This year marks my 20-year anniversary working as a trainer! Since 2003 personal training and wellness has been my full-time job. Sometimes it boggles my mind when I tell people, “This is all I have done professionally: Train people one-on-one or in small groups, and provide massage therapy to support an active lifestyle.” Within these 20 years, I have worked with many different demographics: Young adults, seniors, busy working professionals, teenage athletes, those with chronic injuries, and those where having peak fitness is essential. Here is my number one recommendation for each of these groups:
Busy professionals and parents: Do short 30-45 minute workouts grouping 3-5 exercises in a circuit-like setup. Move through the workout with minimal rest to get as much work in as possible. Overall fitness is typically the goal, so I often reduce the weight slightly to focus on the fitness aspect over strength. You can get a lot done in a limited amount of time.
Recovering from Chronic Injuries: Always work to resolve injury and never give up. Recovering from injury can be a long process with many ups and downs. Every successful rehab session, workout, or stretching routine helps get you a little closer to recovery. Be patient with the process, never give up, and don’t rush back into strenuous activity too soon which can cause re-injury.
Seniors: Work to improve the things that decrease with age like balance, strength, and coordination. With aging, we lose more fast twitch muscle fibers than slow twitch, making activities that require these attributes harder. Endurance, although very important, is much easier to hold on to.
Teenage athletes: Remember that becoming a better athlete is the primary goal and build your workouts around getting better at your sport. Although strength and sometimes size help, chasing gym goals can come at the expense of your sports performance. Be sure to do weight training workouts designed for athletes (as opposed to bodybuilding, powerlifting, etc.), especially throughout the off-season and pre-season.
Those achieving peak fitness: Spend time on your recovery which includes rolling (self-myofascial release), corrective exercise, targeted stretching, light strength training, and rest. These are often runners, triathletes, obstacle racers, and gym enthusiasts who love to train, but tend to neglect recovery and cross-training, which often leads to injury.
Young adults: Keep your workouts balanced to include all parts of your body as well as including both strength and cardio work. The type of workouts you do will differ based on your goal, but be sure to not skip certain workouts just because you don’t like to do them. People of all ages are guilty of this, so keeping this balance early on will pay off decades later.
Of course, there are many other groups and sub-groups of people who exercise, but I often get the question, “What would you recommend to someone who…”. I find this question difficult to answer because the recommendation is often not what the person wants to hear or it's currently not a popular fitness trend. Start with the basic concepts whether it’s recovery, athleticism, or anything in between, and build your workouts from there.
Jerry Yuhara, CPT, CSCS, CMT #75123
299 California Ave, Suite 120
Palo Alto, CA 94306
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