Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

It's Probably Not Your Exercise Routine, by Matthew Romans

It is normal that as we age, we tend to experience some aches and pains in our bodies, particularly in places like the hips, knees, and lower back. I think that living an active life (within reason) is preferable to living one that is sedentary, and I believe it is better to wear out than to rust out from underuse. Having said that, sometimes novice Total Results trainees have a tendency to attribute occasional joint discomfort to something that is new (Total Results exercise) rather than some other form of activity they are currently doing, or to something they have done in the past. I am confident in saying that if you are experiencing joint problems or not making the progress you hoped toward your fat loss goals, your Total Results workout is probably not the culprit.

Overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or arthritis, are the result of repetitive motion and trauma. In contrast, an ACL tear is a single-event injury due to significant force that exceeds the structural integrity of the ligament. While a ligament can be weakened by repetitive stress, it generally tears as a result of a macrotrauma. Repetitive stress injuries can take months or years to manifest. In fact, young distance runners often scoff at the dangers of running and remark that they are injury-free. Many years later they often suffer from knee, hip, and back pain, but don't realize all the thousands of miles they have logged have been the root cause. Numerous long-time golfers experience back pain to varying degrees (see Tiger Woods). A golf swing involves a tremendous amount of torque (a twisting force) to the spine every time it is executed, and doing this repeatedly over the course of several years can result in injury. If a golfer experiences back pain on the Lumbar Extension machine, there is often a tendency to attribute the back pain to the exercise itself, rather than years of playing golf. Remember, correlation does not imply causation.

Yes, I have seen a few clients over the years experience an injury during a Total Results workout, but that is largely the result of committing form discrepancies rather than our exercise protocol. Total Results exercise is carefully regulated in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration, as well as speed of movement, selection of movements, and entry/exit of each machine. If you follow your instructor's directions and try to implement their instructions, the chances of injury are infinitesimal. As we like to say, Total Results exercise is safer than stepping off of a curb.

Fat loss is a common goal for many of our clients, and Total Results exercise is a big ally in terms of changing your body composition. Building lean muscle increases your metabolism, contributes to a positive change in body shape, and aids in fat loss. However, Total Results exercise in and of itself is not a fat loss program. Regular strength training workouts should be performed in conjunction with a reduction in calories consumed, avoidance/reduction of sugar, consuming a largely single-ingredient whole-food diet, and regular practice of intermittent fasting. In addition to that, it is important to get between 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night. If you are keeping up with your workouts but falling short in other areas, your fat loss results will probably not be optimal. Exercise is an important component of achieving fat loss, but it is only one of several components. We want to help get you there safely and efficiently. There is also a chance that your Vitamin D levels could be insufficient or even deficient (this can lead to difficulty in metabolizing fat), so it's a good idea to have your levels checked. Regular sensible sun exposure and Vitamin D supplementation can make a big difference.

We relish the opportunity to work around pre-existing or new injuries that a client presents to us, just as we experience tremendous satisfaction in helping clients to achieve their fat loss goals. In order to achieve success on both of these fronts, it requires trial and error and patience. It will take some time to find the right sequence and selection of exercises to work around or rehabilitate injuries, and it will take some experimentation with your diet and daily routine to start seeing some tangible fat loss results. Recreational activities, especially those that are physical in nature, have their virtues, but they also carry injury risks that must be assumed by the participant. Our mission at Total Results is to educate our clients and pass along what we have learned over the past two decades, and we will do everything that we can to give you the best chance for success.

Posted November 11, 2020 by Tim Rankin