To be honest, I hesitated even making this post.  I did not want to stir up feelings of fear and anxiety that might not have even previously existed in many clients.  I did not want to plant this seed in an innocent mind.  In the end I decided that the pro’s of making this post outweigh the con’s.  If I can get even one person to step into the weight room that was previously unwilling to, than it is worth it…

We all have fears.  They range in scope and severity.  Fear and anxiety in the weight room are things that we can and will overcome together.  This is what coaches are for, to help you overcome any barrier you may encounter in your fitness journey, to push you beyond your comfort zone to achieve results you didn’t think were possible.

Some of the most common fears expressed (most times in a non verbal form… yes your facial expressions give you away)  from clients are relating to injury.  The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and several other governing bodies have published findings regarding injury rates due to weight/resistance training.

The ACSM has different categories (ranging from strain and sprain to catastrophic: including sudden cardiac arrest, injury requiring hospitalization and death).

The research shows us that minor injuries are the most common, but they can be greatly reduced when a professional is monitoring the exercise session.

Catastrophic injuries are extremely rare (even though they are often publicized {most of the time an undiagnosed preexisting condition causes the catastrophic injury, the stress of high intensity physical activity just exacerbated the condition}).

The prevalence rates range from 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 1.5 million- depending on which governing body you reference, which age group you analyze and which gender you consider (males are twice as likely to suffer a catastrophic event, and no that is not due to having a smaller brain, but rather an increased likelihood of a cardiovascular event).

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hhosAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=ACSM+resistance+training+injury+prevalence&ots=lkA7ZE0ZQz&sig=bGEaAv-iDqGmCGvJyqGCZxZkfmg#v=onepage&q=ACSM%20resistance%20training%20injury%20prevalence&f=false

Another fear that clients experience is fear of failure.  Failure in the weight room comes in a couple forms.

Failure 1 is coming up short of our fitness goals; of failing to properly execute a lift, or failing to hit or exceed a Personal record.  A good coach and a proper perspective can help remedy these fears very quickly.

Failure 2 is a different kind of experience.  This is reserved for the moderate to advanced weightlifter.  It is the failure to complete a rep at maximum exhaustion.   Pushing your reps to failure is a learned skill.

Examples of this type of failure include: falling down while trying to attempt a barbell squat, failing to extend on a deadlift, or inability to press the barbell up from your chest on a bench press.  These are uncomfortable and scary when you first experience them.  However, these are manageable with a spotter and an experienced coach who can walk you through and ensure your safety while performing maximal lifts.

I guarantee that max day will become your favorite day after you have gotten over the failure butterflies.

Smart Strength was designed to make the fitness experience fun, exciting and rewarding for all.  If you have any comments or reservations, please let us know, or feel free to make a suggestion.  Do not let these barriers keep you from training in the weight room any longer!

This is why I earned a B.A. from Albion College in Exercise Science

This is why I earned an M.S. from Michigan State University in Exercise Physiology

This is why I have worked in premier training facilities in East Lansing, Ann Arbor and New York City

This is why I have trained under some of the best mentors in the business

This is why I started my own company, Smart Strength

This is why I do what I do,

To help you

Your Trainer,
Alex

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