My Personal Trainer Once Bit Me: Part 2 Of 2

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By: Raul J. Rodriguez MD, DABPN, DABAM, MRO Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Careful study and experimentation have led to the development of safer and more efficient training regimens that are custom tailored to meet each individual’s needs. Functional training exercises focus on training bodily movements rather than isolated muscles. Agility and balance exercises can appear difficult but are actually very fun and add a fresh challenge to any workout. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an enhanced form of interval training that alternates intense anaerobic efforts with recovery periods to create a quality cardiovascular workout. Body sculpting involves using specific exercises to significantly change body proportions to that which is desired. These popular training forms deliver prominent and consistent gains with fewer injury setbacks. Having dietary needs addressed professionally with a licensed nutritionist really makes the difference as far as losing the most body fat and improving energy levels.
To really reach the highest fitness level, there is another fitness professional that I would characterize as essential. A true fitness coach is a Master’s level professional who can collect and study exercise data and then formulate a very specific training plan to optimize your fitness. Once you have achieved basic fitness, a different approach needs to be employed to reach advanced and elite levels of fitness. A fitness coach can organize and strategize your workouts to create what is referred to as a periodized training regimen.
Periodization of training is a long-term cyclic training structure to optimize athletic performance and physical gains so as to achieve certain goals within certain specified time periods or to coincide with actual athletic competition. To explain more simply, it refers to spending some weeks building a base level of fitness in preparation for intensified training in later weeks. The intense training period will reach a peak of physical performance, which is time period that is best coordinated with an actual competition. All the workouts relate to each other in some way, such as to prepare for a more intense workout, reach a new peak output, or recover from a more intense session. There are cycles that exist within the same week, the same month, over a span of a few months, and even over the span of a few years. With each training cycle the athlete will reach higher and higher peak fitness levels. The “height” of these peaks cannot be obtained with conventional training done mostly at the same intensity. This is how you go from being someone who just “works out” to being an actual athlete.
Becoming an athlete brings numerous physical and psychological benefits. The most basic benefits include a body that is lean and muscular, greater endurance, greater agility, and greater energy. Additional benefits include greater confidence, a sense of accomplishment, a sense if purpose when it comes to diet and exercise, elevation of mood, reduction of anxiety, and greater mental clarity. With proper periodized training, the goals are both achievable and sustainable by most people who would not consider themselves an athlete at the present time. Most people are truly more capable than they have ever realized if they just had the proper guidance and support from a fitness coach.
Once you reach a certain level of fitness, especially reaching the point of becoming an athlete, you cannot imagine ever going back to the way it was before. My trainer and fitness coach have made the biggest difference in me getting there and I have no intention of ever going back. If I can do it with the appropriate professional help, how could you not possibly be able to?
Dr. Rodriguez is the founder of the Delray Center for Healing and the PFN-Speedlab National Training Center. PFN-Speedlab NTC is a professional fitness facility that focuses on progressive training regimens for both professional athletes and non-professionals of all fitness levels seeking optimal results.