Are you investing intelligently into your exercise account?

A lot of times when we go to the gym we are focused on what we are going to do right then.  “What exercises am I going to do?  How many sets and reps?  What weight will I be using?”  All of these are valid questions to consider.  However, as a personal trainer and Muscle Activation Techniques™ specialist in Schaumburg, IL, I often have to talk with my clients about the value of investing intelligently into their exercise account, which means exercising for tomorrow and not just for today.



“Should I use more weight?”

“Should I use more weight?”

“That would depend on your goal…”

As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, I realize that a lot of times we get caught up on the idea of more is better.  If we can use more weight, we should.  If we can perform more reps, we should.  If we can eek out a couple more sets, we should.  But here’s the issue:  the value in exercise is not actually found in the doing of the exercise, but rather in your body’s response to doing the exercise.



What does muscle have to do with it?

As a Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT™) specialist and personal trainer in Schaumburg, I know that many people seek out MAT™ because it makes A LOT of people feel better!  This is one reason why I absolutely LOVE MAT™ and why I love being an MAT™ Specialist.

There is one problem with this, though.  MAT™ does not treat pain.  It never has and never will.  In this blog post, I want to discuss what you can expect from an MAT™ session and how you can know you are making progress, even when pain symptoms are not changing.  

Let’s start with the obvious, again.  MAT™ does not treat pain.



‘Tis The (Flip-Flops) Season

Whether you consider Memorial Day to mark the start of summer or you hold off until it officially turns in late June, almost one thing is for certain:  flip-flops season is now in full swing. While this lightweight form of footwear can have you feeling footloose and fancy-free, there are potential repercussions on the horizon by sporting the open-backed staple of summer.



Is Compensation Actually Bad?

When you hear the word compensation, what do you usually think of?  Is it a word to describe something positive or negative?  Something normal or abnormal?  Something done out of abundance or inadequacy?  As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, this is often a topic of discussion.

A quick Google search brings up two prominent definitions for compensation:

  1. The money provided to an employee for their work, or to a party due to loss, injury or suffering.
  2. Something that counterbalances or makes up for an undesirable or unwelcome state of affairs.

As it relates to exercise and movement, the second definition above is typically how compensation is used.  Compensation usually labels a movement that is done in a manner outside of the parameters that we find to be “normal,” “correct,” or “appropriate.”  Essentially, we use this to describe a movement that is not “perfect.”

I want to challenge you to start thinking about compensation as a description of all movement.



Do You Have “Golfer’s Foot”?

Over the past month, I have been taking golf lessons every couple weeks.  One thing I quickly learned was how much movement has to occur through the feet in order to efficiently perform a golf swing.  As a personal trainer and Muscle Activation Techniques™ specialist in Schaumburg, I often consult with golfers who are having knee, hip, and back issues.  Rarely, however, do I consult with golfers who are complaining of foot issues.  This leads me to believe that (a) their feet are actually fine and their issues are elsewhere, or (b) they have a significant case of “golfer’s foot” and their discomforts are being caused by foot issues.

**“Golfer’s foot” is not a real diagnosis by medical standards.  In fact, it is a term that I just made up.  Since I am in no way licensed to make medical diagnoses, I am simply using this made up term to highlight a point.**



Don’t Confuse General Physical Activity With Specific Exercise

As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, I am often asking my clients what they did for exercise or physical activity since I last saw them.

“I played a round of golf over the weekend.”

“I went for a 45-minute walk yesterday.”

“I chased my grandkid all over the house.”

These activities can certainly be challenging, but what is the one thing they all lack?  Specificity.



Squatting For Bigger Arms? Think Again.

“Why are we squatting?  I want bigger arms.”

“Well, if you do heavy lifts for your legs, you will produce a greater base of anabolic hormones to work off of later and that will allow you to build bigger arms.”

As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, I swear I have had this conversation with almost all of my male clients at some point in time.  Unfortunately, the advice I gave is dead wrong.  Check out why in my review of literature for this study!