Archive for June, 2012

Clinically Obese and Too Lazy to Exercise

June 26th, 2012

Definition of Clinically Obese: Over a third of your body weight is pure fat

It’s Winter here in New Zealand and in the last two months some customers have been skipping their training sessions. I’ve heard all the excuses – it was too wet, too cold, my car wouldn’t start, my dog was sick, I was too tired, I was too drunk (what, all week?), I had friends staying and we went to the rugby last weekend (and that somehow stopped you coming in until Friday? Why?)

The true reason, for most people, was, simply, a reaction to the change of season – most are back regularly training now.  A few really do have virus or other illnesses and are unable to train.

Last Sunday was wet and windy. I was at work so it didn’t bother me. In fact it was good for business as it was the stimulus many people needed to come back, a lazy Sunday afternoon and for many boredom was setting in. The studio was so busy it seemed the “missing” people had run out of excuses.

Fat Cat

Along with returning customers and those very regular ones who never stop coming (3 times a week) there were some “newbies”.  Two, I instructed, stand out, both were – fat, thirty, and bone lazy!

A very regular customer was going for a walk with her friend when a downpour caught them out quite close to our Vibra-Train studio. “Not a problem”, the regular customer told her friend, we’ll do a different type of exercise today.  The friend was hesitant but agreed. She was about 35 years old, a  large woman, obese, even bordering on morbidly obese, I’d say, but  she was able to take walks so she wasn’t yet seriously impeded by her size.

Getting her into a squat position on the vibration machine, with supporting handlebars to help her (assisted squat, first position) was a real mission. “It’s too hard!”, she said before the machine even started up.  “I can’t!”, she said after just 10 seconds with the machine turned on; “I thought it would be easier”.   She continued to protest, all the while I’m trying to keep her in position and talking to calm her. We got through the 60 seconds of position 1 and then she said she wouldn’t continue.

I’m firm but kind to people who get a real fright at how hard real vibration training is (it’s seriously like nothing you’ve ever tried before in your adult life) so I talked with her and encouraged her and told her how important it is for her to do this type of training to strengthen up. I explained that it would also help her relax and sleep better; and very importantly, that it would increase her metabolism so that she would burn more calories and lose some fat. She’d previously said how much she wanted this.

Heck, who could wish for more? – all this for doing a short, only 15 minutes, but very hard; very safe exercise program on a high force Vibration Machine.

I’m not going to pretend it’s easy – it’s not!

But I can hardly believe my ears when some people say, it’s too hard, too hard to even “give it a go”, just once!  This lady just would not try; she would not help herself – she wasn’t afraid; she was just totally lazy. She would not continue the program and even refused my offer of sitting in a chair with her feet on the machine to allow her to get used to the sensation. She said, she just didn’t like any exercise or making any effort at all.  Her friend was getting her to take short walks (I wonder how much bribery or coercision was involved in that – the local cafe with muffins and coffee maybe).

She has a choice and that choice is simple – exercise or die.

Later in the afternoon another customer also brought in a friend who was enthusiastic and bouncing; just couldn’t get started fast enough. We went through the Health Questions and she “ticked all the good boxes”, saying that she had no major reason not to get started right away. She was a large person so Vibration Training was an ideal exercise format for her.

I explained the program and helped her get into the first pose, the Basic Squat and set the timer – 60 seconds. She lasted about 10 seconds, stood up very quickly and complained loudly. I quickly turned the machine off.  Then she complained some more. She thought it would be easy; she didn’t like the feeling; it was hard, just like other exercise and she didn’t like exercise – at all!  I had a feeling of deja vu.  This lady, despite seeing how much strength and how much fat loss her friend had achieved from regular sessions and, despite all her friend has told her before coming in, she thought it would be as easy as a tickle, just a little buzzing feeling, she told me.

After she’d settled down we tried again but again, she stood up from the squat position after 10 seconds. She didn’t like the feeling of her leg muscles having to work hard and didn’t want to continue. It was obvious to me that if she wouldn’t hold more than 10 seconds of a 60 second pose that 80 year olds can do (with determination), it was unlikely that Vibration Training was going to be a suitable exercise choice for her, but, like the previous person, I offered her to sit on a chair with her feet on the edge of the machine to allow her to get used to the vibration feeling.  This is what we do for people confined to wheelchairs and those with serious disabilities – it helps with blood circulation, it’s not exercise and it doesn’t hurt at all. Well, for this person, it was all too much and again after less than half a minute she had changed her mind and was not even happy with that.  I then told her of the 80 year olds that use the machines, most doing the full safety program but she was not open to encouragement; she was, in fact,  Too Lazy To Exercise.  She continued talking, telling me how she couldn’t walk far due to sore knees, struggled climbing the six steps up to her home and that her friend had told her that Vibra-Train would give her the strength and healing she needed but No, she wasn’t going to do anything that was “hard’.

