Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

Customizing Your Workout by Matthew Romans

The Total Results exercise philosophy is based on the classical sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as concepts of motor learning and biomechanics) and involves brief, infrequent, and high intensity weight training workouts that use a slow and deliberate speed of movement. While we have a sound and consistent foundation in place (and have followed it for nearly twenty years), it's important to understand that ours is not a cookie cutter approach. Two clients' workouts may be similar in how they are structured, but we see each client as a unique individual, and we tailor our instructional approach, selection and sequence of exercises to help each client achieve optimal success. I like to think of this as customizing your workout.

If you have paid attention to the mainstream fitness industry over the years, trends and fads come and go. Most other exercise protocols and philosophies are pragmatic; they will incorporate whatever seems good at the time, whether it's "functional" training, balance training, or any other notion with or without a scientific basis. We don't operate that way. Everything that we do has to be consistent with our exercise protocol that was refined over many years, and we are very serious about staying true to our roots.

There are plenty of ways that we can customize your workout. After a client completes an initial consultation, we select the exercises that make up a beginner or generic workout. This usually consists of the exercises that are the most important and easiest to learn, and usually include (among others) the Leg Press, Chest Press, and Lumbar Extension. These are the exercises that a large portion of our client population can handle without too much joint irritation.

-We usually stick with a sequence of exercises for the lower body before the upper body; however, in situations involving exercise-induced headache or nausea we may need to reverse that order to work around the potential problem.

-Dynamic movements are preferred most of the time, but we can also use Timed Static Contractions, and in some cases, Negative-Only protocol in order to best meet the needs of the individual and work around a joint issue or injury.

-Substituting one machine for another might be required. A shoulder problem might make the MedX Overhead Press machine a better option than the one made by Super Slow Systems, and the MedX Row might be better for someone with elbow issues than having them use the Super Slow Systems Compound Row. In some cases, neither option is the best fit, and they may need to do a modified Pullover to avoid the elbow joint entirely.

-To alter the range of motion on exercises like the Chest Press and Leg Curl, we can "gap" the weight stack, or move the movement arm a notch or two forward before putting in the selector pin. Our equipment is easy to adjust, and we can accommodate people with varying heights and limb lengths. We can also provide elevation pads, hand cushion and grip-assisting hooks to make you more comfortable.

One of the characteristics of a good exercise instructor is the ability to adapt, sometimes on the fly, to whatever a client needs. This holds true for how we instruct each client. One of the things that makes exercise instruction such an interesting and rewarding profession is that each client is unique and has his or her own personality and temperament. Some clients may need more teaching and prompting than others, and some will require very little instruction at all during each exercise. As a general rule, an instructor should say as little as possible so as not to pose a distraction during the workout, but we will give whatever coaching is needed to help you get the safest and most effective exercise stimulus that you can.

Exercise volume and frequency (dosage) also needs to be customized so that the client can achieve safe and long-lasting progress without the risk of illness or injury due to overuse. While we could make more money if our workouts were longer and more frequent, it's our duty to do what is in the best interest of the client. Sometimes this means reducing one's training frequency and volume of exercise; many of our longer-tenured clients exercise once per week.

As you can see, ours is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We can customize your workout experience to work around nearly any injury, condition, or joint issue, and we can do so while staying true to the exercise philosophy that is most congruent with the classic sciences. Regardless of your age, personality, experience level, or health history, we can find the proper blueprint to deliver the best results in the least amount of time. Come see what makes us different from the rest of the industry.

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Posted November 15, 2019 by Tim Rankin