Each of the treadmills at our gym overlook the weight room. I like that. With no TV in view, members can’t help but pass their run-time watching exercise activity below.
To some observers, the weight room probably looks like an intimidating sweatshop filled with strange pieces of equipment. For others, hopefully it’s a place to watch for new exercises, or different ways of doing them. And then for an obvious few, it’s about the scenery of shorts and T-shirts.
To a Fitness Trainer however, running the treadmill in my gym provides the perfect vantage point to observe an entire “Exercise Physiology Lab” in one unobstructed view!
On a busy day there are dozens of people in the “lab”, moving from bench to bench, machine to machine. Each day presents a new opportunity for me to observe and compare various workout routines for the quality of their content, and various exercise forms for the quality of their execution.
When you’re spending more time rubbing a sore shoulder after the bench press than warming up or adjusting your lifting position, I notice.
When you’re racing through a set of bicep curls, but your shoulder joint is actually moving more than your elbow joint, I notice.
When you’re doing “heavy” lateral raises with the dumbbells held somewhere around your chest, I notice.
So, what are the attributes of a good workout that I’m watching for?
1. A Planned routine that flows purposely in sequence, builds progressively in intensity, and includes complementary exercises rather than a series of redundant ones.
2. Proper exercise form that is executed with the greatest efficiency of movement, greatest effectiveness for its purpose and, above all, greatest safety to the body.
Yes, there IS science behind putting your workout together. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of variables thrown together with little thought, little change, and lots of wasted time and effort. Which unfortunately is what I notice a lot of from the treadmill gallery.
It’s so easy to get lulled into the same old routine, or to do more damage than good from continually repeating a sloppy form.
Which, when you think about my initial question, may not be working for you at all.
TIP: As a result of your fitness efforts, if you’re not seeing measurable change in your body shape from month to month, then something’s not working.