NutriFormance- Fitness, Therapy and Performance
Sensible Fitness for Sensible People
Dale Huff, BS, CSCS
Every few years the consumers are overly influenced by fitness industry trends—attracted by the new ‘flashy’ atmosphere vs. a sound approach to exercise. Unfortunately, this attraction to what’s “new” can distract the consumer from what’s “important,” leading to potential injury rather than achieving their fitness and performance goals.
As a team of fitness experts, we strongly urge you to consider the following things when choosing a fitness class or gym membership.
The ear drum is more sensitive to loud music when exercising due to increase blood flow to the ear drum? Do your ears a favor; download an app called Decibel X and keep those decibels at 90 or less. Anything higher demands ear plugs…or find a class that doesn’t crank up the music. Hearing loss is a slow and cumulative process- before you know it, you can’t hear things that are important to you- such as family conversations.
Athletic Apparel & Gym Cleanliness– Have you heard of MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infection caused by a type of Staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria that’s resistant to many different antibiotics. These bacteria naturally live in the nose and on the skin and generally don’t cause any harm. However, when they begin to multiply uncontrollably, a MRSA infection can occur. These infections typically occur when there’s a cut or break in your skin.
MRSA is very contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected person. It can also be contracted by coming into contact with an object or surface that an infected person has touched. Think wrestling mats or fitness mats. Though a MRSA infection can be serious, it may be treated effectively with antibiotics.
We use Gym Wipes after each session on a stretching table, cardio equipment and getting off of mats. We supply these Anti-microbial, Anti-macrobiotic MRSA germ-killing wipes throughout the facility. If you are exercising in a class that members aren’t wearing appropriate clothing (think no shirts, no shoes) then you are not in a clean environment for fitness.
Dim, dark or flashy lighting while running on a treadmill sounds like a bad idea, doesn’t it? Add to this only 1 coach to a group of 15-20 clients doing interval sprints and exiting a moving treadmill to towel off or hydrate and the risk only increases!
At NutriFormance we keep treadmill-based classes to a 1:6 coach to instructor ratio. We include an additional coach for the strength training portion of the class.
Instructor to Participant Ratio–
An appropriate coach to client ratio really depends on the format of the class, the experience of the participant and the training tools used. Here are my opinions on some general guidelines.
Beginning Exerciser– Metabolic classes should be 12 or less participants and in an ideal world a beginner would learn more advanced movements in a one-on-one setting. A beginner should never do Kettlebell swings in a large group format with only 1 coach- I can promise your lower back agrees with me. A beginner should never push to full failure during a metabolic class- form should come first with a mindset of discontinuing at voluntary fatigue, not full failure. Be smart, know your body and don’t try and keep up with other participants because some coach is telling you to.
This might shock you—you should not get on a rowing machine without proper individualized instruction on how to row. Why? Because rowing technique requires multi-joint sequenced movement and no one is cueing your form when there is one coach and 20 participants. A small coach to instructor ratio of 1:4 gives the coach enough time to cue all the participants.
Moderate to Advanced Exercisers- Training age > 2 years for the specific exercises you are doing. In a large group class if you are doing Olympic style lifts, Kettlebell swings, or any exercise that requires advanced training and repetition, you should have a very thorough understanding of the form and volume and load your body can handle. Look around your class, if you don’t see similar form from most participants with coaches cueing up form break downs, then RUN! This class is not safe for your joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Some of the videos that local St. Louis fitness clubs are putting out show me that bad coaching is at epidemic proportions. What degree, nationally recognized certification and training experience does the instructor have?
Value- value in fitness might not always be a concern, but if you are paying for only one fitness class format or have to run all over town to get your classes in- this might not be the most sensible approach to fitness for the long term. We could all use a little more time in our day, right? Do you have access to strength and cardio equipment for those days you don’t feel like a metabolic workout? Do you have access to qualified professionals when you have a question?
Would you believe if I told you that at NutriFormance you can get a personal trainer, over 80 group fitness classes/week, unlimited gym access, access to registered dietitians, licensed massage therapists, Pilates instructors and certified athletic trainers, all for one fee?
One Class Format– One class format = no options/less value and huge potential for overtraining. If you row multiple times week without really good form, you will at some point aggravate your elbows, lower back or upper back. Yes, I get it, the atmosphere is so cool—but you have to ask yourself, why do you exercise? What are you training for? I hope you consider your next 50 years of life as a reason to stay healthy, fit and strong. Long-Term Fitness Development (LTFD) is a phrase I coined from Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD). LTAD has taken the athletic performance enhancement community by storm forcing us to consider how is this going to affect my athlete tomorrow, the next day and for the rest of their lives. LTAD has helped develop recovery, mobility, and corrective exercises in strength and conditioning coaches throughout the world. If Long-Term Fitness Development (LTFD) doesn’t gain the same sort of traction soon, we will end up with too many orthopedic injuries.
Our first goal at NutriFormance is to promote well-being and do no harm. People exercise for health benefits, improved performance and aesthetic goals and should not have to worry that their fitness classes are hurting their future. In this day and age of fitness, it should be buyer beware. Many in our industry have no idea what they are doing to you on a day-in and day-out basis. We barely survived the body building revolution and high impact step aerobics- in my opinion many fitness business (especially franchise fitness) are taking us backward again.
We are a fitness coaching facility, locally owned with an incredibly knowledgeable staff. Yes, we have gaps in our knowledge, which is why we work closely with our team of registered dietitians, Pilates instructors, massage therapists and outside sources such as physical therapists and physicians. Our first goal will be to understand your goal and develop a program that can help you reach your goals without creating any setbacks from injury. We love our great industry, it has helped so many people, but it is time to take a stand against over-training, too much atmosphere at the expense of sound training, bad nutrition advice and underqualified fitness professionals.
Over the next several months we are going to be highlighting many of our members who have a Sensible Approach to Fitness to share with you that it can be done without over-taxing and beating up your body. If any of these true stories resonate with you, give us a call and we would be happy to sit down with you and see if we can help you make sense of your fitness life!
IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE FITNESS INDUSTRY! IT IS TIME TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!