COMMUNITY: Train smart and for your needs

Editorís note: Adam Rees is founder of GRIT GYM, a gym based on results, creating a culture and lifestyle of performance, strength, health and freedom to live life on your own terms. Rees attended Wartburg, worked under nationally recognized strength coach Matt McGettigan at ISU and is generally a glutton for information and improvement in all forms.

By Adam Rees, community contributor

What weíre seeing in the fitness industry is a focus on the right things in a misguided way.

Weíre now seeing resistance training (rather than strict, long endurance training), timed intervals (rather than steady state cardio) and an emphasis on slow carbs (rather than no-fat/no-carb) regularly accepted as a superior way of training/thinking, which is incredible.

Where we have fallen off is in the speed/power/strength/durability continuums, as well as mentality and the psychological vs. physiological relationship when training, which basically boils down to needs and readiness.

What may be appropriate for a 14-year-old old male who participates in multiple sports with a focus on baseball is going to be much different from an 18-year-old female whoís primary focus is basketball and track.

This goes without saying how different a 52-year-old mother of three would train, a woman who has had her abdomen basically split down the middle to adjust for the expansion of a childís development and the toll that raising them has taken. Or the 52-year-old father, ex-athlete, 25-year desk jockey who wants to hop right back into it with 30 extra pounds of fat, 15 less pounds of muscle and a host of joint stiffness and compensations patterns that have been building for decades along with a body thatís ability to recover is far less than heíll expect.

These are big issues when considering the cookie-cutter approach generalizing everyoneís needs in a group setting. Especially when selecting lifts/exercises and rest times.

I see far too many joint issues to condone head stands, crunches/sit-ups, upright rows, leg curls, leg extensions, incorrectly done yoga poses, pressing in excess, lifting without proper technique (which is rare), using lifts as cardio (where technique will break quickly), and not to mention overuse injuries like too many miles/kicks/punches/jumps/hops/reps. Too much, too soon, too often with not enough rest/recovery/strength/mobility/stability/durability, and not enough balance throughout the body or program.

Thus far, GRIT GYM has been primarily a sport performance facility. In 2013, weíd like to promote the good training practices that should be present in the general publicís programs, as well as prevent the dangers of misguided practice.

Itís common to feel intimidated by this kind of exercise. People feel thereís no way they could do that or they donít want someone bossing them around. Well, I train my mother who started lifting four years ago. At the beginning her dead lift was 95 pounds and she recently pulled 245 for two reps from the floor. This is total body strength that she will keep for the rest of her life.

The more you build now, the more you keep later.

I encourage you to put the pink dumbbells down and throw what you hear from Jillian Michaels, Tracey Anderson and that other folks out the window. They are TV personalities and thatís where it ends.

Get a highly trained, educated and up to date professional to teach you technique as well as how to warm up. Start slow ó a beginner can make huge gains lifting 35 percent of their one rep max. It is a good thing when we get more done with less.

Eat better and be aware of how you feel before shoving food in your mouth. When weíre changing behaviors around food, itís better to start by addition than by subtraction.

Finally, have a good time doing with what you are doing. We have very few things we have power over and attitude is one of them.

Check and for more on this story and others. Email Rees at

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