Fitness is one of our top priorities here at Agape Health. If you were to ask 10 people what it means to them to be fit you may hear 10 different definitions. Fitness as defined by us, is the ability to perform a “task” whether for competition, sport, leisure or everyday life without compromising our health or suffering an injury. We can measure fitness by testing and recording cardio-respiratory ability, maximum lifting ability, as well as other strength, endurance and flexibility testing. Using this information we can construct a plan to achieve even better fitness if desired.
What fitness isn’t. Fitness is not going to a huge facility littered with machines from wall to wall, sitting down on a machine and performing an exercise with no real-world application. Soap box time, the exercises performed during a workout should mimic the activity you’re trying to improve. Re-read that last line. When in life do we ever sit down grab something heavy and curl it to our chest (seated curl machine), when in life would we sit down and push our leg out against resistance (thigh extension machine)…NEVER. Like other aspects of healthcare we have dissected the body and attempted to build a “healthier” body by working body part separately. Studies consistently show that you are more at risk for injury if you sit down and work muscles in isolation. It is understandable that the gym goer may want to improve on the aesthetics of their body, and as such may want, bigger biceps or a firmer butt. If that is the case then those areas can be targeted, but the rest of the system needs to be trained in a functional manner.
So what’s the answer? We at Agape propose a focus on functional training, body weight training such as gymnastics or suspension training. Weight training with an emphasis on basic movement patterns such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, press, pulls and twist. Cardio vascular training is also important and can be very sports specific, some old stand bys can include high intensity interval training (HIIT), sprint training, jumping rope, biking and swimming. This type of functional training will lead to faster fat loss, muscle gaining or toning and firming
We have a fully functioning gym at Agape because our doctors were tired of fixing their patients and having them suffer re-injury due to inappropriate training. We are able to design a workout program that takes into account your previous injuries and allows you to work towards your fitness goals. If you are not injured even better, we can design and instruct a routine to keep you progressing with less risk of future injury.
Question “but doc., I have low back pain and it hurts to bend over”. That is exactly the reason you need to train. Check the FAQ section for low back pain for a description of the possible tissues involved.For a complete recovery with less chance of re-occurrence, those injured tissues need to be treated, and once pain is gone, they need to be strengthened.
It is common practice at Agape for a low back pain patient to progress from traditional physio-therapy exercises such as glute raises, and hip hinges, to deadlifts, back and front squats, lunges, bent over rows etc. Obviously, every patient and patient condition is different and as such the exercise programing must be individualized.