Trainer in a Box
I was talking to a client the other day about her form. I was demonstrating how to do a new exercise and she said, "That's easy. Everybody knows how to do that." So I had her sit down and show me what the correct movement was. Can you guess what happened?
She did it wrong.
When I showed her the proper form, she was amazed at how different it felt. She had been watching and learning from other people in the gym, who, for the most part, were also doing it wrong.
Because my client can afford a personal trainer, she learns how to do every exercise properly. Unfortunately, there are many more people out there who can't afford a trainer, but I believe they still deserve professional instruction. So I came up with an idea. I like to call it "Trainer-in-a-box."
You can use books and smartphone apps to get the information you need.
Let's start with two books that cover a broad range of exercise movements.
Muscle Mechanics details 73 exercises that cover every major muscle group. By showing you proper positioning and alignment, you learn the best ways to isolate and train individual muscles.
The first part of Muscle Mechanics also includes a few sample workouts. Use this book as the foundation of your workout sessions.
The only people that don't need a copy of Muscle Mechanics are those of you working out with a partner. For you, I recommend Resistance Training Instruction.
Resistance Training Instruction is written from the perspective of a personal trainer. It still includes the proper movements for 73 different exercises like Muscle Mechanics, but it also shows the position you should be in to properly spot people (like your workout partner). There are also Trainer Tips that offer insights into each exercise.
For anyone with a smartphone, you can now download apps that will track and guide your workouts. The best option is to choose a program that goes through your specific goals and abilities, to build a custom routine just for you. The app should allow you to track all your weights, reps and sets. The best ones will include full descriptions and a video to demonstrate each movement you're attempting. Look for companies that update your workouts every 4-10 weeks to keep you progressing.
WeBeFit has partnered with a company called Trainerize to provide all those benefits.
Working out can only get you halfway to your goal. You also have to eat properly. That's where a food diary comes in.
The Pocket Food & Exercise Diary is not dated (so you can start it anytime), and it's designed to be used for ten weeks. During the day, you write down the foods you eat and how many calories, carbs and fats are in them.
At the end of the day, you total up the columns and deduct the calories burned during exercise.
The simple act of writing down everything you eat heightens your awareness. With this food diary, you can quickly see what foods are sabotaging your fitness goals and make changes for the better.
The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter allows you to look up the caloric content of foods before you order from fast-food restaurants. So you know what to put in your Pocket Food and Exercise Diary. Allan Borushek updates this book yearly. Currently, it has more than 11,000 food items in it and more than 200 fast-food restaurants, yet it's still small enough to fit in a glove compartment, purse or briefcase.
If you have a smartphone, several apps are now available that do the job even easier. Our personal favorite is one called MyFitnessPal. It's a free app, and it contains the caloric content of tens of thousands of foods. It even has the caloric content of every single WeBeFit recipe. If you cook one of our dishes, just type "WeBeFit" and the name of the dish. You don't have to re-enter anything; the caloric information is already there.
Taken together, these three books or two smartphone apps can provide you with the information, motivation and techniques necessary to get fit.
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.