Make Your Strength Training Really Help

Good morning

Greetings to winter! (Sarcasm)

Looking out the window at the snow draped trees and everything covered, I cannot say that I am overjoyed about the early snow. If everyone is safe and warm, life is good!

For as long as I have been coaching runners, I have been also been working at developing meaningful (functional) strength training. Even before the inception of NFLR, Kathy and I were always looking for strength training that would benefit are military requirements and our overall fitness. (Also, some vanity on my part, as Kathy mentioned on occasion how she liked muscular arms) When running moved to the forefront of our life, strength training took on a new dimension, muscular arms had their benefits, but stronger and healthier running became the desired results.

When NFLR came along, it quickly became apparent that most runners focused on running and did little (if any) strength training. Also, many runners who were strength training, did activities like CrossFit, Bootcamps, and other similar popular workouts. Even those that were going to the gym often focused on non-specific weight training. Even many felt that Yoga was providing adequate strength improvement for their running.

I am not going to dismiss any of the above activities as having now value, because I believe if done properly (which some are not), they all have great value to our fitness and health. However, as I became more educated and experienced, it became clear that some activities and exercising did little to help our running. Strong and healthy running is benefited by overall strong muscles from our toes upward through our upmost body parts, however, the movement required for running have unique and specific needs for balance, strength and mobility.

No doubt many of these gyms, trainers and Yoga instructors would make a case for their activities being enough strengthening for runners. I will not argue against some benefits from these activities for runners, however education, science and experience have proven functional specific stability (strength) and mobility provide greater injury prevention and stronger running.

After focusing on running in my early years of my education, I realized I needed to become better educated on strength and mobility. Initially I read everything I could find and sought out information from other more knowledgeable professionals such as physical therapist and respected personal trainers. Still feeling limited, I followed Kathy’s path and took the American Council on Fitness (ACE) personal trainer certification course. This course was eye opening as it taught me so much about the importance of approaching strength and mobility in a more structured and functional manor. While working on my personal training certification, I attended Sandhills Community college in North Carolina, which has a great Healthy & Exercise Science program. While it did not work out that I could get an associate degree in the program, I was able to take multiple courses that allowed me to gain greater knowledge in the area of exercise science. I was blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my program counselor and she became an invaluable resource for further knowledge. I would also be remised to not give my wife Kathy much credit for not only leading the way, but for sharing her more educated knowledge with me. I use much of what both Kathy and Ms. Bassinger imparted on me every day.

Present day, NFLR is now not only the foremost in coaching runners, we are now No Finish Line Running & Fitness! We will continue to provide the best personal coaching for runners of all levels, but we will also help runners and non-runners with their strength & mobility. The difference is; we will treat runners and non-runners unequally different. We all need healthy strength & mobility training, but they must be specific to our individual needs. Therefore, we treat everyone according to their individual needs. Runners might do a lot more single leg stability strengthening, while others may not be on one foot as much. This is just one example (yet a huge one).Image result for Picture of a good single foot squat

As we are now approaching winter (okay, it is here), it is a great time to work on your strength training and I would challenge you to rethink your training. We certainly can help in many ways, so reach out for a free consultation.

Have a great day and stay safe and warm. Let the crazy people pass you!

God Bless!