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Showing posts with label Testing Your Limits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Testing Your Limits. Show all posts

Rock Climbing, Waterfalls Exploring, Spelunking and More!

There are many great ways to exercise, but the following is several of my favourites. Some of these you can even do as family activities, but others are dangerous and children should not be doing them at all. Use your better judgment. Some of them are also very frugal and won't cost your wallet much.

#1. Rock Climbing

Now I don't mean going to a special "rock climbing gym". I have never done that, although I presume it is still fun to do that indoors with the safety of a harness and first aid kits nearby. You can still do that if you wish, but for myself I do Freehand Rock Climbing - no ropes, no safety harness, if I fall, I fall and hurt myself.

Rock Climbing Tips

Don't climb anything freehand unless you are absolutely confident you can climb it without falling.

Practice on trees. (Or in a rock climbing gym.)

Stick to small climbs first as you build up your strength and skill.

Always be certain of your footing or handholds before you go to the next foothold or handhold.

Remember to plan your route back down. Sometimes getting up is easier than climbing back down.

If you don't think you can do it, maybe it is time to crack out the harness and ropes. Safety first.

#2. Waterfalls Exploring

This is a bit like rock climbing, but the surfaces are going to be slippery. Often you need to climb over wet rocks that are slippery, but it is a lot of fun to work your way around and get behind a waterfalls - or even go swimming below it (warning - if there is signs that say "no swimming", that means this falls is powerful enough to have undertow that can drag you under and kill you. Only swim near the base of a waterfalls that is relatively weak).

The photo on the right is of Hogg's Falls in Ontario.

Waterfalls Exploring Tips

Wear super grippy boots that you don't mind getting wet.

Wear gloves, possibly even grippy fishing gloves.

Wear clothing you don't mind getting wet. Avoid white t-shirts unless you enjoy showing off.

Don't bother trying to climb the sides of the waterfalls. It is too slippery.

#3. Spelunking

Otherwise known as cave exploring or cave diving, spelunking is an amazing activity to get into if you love exploring geological formations, crevices and caverns.

Spelunking Tips

Good quality boots.

Gloves are handy too.

Flashlight or headlamp is very handy.

Try getting guided tours of caves (ones with stairs, safety bars, etc all in place) first so you know what to expect.

Take a spelunking safety course.

#4. Rocky Mountain Biking

Bouncing over rocks while cycling down a hill might not sound like your cup of tea, but to those who love it then it is certainly a possibility.

Start slow, stick to the easy cycling trails and work your way up. Also, buy a better bicycle that has higher quality shocks and sturdier tires. You don't want your equipment to fail if you go over a rock your bicycle simply could not handle.

#5. Natural Parkour / Freerunning

If you are familiar with parkour / freerunning, then you also know this activity normally occurs in an urban environment. But there is no reason why you could not do this in a more natural terrain - using rocks and trees as your obstacle course. All you are really doing is applying the same principles of parkour to a different landscape.

#6. Tree Climbing

And by this, I am referring to climbing trees using ropes, helmet and a harness. You could climb the bottom reaches of the tree freehand, but once you start to go high enough that you might run into a weak limb that could snap underfoot it is time to get the rope and harness out. The views from the top can be pretty spectacular.

#7. Underwater Spelunking

See #3 above, but add in scuba gear. You will need snorkeling lessons, scuba lessons, and eventually underwater spelunking lessons. This activity is both expensive and dangerous. Definitely not for children either.

#8. Extreme Rock Balancing

Normally rock balancing is an activity done by one person who just lifts up a rock and then balances another rock on top of it. Extreme Rock Balancing is done by a team of people using much larger rocks, ropes, chains, pulleys, ladders, the whole shebang.

You will need a group of friends (preferably friends who are also into rock balancing), and you will probably want one person to document the whole project using a video camera.

Muscles will only get you so far with this project. You will also need patience and perseverance. And friendships will be tried and tested if you get into an argument about how to best achieve the finished product.

