Next time you’re working out in the gym, look around and ask yourself how many people look like they are in control of what they are doing. Are they moving the weight or is the weight moving them?

Marc Chasnov was my mentor and lifting coach when I was in my early 20’s.  Marc threw me out of the weight room three times for breathing too loudly.  Does that sound ridiculous to you?  It sounded ridiculous to me at the time but now I’m grateful for the powerful lesson Marc taught me for the duration of my career.  As I walked out of the room the first time, Marc said, “David, if you can’t control your breathing, you can’t control the weight.  And if you can’t control the weight, you don’t belong in the weight room.”  He had to stuff this lesson into my thick skull a couple of times before I truly understood what he meant. Training with control eventually became the cornerstone of my own conditioning and the manner in which I want my clients to train.

When you’re in the gym, observe others and study their overall body movement.  Are they well-balanced with a stable core?  If it’s evident that they’re throwing the weight and jerking their bodies, then they are not in control of what they’re doing.  So what??? There is so much more to be gained when we train with complete control.  We maximize our time in the gym and optimize the efficiency of our conditioning. Training with control requires us to stabilize our entire body with proper balance.  No matter what exercise we’re doing, being in total control requires us to be well-balanced, engaging our core muscles and controlling the resistance through both the concentric (contracting) phase and the eccentric (releasing) phase of each motion.

I’ve become a big advocate of training without weights; particularly as I get older.  Training without weights is less traumatic to our connective tissues.  Observe highly athletic disciplines such as gymnastics, dance and martial arts.  The true masters rarely, if ever, lift weights. They work on mastering the control and movements of their own body weight. There are so many exercises we can do without weights that will force us to work hard, developing our strength while enhancing the control we have over our bodies.

Try this – stand on one foot.  Reach down and touch your toes with your hands while raising one leg behind you as high as you possible can.  Return to a fully upright position.  Do this ten times without touching your foot to the floor.  Simple?  Easy??  Do it slowly and as smoothly as possible.  Try it on various surfaces to challenge your stability.  Doing that exercise alone will accomplish more for you than using any leg press, leg curl or leg extension machine.

SUCK IT UP and train with CONTROL!!!

Hillsboro Certified Personal Training | Lake Oswego Local Fitness Trainer | Beaverton Physical Trainer | Portland Oregon Fitness Trainer

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