Strength, weight loss, hypertrophy, and flexibility. All things a person new to exercise wants to achieve. All attainable goals wrapped up neatly in a customized “program” meant to be done a few times week. Although the word “program” is appropriate to communicate the work one is embarking on, it’s not really the starting point for the beginning strength training client.
As someone who specializes in working with beginners and people with multiple physical limitations, I’ve noticed that de-conditioned bodies and physical injuries are sometimes the smaller hurdles we need to jump. The larger ones seem to be the perceptions and beliefs of our clients. One of the most beneficial tools I utilize is the ability to release exercise stress by centering and breathing, When one is able to center and breathe, the reps and exercises flow. This flow reduces the chance of injury and increases the chances to achieve all the above mentioned goals. Centering yourself happens in two places, in the mind and the body. Obviously our thoughts control our actions so this is the best place to start.
It’s stressful coming to see your trainer for the first time. You’ve gone through the frightening task of carefully looking at their website and social media. You’ve no doubt envisioned what it might be like working with this person and imagining the ways that they can help you. You’ve thought about the fact that you’re going to be spending 2-3 hrs a week with them…… 1 on 1….. and In this fast paced world, that’s a long time. Above all else, you’ve already begun to trust them. Your trainer takes on a lot of responsibility, and as the client, so do you.
Ok, you’ve done it, you’ve chosen the individual that’s going to help you in your transformation. The day has arrived, you’re at the gym, filled out the forms, in your gear and ready to go. You and your trainer are approaching the gym floor, a million thoughts swirl in your head. What do you do?
RELAX and BREATHE.
Approach the space like you might approach any place that deserves your respect, humility, attention and focus. Adopt a “Yogic Mindset” when stepping onto the floor or training space. Try to clear your mind of the the worries global, familial, employment and personal. You are here, now, and have created this space in your day for this loving act of self care. This form of love is shrouded in intensity that comes over time and can alter the next few hours, the day, and your whole life. This attitude is 90% of what you need for success.
Over the course of the next hour you will probably find your shoulders creeping towards your ears, relax them and breathe. You will probably find your knees locking and lose the ability to connect your feet to the ground, relax and breathe. Each push will make your arms feel like spaghetti and you’ll be unable to connect to your shoulder, relax and breathe. You will feel everything in your neck, relax and breathe. There’s no specific way you should go about this, just set the intention “to drop everything” and do the best you can. This is all we will ever ask of you and all you should ever ask of yourself.
A saying I like to use with my clients all the time is to find “Grace Under Pressure”. Adopt it and own it, even if it’s just for 60 minutes. All of these difficult tasks will become easier over time and your reward will of course be that we just make them harder 🙂
Coming soon, the anatomical aspects of centering.
Ready to get started? Contact Hal today!