What is the difference between an athlete and the general population? Sports skills and the elite physical shape they are in. Not every person in the world is going to have amazing talent at a sport, but everyone can reach a high level of physical conditioning. Most people work out to look good and stay healthy. Athletes, for the most part, have very desirable bodies and shapes and stay healthy and functional. Which is more attractive to you?
I assume most of you chose the pictures on the left. So if we all workout and train to look good and feel good, then why wouldn’t we train like athletes? We have already decided that athletes look good, but now let’s talk about how they stay healthy. The way to make an athlete better at their sport is to make them better able to move and prevent them from having joint pains and injuries. So the training programs athletes use are designed to make them stronger, move better, and stay healthier, and along the way they become better looking. Well to me, that is exactly what we all want and need. We all have small aches or pains whether it be the knees, shoulders, or lower back. We all could use improved strength to improve the quality of our everyday life. We all have specific weaknesses that need to be addressed and improved. All of these issues can be addressed with the same mindset that goes into creating a training program for athletes.
At CPI, this is our exact philosophy. Train everyone like athletes. We use the same principles for training athletes to train our clients. Everyone lifts heavier weights to increase strength and muscle mass. This not only helps movement and joint quality but an increased muscle mass helps burn more fat and calories throughout the day. All of our clients perform some type of corrective work to improve movement and address any shortened muscles or weak areas. Everyone also will do some power training which involves higher speed movements such as jumps or medicine ball slams. Again, these movements increase strength and also increase proprioception (aka coordination). With increased coordination, movement becomes more sound and the right muscles can contract in a protective instance such as falling. Each of these examples is exactly how athletes train minus their skill training for their specific sport. It only makes sense to use these parameters to help people improve their lives.
There are exceptions to this philosophy though and we always recognize that. Some people are not ready for heavy lifting, power training, or even specific exercises. Some people may need a lot more corrective exercise to help prevent and alleviate issues they may have such as knee pains or restricted joints. However, even for these people, there is a time where they can and hopefully will be progressed to some more advanced training. Even the elderly can benefit from strength and power training. Power training has been proven to improve reaction time so in the case they might fall, they are better prepared to catch themselves and prevent things such as broken bones. So again, not everyone is ready for this philosophy of training but with the proper programming, everyone can get to the point where aspects of every modality can and should be used.
At CPI we are working on a program that takes this philosophy of training and applies it to a large group setting. Many people are becoming fans of the bootcamp setting now because of the environment along with cheaper prices. Most bootcamps, however, only truly address cardio and bodyweight exercises. For a period of time, this bodyweight interval type approach can bring great results, however, there are so many other aspects of training that are being left out. With the Everyday Athlete program, we plan on taking everyone from bodyweight circuits to heavy compound lifts and explosive, power training. The collegiate strength and conditioning scene puts 20-50 athletes through a workout with all of these aspects combined, so why not create the same environment and program for the general population. Along with this all-inclusive training program, members will also be given benchmarks to strive for beyond the normal goals of weight loss. Everything from strength improvements to endurance improvements, members are given levels to step up and are rewarded after each benchmark has been achieved.
Just because athletes are considered elite, it doesn’t mean the general population is not allowed to train like them. They use science and research behind all of their training and they get great results and that science can and should be applied to everyone. Train like an athlete and get stronger, healthier, and look better. And I PROMISE, lifting heavy will not make women look like men!