The other day I got some feedback from someone who came to my group classes for a month. To give some context I have to say that this person comes from spending years going to a conventional big chain gym, working out with machines and doing group fitness classes. This person combined both my classes and the other gym during this month.
I’ve been told that although my classes were fun, dynamic and challenging, both physically and mentally and that the method behind it made sense, the person needed to know in advance what we were going to do in the classes to be more in control of his/her training schedule. Like what muscle groups we would be training, for example, and that working for time, breaths, or with different tempos instead of the classic repetitions were odd.
I explain that the body doesn’t know what repetitions are or what a biceps is. That it makes more sense to see and work the body more as whole instead of separated parts all the time. That coordination is basic and with it comes awareness and then the whole system works in harmony. At least is this what we should work towards. Also that we must control our own bodies before we try lifting heavy objects. That is mandatory to practice non-linear movement patterns. And, most importantly, that movement must be intrinsic to our lifestyle.
I know it can be overwhelming and hard to digest all of this and many see it as a bother.
I take responsibility. It’s my fault. Maybe I could explain better, make more sense, express better the value and benefits of doing the things this way. Maybe.
Another take, and I strongly believe in it, would be that this person, like many others I came across, is not yet prepared to take this approach and change the way they see physical activity. Because of fear.
Fear to step out of the comfort zone, to face incoordination, to slow down, to leave the ego at the front door and… Fail.
The addiction to high intensity exercise, burning calories, sweating at every single session, having a fixed schedule, the “no pain, no gain” mantra. The hole is so deep it’s hard to see the surface.
Choreographed fitness classes, repetition based workouts, fixed training routines, linear exercises, having appointments with your body three times a week — it takes you nowhere. Furthermore, the longer you stay attached to all of this the deeper you go into this bottomless hole. It doesn’t work like that. You can’t “enter” your body for one hour a day at programmed intervals. It’s hard to accept at the beginning but it’s essential to understand. You don’t own a body, you are your body.