Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 1, 2010

Key to results is working smarter, not harder

How to get the most out of your time in the gym.

By Erin Shultz
Tribune lifestyle editor

— Mommy Makeover participant Charity Rossiter has said that the toughest part of this program is missing the time with her son, Jonathan, and husband, Ryan. She said she loves getting to see them interact with each other at bath time and getting ready for bed. (And we can understand why – that little guy is cute!)

Still, she said, she knows she needs to make time for herself to be a healthier happier mom for Jonathan.

But Anytime Fitness personal trainer Rob Land says his goal is to teach our Mommy Makeover divas as well as his clients how to get the most out of their time in the gym so that they can be in, out and on their way back to the rest of their lives.

“You do have a limited amount of time to begin with, and obviously not ever free moment you’ve got you’ll want to be 100 percent focused on working out,” he said.

The secret for the ladies of Mommy Makeover and for anyone else, he said, is to work smarter, not harder.

The first thing Land recommends is personal training, and the reason is simple – you will work harder, in a shorter amount of time and find quicker results.

“You’re getting the most out of your time, so you’re not in there spinning your wheels,” he said.

In addition, the fact that a client pays for the trainer’s time is another motivation, he said. Because the client attaches value to a personal training session, Land said, he or she will be more likely to show up. If you have something momentarily riding on the session – or if you just have someone waiting for you at the gym – you’ll make it a priority. Land said it’s just another form of accountability to make sure the client is on target.

But moreover, a personal trainer is specially educated to help you understand how to do exercises correctly, which optimizes results. Land equates personal training to bringing your car into the shop.

“I don’t know the first thing about working on my car,” he said. “But my good buddy Sam knows how to do that, so if I have a problem with my car I’m going to take it to him. Why? Because he’ll get it done faster and he knows what he’s going. Exercise is the exact same thing and people look at it differently and I don’t know why.”

And if personal training isn’t your thing, he said, Anytime Fitness offers a unique resistance circuit of machines to help you have great form and work at optimum speed. The gym has what Land calls the Red-Green Clock. It’s set up like a normal clock, sans the numerals. Forty seconds of the clock is shaded bright green and 20 seconds is shaded red. Members make their way around a 13-piece resistance circuit, doing work for the 40 seconds the clock is in the “green zone.” When the second hand hits the “red zone,” that means it’s time to stop, catch your breath and move to the next exercise. A full trip through the circuit takes 13 minutes, and Land recommends a maximum of three trips around the circuit. Toss in a warm up and cool down, he said, and you’ve got yourself a total body workout in less than an hour.

“It’s one less thing you have to concentrate on,” Land said. “So you can just focus on your speed, your form, your breath and your pace.”

Land said the system keeps the member’s heart rate up and doesn’t let him or her slack off while moving to the next station.

Land said nearly every time he puts someone on that circuit, he or she finishes 50 percent faster than if they were just to lift weights on their own. In addition, the circuit is designed with clear-cut pictures and explanations to help if the member is not a seasoned exerciser.

“Somebody who has never even touched a piece of equipment should be able to do it correctly and safely,” said Land.

Land said he understands there are other priorities going on in life that make it tough to want to exercise sometimes. He said the key is staying focused and trying to incorporate some of those other priorities – friends or family time, perhaps – into your workout routine.

Make fitness a priority in your family by scheduling an hour to exercise every day after dinner, he said. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, roller skate, even play Wii Fit.

“It’s a way to make sure that you’re going to be able to enjoy the time you do get to spend with them because you do feel better,” he said.

• Erin Shultz is the Kokomo Tribune Life & Style editor. She may be reached at 765-454-8587 or erin.shultz@kokomotribune.com.