Keep Your New Year’s Resolution Going Strong at MCC Fitness
By Ricardo Thomas and Roxy Lane
We spoke with veteran personal trainer and medical exercise specialist Ricardo Thomas, at Manny Cantor Fitness, about how to start and keep a fitness program, how to stay motivated, and how functional fitness can improve your quality of life. Below we share Ricardo’s expertise, which has been edited for length and clarity.
A fitness program is about improving your quality of life. Many people come in looking to lose weight, especially at this time of the year — but fitness is more important than just looking good, and optimal weight does not always mean optimal health.
I have been very lucky to work with an amazing and diverse group of clients, from absolute beginners to olympic level athletes. Those groups are more similar than you might think — one is looking to get an edge on opponents, maybe just by one tenth of a second, the other is also looking for that edge, but maybe to manage pain, feel better about themselves, or have more energy for everyday tasks.
On Starting Your Fitness Program
In the first month of training, the most important thing is to make sure feel comfortable. Learning your way around the gym, and learning to use the weights and equipment is important, but the most important thing is help you feel comfortable, and to offer support in setting reasonable and attainable goals for where you are.
Coming into the gym and comparing yourself to the people around you won’t do you any good. Focusing on how you feel will keep you coming back. I spend the first month making sure my clients have a good understanding of how training can improve their everyday life, before we prioritize other long term goals like sustained weight loss or training for a marathon.
More than anything else it’s important to make sure that clients leave the gym feeling better then when they arrive. That’s my goal in every session. Not every day will be your strongest day, but if you leave feeling better than when you arrived, you’ll keep coming back.
Learn more about starting a fitness program at Manny Cantor Center here.
On Staying Motivated to Reach Your Goals by Feeling Good First
I try to help clients attach small goals to their life outside of the gym. Maybe you want to be more active or have more energy for your kids, maybe your back hurts from sitting at a desk all day. Those are the goals we can tackle first. Those are the results we can celebrate first. New clients are often very focused on losing weight, and I try to refocus that attention on improving the way they feel. That comes first — the weight loss with follow. Finding something meaningful for each client to improve their life makes all the difference.
Sleeping better, working better, sitting up straighter — as clients start to experience these benefits their motivation and their priorities start to change on their own. You may have started your fitness program hoping to look better for summer, but once you are running a little bit faster, and you start to feel stronger, your motivations can change. I empower my clients this way — by helping them to see the benefits in their life.
Functional Fitness Improves Quality of Life
Most fitness enthusiasts understand the importance of building muscle strength, but they may not know that adding functional training to their workout can enhance performance at the gym, in sports and in daily activities.
Functional fitness exercises train your nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems to work in unison to improve your ability to perform your everyday activities by focusing on doing similar types of movements that mimic the activity you are trying to improve.
By incorporating functional exercises and movements within your fitness programming you gain awareness of your body’s movement patterns which helps facilitate balance, strength, flexibility and endurance. This type of training will make every day activities easier, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your overall quality of life.
Learn more about Ricardo here.
Get started on your own functional fitness program today! This January, MCC Fitness is offering our lowest membership price of the year, plus $0 enrollment and two free personal training sessions with a trainer like Ricardo!
For more information and to sign up for your free personal training sessions visit our website or stop by to see us at 197 East Broadway, 5th floor.
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