WHY LESS IS OFTEN MORE

May 12, 2016

 

Last night, I led one of my corporate clients through a bootcamp workout. After 28 minutes, I began the cooldown and a participant exclaimed, "Was that an hour?!"

 

It wasn't. And though I tell clients to carve out an hour for staff to attend such workouts, often we do not use the full hour. At least not the first few weeks. Why?

 

Most of my corporate students are participating in an employer-sponsored wellness program where a well meaning colleague has egged them into coming to a bootcamp workout in a very public space in their office. These reluctant exercisers are often already frightened at the prospect of being led through a grueling circuit of exercises beyond their capacity while some sort of drill sergeant screams in their face to push harder, go faster, keep going. 

 

Anyone who has come in for a workout with me or any of our coaches at Fit Club would know this is not and need not be the case. But it is this mental hurdle is very real for the uninitiated.

 

Most of the participants I meet in these corporate programs have not exercised in years. Many haven't participated in an exercise program since elementary school days. And this isn't to shame anyone, but when you are this new to exercise a lot of things will happen after those first few workouts.

 

  1. The warm-up isn't the workout? After 3 or 4 minutes, I see this question on the faces of the most deconditioned participants in the group. Truth is, we've all probably been there at some point, too. When trying out any new exercise format, you will probably struggle through the first attempts at  unfamiliar movements, keeping a different pace than you are accustomed. But if you keep coming back...

  2. Is this chick for real? Another question I see on the faces of those who happen to look around the room while catching their breath. They see a colleague charging full steam through a progressed exercise I've just shown the group as an option and think "What the *%#$?." Intensity varies from student to student, so you cannot and should not compare yourself to anyone other than you. The options are there for when you have gotten as far as you can with the first exercise. It's okay if today you only ever do the first option and never scale up. But if you keep coming back...

  3. Am I going to be able move tomorrow? Some exercisers will begin to get sore and find their muscles and joints stiffen mid-workout. When this happens, it is only normal to wonder what may be waiting for you tomorrow morning. Totally normal! And the first few times you exercise, you may be sore for more than a day or two. But if you keep coming back...

  4. Are we done yet? This thought may occur to a deconditioned student after just a couple minutes. It requires a great deal of stamina to get through an hour of focused exercise. But, just as it takes time and practice to scale up exercises to progressed options, it takes time and practice to get to that level. But if you keep coming back...

 

See what I am getting at? All the benefits you would derive from the above -- improved cardiovascular condition to get through a warm-up with ease, improved strength and range of motion to tackle progressed exercises, improved rate of recovery post-workout, and improved stamina to get through longer workouts -- are forthcoming when you keep coming back.

 

Imagine spending the better half of an hour on the sideline asking these questions over and over. Odds are you wouldn't feel terribly successful. Odds are you wouldn't want to come back. And what a shame that would be. Our coaches are always working hard to strike the balance between challenging students and simultaneously setting them up for success. Sometimes that means easing in with 28-minute workouts.

 

Your workouts may never necessarily be 'easy' but all the wonderful things that come from continued effort will be forthcoming...if you keep coming back!

 

 

Disclaimer: Fit Club is not a medical doctor and the information contained herein should not be taken as medical advice. These are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problem. Recommendations by Fit Club are not intended to replace the advice of a physician or health professional. Please consult your physician or a health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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