Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm going to kick the Clapp out of you

In case anyone reading this didn't know, I was born with the unfortunate last name of Clapp. Apparently not only being slang for gonorrhea, it also means mouth in German. My client who speaks five languages explained today.

He and I were laughing pretty hard after he came up with the "I'm going to kick the Clapp of out you" line. In his native language, he told me he could rhyme the ass off of Eminem. I told him to bring it. But as he started to relax during his fascial stretch, his brain shut down. I'm sure it was the stretch ;)

Truth is I don't actually kick the Clapp out of people. I don't believe in the No Pain No Jane thing either. It's really just tongue in cheek. What I try to teach people is the balance between ease of movement and effort.

Anyone who is just concerned with making you sweat without attention to form and technique is not serving your health. The boot camp suck it up and shut up thing isn't an Urbanfitt thing.

The major difference between a hard workout and a smart workout has little to do with the exercises performed. Fitness is more about the "how" than the "what." It is rarely about the moves or the piece of equipment used; it's the level and quality of effort put into the workout that matters most.

Many people do need to learn what physical effort feels like. I had a new client in her 60s today who hadn't really fatigued her muscles in years. That was a bit of an awakening for her today.

But most people need to learn how to work smart, move forward with a strategy for balanced fitness and give up on getting fit in 3 weeks. Chill people. It can't be done.

It's always fun to see people work hard. But workouts and classes have to be more than just hard. They have to make sense. Do you know why you're doing the exercises you're doing? Why are you participating in a brand new fitness trend? How does it fit in with your goals? How is what you're doing helping you with chronic pain or injuries?

Here are some red flags about boot camp classes or personal trainers to watch out for:

The instructor/trainer can't or doesn't answer your questions.
The instructor says "no pain, no gain," or "exercise can fix all your health problems," or any of these other common fitness myths.
The instructor encourages you to work through pain or injury.
The instructor diagnoses and recommends a treatment for your pain and injury rather than recommending a visit to a physician.
You know you're not doing something properly but the instructor repeatedly doesn't notice or doesn't correct your form.

So it's about a hell of a lot more than getting the Clapp kicked out of you. That's just the icing on the cake.


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