After 57 years in in this business, 2017 has been the best one yet for Wareing’s Gym. We can tell ourselves it’s because of new equipment or renovations, but the truth is, it’s the members. It’s the growing sense of community that they help to create. You see Wareing’s Gym isn’t just about getting into shape, it’s mostly about cultivating relationships.
This past year, we’ve really started working to document our one of a kind facility. We wanted our Gym Family to see what we as a staff get to see every day. We don’t just see people working hard and sweating, we see the smiles. We see the friendships building. We see people in their, “happy place,” where all of life’s problems get put on hold. We see the people who matter most to us growing day by day. That’s what this video represents. Sure, it’s got some fun workout footage, but the real magic is in the smiles. It’s in seeing these incredible people letting their guards down and just enjoying themselves.
Thank YOU for making 2017 our best year ever and we believe us when we say that we can hardly even wait to see how much better 2018 is going to be!
Are You Strong Enough?
I had an epiphany during a conversation with one of our members the other day after one of her many trips to physical therapy. When I asked her what she was doing in PT, she said exercises to strengthen her knee. I bet that I have a dozen conversations a month that are eerily similar to this one (although the body parts may differ) but this particular time I had a revelation: “You belong to a gym and you are paying more money to perform strength training somewhere else!?!”. This particular member is very representative of our membership as a whole – energetic, enthusiastic and extremely active. She takes Afterburn 3 to 4 times a week and enjoys 1 to 2 days of doubles tennis along with riding her bike and taking long walks. Also like many of our members, years of activity have caused the injuries to start piling up. The most obvious behavior she shares with the rest of our members? No Strength Training!
I have noticed that there appear to be two main reasons why people avoid strength training. The first is that women think they are going to look like men. Well, I have news for you girls, unless you are taking anabolic steroids and are willing to dedicate several hours a day to lifting heavy weights, it’s not going to happen. The overwhelming majority of you just don’t have the right hormone profile for that to be a concern. The other reason people give is that classes are just more fun. I get it. There’s the music and people and energy – it’s like a party! Hey, vacation is a lot more fun than working but you can’t take a trip without putting in time at the office. Personally, I think the biggest problem is that most people don’t really understand what we mean when we say “Strength Training”. They think it means doing a bunch of single-joint, isolation exercises like a bodybuilder or lifting massive amounts of weight. So maybe we need to talk about what “strength” actually is.
From the moment you were born you started to use basic, fundamental human movement patterns. Things like crawling, squatting, hip hinging, stepping, pushing, pulling, etc. These are what we call Functional Movements. As we age and suffer injuries or sit at desks all day or perform the same movements repeatedly for hours on end (pronounced “Jogging” or “Spinning”) we start to lose our ability to perform these basic movements. Noted Physical Therapists Grey Cook and Lee Burton (founders of the Functional Movement Screen) place individuals’ movements into one of four categories:
- Functional, no pain
- Functional, pain
- Non-Functional, no pain
- Non-Functional, pain
The majority of the folks that come to the gym fall into category 3. That is, they have no injury but they are poor movers. The problem is that one of the main causes of injury is a lack of good functional movement. Poor movement patterns lead to compensation. Repeated compensation over time eventually leads to acute and chronic overuse injuries. This is where strength training comes in!
Now, I spent many years working in Physical Therapy as an Athletic Trainer and more than most I realize it’s value. Some of the brightest people I know are PT’s. Many have been and continue to be my friends and mentors. I think Physical Therapy is an extremely important part of the rehabilitation process. But I think what is happening with strength training (or lack thereof) is a microcosm of the healthcare system as a whole. As a nation we continue to be mostly reactive instead of proactive when it comes to our health. Certainly we are a much more educated society in terms of eating organic foods, avoiding pesticides, the dangers of smoking, etc. However, many people fail to realize that the reason a lot of injuries occur in the first place is a lack of strength, and so we set-up this continuous cycle of exercise participation, injury and rehabilitation.
One thing I learned from legendary coach Vern Gambetta many years ago is “Postural alignment and stability is the key to all training”. Essentially, can you perform a movement while maintaining perfect posture? If not, then you lack either the proper mobility (range of motion) or stability (strength) to be successful in that movement. So how do we improve? We strengthen functional movements by training for the appropriate amount of stability and mobility! That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lift something heavy. Instead, what you need to do is improve your movement patterns first . When movement quality is good, then we can start to add an external load and progress at an appropriate rate. I promise you that if you would spend just two days a week improving your foundational movements through strength training, you would need a lot less rehab.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Diane Malaspina about the Yoga Therapeutics Series she will be conducting here at Wareing’s. While it was my first chance to have a real, free flowing conversations with Diane, many of you probably know Diane from Tech & Restore and the some of the other yoga classes she has taught here at Wareing’s. Just recently, she has also conducted Yoga Teacher Certification Programs. The following is a transcript of that conversation.
What is your motivation?
I love to hear about people’s workouts. I think it’s great to share with others what you are doing in the gym or on the road. Quite often I can pick up some new things to try myself, or share with friends and clients. However, for me the most important thing isn’t what you did but why? Training is not the end – it is a means to an end. If you don’t have an “end” in mind, then most likely your training is either all over the place or without any variety at all. Put another way, goal-oriented training is always more effective than “What do I feel like doing today?”
We wanted to give a great, big shout-out to our very own Jeremy Molinar
for placing an outstanding 2nd place in this year’s annual Virginia Police Work Dog Association Iron Dog competition. This year’s Iron dog was held at Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County, Va.
The Iron Dog is a competition for Police and Military K9 handlers from all around the state. This year, there were close to 40 K9 teams participating. “Essentially” Jeremy told us, ” it’s a cross country/mud run that you have to complete with your K9 partner”.