Maximizing the Effectiveness of our Workouts!
By: Acea Theroux, Senior Course Instructor for TRX
Working out without first teaching your body how to move correctly, is like continuously recasting George Clooney for the role of Batman… You’re setting yourself up to fail.
Ask a group of veteran fitness professionals what they consider to be the most effective workout ever, and you will most likely get a variety of answers. Although many fit pros share similar components to this workout, the road that many of us take is often very different. Now, ask that same question to an assortment of fitness enthusiasts and here’s where you will see the answers really start to fluctuate. I posed that question to colleagues and on social media and the answers ranged from what they enjoy doing, what the media has deemed the “HOTTEST TREND” or to what they’ve seen family, friends and co-workers become successful with. While some of those answers above have worked in the past, many experience limited or short-term results for one main reason.
The key to “Maximize the Effectiveness of your Workouts” is… LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS! So, before you start your current or new exercise regimen find a qualified fitness professional to breakdown (in an in-depth manner) the mechanics of these movements. Working out without first teaching your body how to move correctly, is like continuously recasting George Clooney for the role of Batman… You’re setting yourself up to fail.
As an education specialist at TRX, we believe our wellness methodology, theories and workouts need to be both progressive and follow a systematic approach. We are a movement-based company that doesn’t just focus on moving, but also the quality of each movement within the workout. From start to finish we set standards with a series of foundational movements, and make sure these movements are performed proficiently before we progress. So, what does all that mean? We want people to learn how to move correctly, safely and fluently to maximize their results and minimize workout plateaus or the chance of injury.
The components of an effective workout should include:
- Every workout should begin with a goal
- Warm Up aimed at increasing blood flow, and preparing the body for the movements to come. Ensuring you get the most out of your workout, and stay injury free
- Purposeful Rounds based on Foundational Movements with identified goals, building exercises, and clear reps and times with built in rest
- Cool Down: slow or static stretched and mobility based movements to prompt recovery.
So, as Montel Jordan said back in the 90’s: “THIS IS HOW WE DO IT”
A PROPER WARM-UP (Active / Dynamic Stretching & Mobility Work) This is an absolute necessity prior to starting a workout and shouldn’t ever be skipped. Allowing the muscles and joints to work together, communicate if you will, to prepare for physical activity.
CORE WORK & CONTINUING TO WARM-UP (Planks & Progressing with Resisting Rotation) Unlike crunches and sit-ups, the plank protects your spine by bracing to maintain stability, resist rotation and effectively transmit strength and power to the arms and legs. Key TRX based theory: Imagine that each movement is built on standards of what should be stable and what should be mobile*.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) This type of training maximizes time, effort and effectiveness providing you the aerobic, anaerobic, strength and power segments together.
“If you want to experience the most effective workout ever, then take a hard look at your mechanics and foundational movements first.”
A PROPER COOL DOWN (Active / Dynamic Stretching & Mobility Work). Allow at least 5 minutes at the end of a workout for an efficient cool down. The cool down will aim to assist with recovery of the muscles and energy systems in the body. Hold each stretch for 30-45 seconds each before moving to the other side.
Below are some of the TRX’s favorite mobility exercises- great to help the body cool down and promote recovery. Be sure to end with a great stretch that aims to open the hips and chest before getting on with your day.
TRX T-Spine Stretch (Dynamic)
Adjustment: Mid Length
Position: Stand Facing Sideways
Start: Grab both foot cradles with the left hand and walk back until the left arm is extended. Offset feet, with right foot forward. Cross right arm over the left arm.
Movement: Anchor left shoulder blade and slowly open the body to the right by leading with the right arm.
Return: Bring the right arm back up and over to the start position.
TRX Forward Lunge (with Hip Flexor Stretch)
Adjustment: Mid Length
Position: Stand Facing Away
Start: Stand up straight with arms extended and level with shoulders.
Movement: Anchor shoulder blades and step forward into a lunge with left leg while extending right arm up and left arm behind.
Return: Press back with left foot while driving hands down into both handles to start position.
TRX Kneeling Quad Stretch
Adjustment: Mid Length
Position: Ground Facing
Start: With hands on handles, take a kneeling position on the ground sitting on heels with thighs together.
Movement: Keeping arms straight, squeeze glutes and lift hips towards anchor point.
Return: Lower hips to heels.
I’m hoping you are jumping out of your shoes right now anticipating a fantastic workout! However, please remember a few of our key components to an effective workout. Purposeful Rounds based on Foundational Movements with known goals, building exercises, and clear quality reps and identified times with built in rest. Whether you are a fit pro, everyday exerciser or just starting out, please seek out the assistance of a fitness professional and take a hard look at your mechanics first. Back in 2003, I was 40 pounds heavier than I am now, frustrated with the way I looked and felt, I had severe lower back pain and my EGO was getting in the way of finding a solution. I finally reached out to my colleagues and was referred to a young trainer who changed the way I view fitness and movement forever by simply assessing the way I moved (which was with complete dysfunction at the time). Long story short, this humbling yet amazing experience showed me the light, and how important it is to remain teachable at all times.
If you want to experience the most effective workout ever, then take a hard look at your mechanics and foundational movements first. If the workout above peaked your interest or for more information regarding the methodology behind the education department at TRX, visit us at TRXtraining.com
Acea has been in the health and wellness industry since 1995. He is a Senior Education Course Instructor for TRX®, National Presenter and (former) Education Specialist for Zumba Fitness, Creator and Founder of Plyo Power® a systematic approach to sports conditioning that focuses on the quality of movement before progressing with intensity. Acea is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and currently works for the Federal Occupational Health Units in Boston and Cambridge Massachusetts. He received his degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and works part time traveling the country as a national health/wellness educator and continuing education provider for NASM, NSCA, ACE and AFAA.
“If you’re going to talk the talk, then walk the walk! PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH… Your clients will thank you and your colleagues will have a greater amount of respect for you.”
Acea married his soulmate in August of 2014, has a fantastic stepson and was blessed in April 2015 w/ beautiful bouncing baby girl.