personally enjoy lunges, and I feel that they are a terrific exercise, especially for those of you who are not quite confident enough yet to do a back squat, don’t belong to a gym, don’t have exercise equipment, and want some of the same advantages as a back squat. Walking lunges just like squats aren’t for everybody because some people don’t have the core strength, knee strength or balance and without those key things, it will be difficult to partake in this exercise.  There are other forms of lunges and we shall hit on these in different post but I specifically want to speak on the walking lunge and for a good reason, I think  the walking lunge is one of more popular types of lunges and the reasons vary from person to person, The bullet points below are going to list everything you need to know about a walking lunge and the importance of them and varying information:

  • Shapes the lower body
  • increases muscle tissue
  • develops core strength
  • make your hips more flexible
  • multi-joint exercise
  • can be modified to meet your fitness level
  • effectively work your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings
  • working on these large muscles have been said to speed up your metabolism (helps with weight loss)
  • Improves core strength
  • improves hip flexibility
  • helps with balance

Having a good core strength can reduce lower back pain, improves balance, posture, stability, and athletic performance.  Neglecting to keep your body upright and balanced during this exercise can cause injuries and poor form.  Improving hip flexibility is important for those that might live a sedentary lifestyle or don’t use these muscles often tend to have tight hip flexors and this can also trigger lower back pain.  While there are different types of lunges and they all make for a great exercise, it is more important you start with the basics before moving on to something more advanced.  Form and technique while doing walking lunges is very important because bad form and technique will only hurt you and cause more problems in the long term. Lunges do not need to be done with your knee having to touch the ground, as long as you are in a 90 degree angle, that is all that matters and back is straight.  People believe when they do lunges they have to touch the ground and this is very false! 

 

Walking lunges are a great workout & offer many benefits, for those of you who may not be aware of this exercise, give it a go and before you start, you might want to make sure you have no prior injuries that could cause issues for you.  Thank you for reading, please share, comment, like, and reblog this post and follow me!

 

Sincerely,

Your blogger Shay-lon