WHAT WE DO
At Todd Smith Fitness we do something that just does not exist in the world of fitness. We train regular people in a safe fashion. We use exercises for their personal goals. We use the exercises that we actually do during our own workouts. We focus on basic biomechanics which will lead to safer more effective workouts. We take our clients as who they are and what their goals are.
Todd was speaking at a conference years ago, ironically his topic was on the safety of exercise, and appropriate training for your goals. The conference focused on new exercise trends, high-intensity intervals, boot camps, and functional training. All trends focusing easy to scale, less equipment, and fewer instructors. The conference hosted a free boot camp. Anyone could do the class as long as they signed a waiver. He watched as people that clearly had no exercise or movement practice jump into 50 students to 1 instructor boot camp. The exercises chose by the instructor required optimal joint mechanics (which no one had) and done with little to no rest time between exercises. People were being pushed and many struggled to finish. The good news is no one was hurt that day. But what people need to understand is that most exercise-related injuries will appear like a cavity. Most likely they will not appear overnight, but within a few weeks, months or years. A few ladies that had done the class stopped him, appreciating his talk, not realizing they had done exactly the opposite of what he was talking about. They were proud they had finished such a hard workout. Rubbing their joints and talking about the discomfort. Todd asked a lady, “what are your goals? Are you getting ready for a sporting event?” The woman said, “no, why do you ask? I just wanna look better!” Todd said, “you know you do not have to subject yourself to pain just to look better?”
The lesson being, why do things that put immediate discomfort on your body? That slight discomfort will become a major problem over time. Change happens from the workout, but not immediately at that moment. Exercise just stimulates the process. For some reason, the biological engineering of humans is exercise is the main driver in change. It should just Be stimulating the process. Nutrition, sleep, and consistency are the main drivers.
MUSCLE CENTRIC OVER EXERCISE CENTRIC
The whole exercise world is telling us all we need is squats and kettlebells. But what if you have previous injuries and only experience pain when doing squats and kettle swings? Are you out of luck? Will you never get development in those targeted muscles? Safer alternatives do exist.
Kettlebell swings work a lot of muscles but the glutes and hamstrings being the prime movers. If it hurts you, try hyperextensions focusing on the same muscles. Do it in a non-ballistic fashion, focus on the contractIons and keep the muscle loaded from start to finish every rep. You’ve added some stability to the knees, forearms, and shoulders out of it. Still targeted the same primary muscles, just made it a lot safer and if done right, will get to a more isolated contraction.
There is nothing wrong with finding a safer alternative. Consistency is the key.
NOT SAYING TO GO EASY
Just because I’m recommending not to go hard at the compound lifts if they cause discomfort does not mean you should walk away unscathed with no feelings of fatigue in your muscles. Go at it controlled, hard, and focused. Reach for muscular failure. When you can’t control the negative portion of a rep, the set is over. Targeting exhaustion safely is the goal. Most people develop muscular imbalances just from day to day life. Just because a muscle is turned off now does not mean it always will be. Breaking down the body joint by joint, finding over lengthen muscles. Correcting them should be part of every mature person’s process.
Our preconceived notion of what it takes to get in shape can be paralyzing. It makes us think in a world of ideas. You may not be Linda Hamilton or Arnold Schwarzenegger from the ’90s anymore, but neither are they. Being mentally resilient about finding what actually feels good with your body now is nothing to be ashamed of. Try being open to a new approach. It may not take what you think it actually takes. Most people that say they have tried everything have not just tried the same 2 to three things over and over again.