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The Stages of Learning Proper Exercise, by Matthew Romans

The Total Results exercise philosophy is something that is very new for most people who start exercising with us. Our methodology is more detailed than any other exercise protocol in the industry, so new clients should not be discouraged if they do not master the technique immediately. Everyone learns and acquires skill at a different pace, but the initial consultation and first few sessions are very important for establishing the proper fundamentals of speed of movement, pacing, turnaround technique, and breathing. The learning curve may seem steep at first, but progressing along that curve helps you to achieve the results that you desire. I call this the stages of learning.

There are stages of learning in any endeavor that you might pursue: playing a musical instrument, driving a car, or swinging a golf club. At Total Results we introduce new clients to the initial selection and sequence of exercises (or what we call the generic routine) over the course of the first few sessions. This is done so we can be thorough without overloading the client with too much information and detail. This is the first stage of learning. To maximize learning, it's generally recommended that clients start exercising twice per week, but that isn't written in stone. The generic routine usually consists of the following exercises: Leg Curl, Leg Press, Chest Press, Row, Lumbar Extension, and Abdominal (either manually-resisted or a Timed Static Contraction). This routine is the foundation for future success and more advanced exercise routines; these are also the easiest exercises for new clients to learn and master.

The Leg Curl serves two vital purposes: it effectively targets the hamstrings directly and helps to lubricate the knee joint.

The Leg Press is the most important exercise, in that it engages the greatest amount of muscle

The Chest Press and Row are included because we want to have an equal number of pushing and pulling exercises for the upper body.

The Lumbar Extension is a critical exercise for strengthening the muscles of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

We finish the routine off with an Abdominal exercise to make sure that all the major structures of the upper and lower body are addressed. If a client has knee issues, we will usually substitute the Hip Abduction and Adduction exercises in place of the Leg Curl.

The second stage of learning usually occurs around the six to eight week mark, or when enough proficiency has been attained to move on to the next level. For twice per week clients, this involves introducing several new exercises over the course of the next few sessions. These exercises can include Pulldown, Overhead Press, Cervical (neck) Extension, Hip Abduction, Hip Adduction, Bicep Curl, Tricep Extension, Calf Raise, and Linear Spine Flexion. At this point, we have clients perform an "A" and "B" routine that each consist of a separate set of 5-7 exercises. We often limit the performance of Leg Press and Lumbar Extension to one time per week, to enhance recovery. Clients who exercise once per week will generally keep a similar structure to their routine, but often alternate certain exercises from one workout to the next (such as the compound upper body exercises, or neck and low back movements).

A third learning stage often involves clients moving from two sessions to one session per week, in which case we would use a hybrid of an "A" and "B" routine. Clients reduce their training frequency for a few reasons: financial, limited time, or they are training intensely enough that they are exceeding their body's recovery ability by training twice per week. Recovery is dependent upon a number of factors, namely sleep, nutrition, stress management, and your activity level outside of your Total Results workouts. There are advantages to continuing at twice a week, certainly if fat loss, injury rehabilitation and metabolic conditioning are primary goals. While sometimes the learning curve is a bit steeper for those that start out training once per week, we have seen many of these clients obtain incredible results in short order. We can tailor our selection and sequence of exercises to meet the needs of the individual, particularly if there is an injury history or concerns of nausea and/or exercise-induced headache.

Your Total Results instructor will help you progress through the stages of learning and tailor your exercise routine to achieve maximum benefit in minimum time. The journey is hard: nothing of benefit that can be accomplished is easy. All you need is a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and an open mind. We can help you get there. Take your first step today.

Posted July 22, 2020 by Tim Rankin