Some people can’t be helped!

So, what if a customer does genuinely find Vibration Training very hard; if they have a disability, weakness from poor health, or are just so detrained from doing “nothing at all” for years; or they are really, very large and despite their best efforts, most forms of exercise are going be medically unwise?  What can we do to help? Can they use a Vibration  Machine at all?

In almost every case, the answer is YES.

Sitting in front of the vibration machine, in a chair or wheelchair, with feet on the platform helps with blood circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system – in less nice terms, it can make big people pee a lot for the rest of the day – this in itself can be a life-saver. Amongst other benefits, It also helps prevent muscles tightening up and it loosens up those already stiff and painful. And for people who could use the regular program but are afraid, it helps them get used to the vibration sensation. Sitting with feet on the machine is Vibration Therapy.

Older Man on Vibration MachineMoving on from this to a true Training position, one that puts muscles under pressure and gives strength as a result there’s the “Ski the Slopes” Assisted Squat Position.  This position works the whole body and is repeated as many times as the person can manage,working right up to 9 times for some people; others do 2 or 3.

These two, sitting with feet on the machine and two or three assisted squats, form the full beginners program for many people with disabilities. Later, some move onto the Standard Program, others stay with these two.

Small Therapy PadFor home use for people who are very immobile there are small therapy pads available, suitable for elderly people with poor mobility, people with disabilites that fully stop them using other machines, or after surgery to help with circulation. These deliver a controlled vibration therapy session. They can be used to stand on, feet on when sitting, hands on and many other ways.

Remember: Small Vibration Therapy Pads or Vibration Massager machines  are not the same as real training for people who are simply Too Lazy to Exercise.


Advice to Vibration Training Instructors – Get Tough – Part 1

June 11th, 2012

I’ve been planning this article for a long time but as much as I try, and as much as I keep thinking it over, I can’t find much padding to what I need to say.

It’s really very simple - If you are planning to become a Vibration Training Instructor or you are already working with Vibration Machines, and you want to see your clients get results, then you need to Get Tough Fast!

Here’s some of the reasons and background: (asuming you are using high quality machines not the “as-seen-on-tv” models)

* When you begin your training as an instructor, your Trainer or Boss will be very hard on you. If they are not hard on you you wont develop the skills you need so don’t get upset at this. It’s short term pain for your benefit and the benefit of your clients.

* You need to learn how to use the machines safely and effectively for yourself and to train people with firmness and exact positions – and if you come from a gym background (you are a fitness instructor or you spend a lot of time in the gym) you have to, firstly, forget just about everything you’ve learned especially about some classic exercise positions.  Remember you are exercising using a large, heavy machine so some classic positions are a little different. One example is the classic triceps dip – taught in the gym using a box, you hold your elbows well back (a good gym trainer will then tell you to relax the shoulder joint a little but elbows will remain tucked back). When you do this position using a Vibration Machine your elbows are not tucked back, they are out wide, keeping the shoulder joint straight and safe.  Also your back remains lightly touching the Vibration Machine while you take the force of the vibrations through your hands into your arms and even into the chest muscles.

It can be hard to leave behind previously learnt positions especially if you’ve been training yourself or others regularly in the gym. 

To suceed as a Vibration Training Instructor you must pay full attention to the Vibration Training Program.

Some readers will be thinking, “isn’t there a course or program I can attend to learn to be an Instructor?” and some will want their previous education recognised.  Well yes, there are a few courses put on by some of the marketers of some brands of machines. I do Not recommend these courses They are specific to the brand; they cost $’s to attend; and they give you a meaningless certificate (useful only for that brand and often only the specific machine that’s being promoted at that time). Mostly these courses cover a lot of information and marketing about how to sell that brand’s home machines – good for giving you a bit of money from the sale but of course then you lose your client and you become more of a salesperson than an Instructor.  I have attended one such course (free, I wouldn’t pay of course); they eventually got through to showing just a little of what to do on the machine. To learn more of their way of training you had to pay more $’s. This is a waste of time and money in my opinion – Once you have your job most Vibration Training Studio owners or managers will train you. If you have a little knowledge of how the human body works this can help but it’s not essential. Often though, already being a Fitness Instructor can be a negative and ony those who are willing to think and to learn will succeed. You do need to want to help others achieve fitness and health and to want this much more than wanting to be praised or recogised yourself. Being a Vibration Training Instructor is NOT all about you.

I do some of the Instructor training for Vibra-Train in New Zealand. Before the learner instructor ever instructs anyone they have to be proficient at putting themselves through the program.  They have to read all the articles on ; and they have to watch the videos of the positions on YouTube “VibraTrain TV”. You can follow through the program starting with : The Basic Squat
More in Part 2