One of the biggest failures I see with people is that they exercise too long. Somewhere in the collective societal unconsciousness the media has pumped into our brains that more is better. Overtraining does not produce results. It hinders the outcome. I see at other gyms that they have 60-90 minute classes. They are often intense classes that have people doing between 300-400 repetitions per muscle group. Performing this many repetitions is counterproductive. My philosophy is that the muscle has a certain amount of motor unit activation stimulated by a limited series of synaptic transmission. Once the motor units have been fired and produce a sequential firing of the fibers innervated, the damage is done and it is time to cease any further stimulation to that muscle. There is a fine line to knowing how much a muscle fibers tensile force can generate and how to over due stimulation. When stimulation threshold goes beyond the cells capacity stress hormones are produced. Not everyone in a class setting has the same neuromuscular output. Some folks should only be training for 12-15 minutes because they are yet conditioned enough to sustain longer synaptic transmission. But because they were told by their buddy who brought them to the class that they need to stay for the whole time to get the most out of it. What a friend! People who are not educated in how the body works are doing more harm than good in my opinion. The instructors that are teaching these classes are also to blame for this. A good instructor would tell the participants that they need to work within their own neuromuscular response system. But the instructor doesn’t say anything because they are afraid that the class won’t be big. If a class is big than that means that it is popular. Regardless of the physiological laws that govern a persons ability. A big class means more money for the gym. More money, more memberships. And in this country it is all about the all mighty dollar, not about a persons actual result. The instructor would never tell a participant to only take a class for 12 minutes and to build up to longer duration over a period sessions. I will and do at my gym. I only teach classes for 30 minutes because that is the length of time that the physiological systems of the body are most responsive. I don’t care about scamming people into making them feel that they have to take a body pump class for 60 minutes to 90 minutes to get results. 30 minutes,depending on your physiological fitness, is all you need to train when training with moderate to high intensity. But people feel that if they exercise more that they will be fit. This is not the case. They might be able to endure the intensity better over time but they will not see results due to the fact that they are still executing too synapses. Yet, the ignorant over weight exerciser won’t listen and will continue to damage themselves further into catabolism without ever seeing results.
It seems that it is not about actual physiological law that governs how one should exercise and look. It is all about hype and selling a program that makes money and sells memberships. I could train a person in 15 minutes 5 days a week and they would get faster results than any one taking a 60 minute class. But if I try to sell this program to people they wouldn’t partake in it because they are taught that you have to workout for long periods of time. It is a shame that ignorance is the theme of the land. Many people have to make exercise much more complicated than it really is. If you stay within your hormonal bio-indiviudal cellular makeup then you will see results. Not everyone should be exercising at the same intensity doing the same exercises and exercising for the same time. This is a downfall of many programs in gyms across America. An instructor who does not follow the physiological laws that govern a persons fitness level and continues to allow them to overtrain should go back to their full time job and leave the real instructing to those that are well versed in neuromuscular translation.
I find it humorous to observe obsessive exercise addicts teaching de-conditioned people. The instructor feeds off the energy of a big class setting. This is good for satisfying their insecure ego. They get high off being able to exercise and control the class setting. Regardless if they know anything about exercise physiology. They base their class on how loud the music was and how much they sweated. It is all about them. Many instructors only have a weekend certification, if that. For many people it doesn’t matter if the instructor actually knows anything about physiology it is all about how THEY LOOK. You could put a non fitness educatied person in to teach class and if they had fake boobs dressed revealing and wore tight shorts the class would be packed. The ladies that take the class don’t care if they are exercising in the parameters of correct physiology and bio-mechanics they feel that if they exercise like the sexy girl then they will look like her.
I teach class and instruct without actually exercising. i do this because 1. I feel that I can’t see my students if I am exercising too, 2. I can’t exercise 5 times a day, it goes against my philosophy. 3, I want people to see results, it is not about me it is about my student they pay me to get them in the best shape of their life and that is what I provide.
However, I have had women tell me that because my classes are not filled is because I don’t bare my body. They have told me that if I wore tight revealing shorts and a tank top then my classes would be filled. By not showing my body I have lost many people to other gyms. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I will not sell out to the idea that sex sells. In my gym I sell education if people need to have an instructor who they can mentally undress and satisfy their inner sexual fantasies, then my gym is not for them. Many folks are insecure and need to escape into a world of sexual fantasy when they exercise in a group setting with a sexy starlet at the front yelling at them. Perhaps they have some type of insecurity that they have not dealt with at a conscious level. The need to have a half naked man or women teaching them about proper exercise is absolutely absurd and something I will not subscribe too. I am an intelligent human being who doesn’t need to sell out or stray from my philosophy to appease to the unconscious ideology of the masses. If I have to make money by “stripping” down to have ladies look at me as a piece of eye candy then the hell with it. I sell education and if people want to see results and learn about how the body works and how they can maximize their time then I am here to help. If they want some chippendale dingbat dancing around flexing their gluteus maximus turning middle aged over weight sexually repressed women on then I invite them to go elsewhere for their fitness.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
tags: weight training, aerobic training, steroids, tiger woods, celtics, final four, Duke, West Virginia, Red Sox, aerobics, power lifting, Vince Gironda