You will also want your finished product to last. You won't want it falling down the first time a teenager comes along and gives it a push. Thus aim to your rocks large enough - and well balanced - so that it wouldn't fall down even during a small earthquake.

Some people might want to cheat and use a crane or tractor to move the rocks, but if men of old can build Stone Henge and the pyramids of Egypt, certainly a group of adults can balance some rocks without using machinery.

Unlike normal rock balancing you probably will not be balancing multiple rocks together. But one or two should be possible.

Best of all your end results will stay up for a long time and baffle future generations.

12 Exercises for Building More Sensitive Ears using Hearing Exercises

I have consulted a number of sources, including audiologists, who say it is impossible to regain your ability to hear better. The vast majority of them - well nigh all of them - say that hearing loss is permanent.

However having suffered hearing loss when I was a child, and regaining some of my hearing over the past 22 years, I must affirm that I think the scientific community is WRONG when they say it is impossible to regain some measurement of hearing.

To explain this I will be doing two things: 1. I will be trying to be as scientific as I can when explaining my ideas; 2. Some of my explanations will be based on conjecture and hypothesis, so I saying this now as an informal disclaimer so that people understand that some of my ideas may not scientifically accurate, but are instead based on my first hand experience. I was also be basing some of my exercises further below upon my research into zen and yoga techniques designed to improve hearing.

When I was 12 years old a shotgun shell went by my left ear and was so loud it caused hearing damage. I was temporarily deafened in my left ear. (There is a long story about how this happened, but I will spare you the details.)

I am now 34 and during that the last 22 years I have had my hearing slowly improve over time. Initially it was very quick. I went from being temporarily deafened to simply "severe hearing loss" / almost deaf in my left ear.

By the time I reached university in 1999 my hearing had improved somewhat, to the extent that combined with my perfect hearing in my right ear I was able to function most of the time. I would regularly need to ask people to repeat themselves because of my hearing difficulties, but I was able to cope 99% of the time.

Since graduating in 2003 my hearing has continued to improve over time, to the point that I would now describe myself as having only moderate to light hearing damage in my left ear.

However several questions remain... Did my ears physically heal over the past 22 years, or did my brain simply get better at interpreting the sounds it was receiving? I think it is a bit of both. I believe there was some initial healing process, wherein part of the damage to my ears was permanent - and the other part was simply temporary. It was the temporary aspect which healed up more quickly. After that had healed however I believe my brain has learned to compensate and use what little hearing I have in my left ear and has slowly improved with time.

Which brings me to why I think audiologists are wrong when they say it is impossible to improve your hearing using hearing exercises. They are only thinking in terms of permanent hearing damage - they are completely ignoring temporary hearing damage, and they are completely ignoring the possibility that the brain can learn over time to compensate and "hear better" based on what data it is receiving from the ears.

So yes, based on my personal experience you can improve your hearing over time - the trick is to heal any temporary damage to your ears, and to attune your mind so the hearing ability you do have is used to its full potential.

12 Hearing Exercises for Building More Sensitive Ears

Note: The first three are really more maintenance issues, so you don't cause further damage to your ears over time.

#1. Routinely check for a build-up of earwax.

Some hearing loss can be caused by excess wax in your ear canal. Snap a photo of your ear with a camera, or have a friend look into your ear with a flashlight. If you see impacted wax, do not touch it. Trying to dig it out yourself will only make it worse.

If the blockage isn't severe, try to wash it out yourself. (Note: Only do this if your eardrums don't have tubes or holes in them.) Use an eyedropper to put a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide in your ear to "soften" the wax. After a day or two, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently put warm water into your ear. Tip your head to the other side to let the water (and wax) drain out.

If the blockage is severe, call your doctor or audiologist and make an appointment to have it removed.

#2. Make sure you don't have an ear infection.

If your ears are in extreme pain, see a doctor immediately to make sure you don't have an ear infection or ruptured ear drum. If these conditions are left untreated, they can permanently damage the hearing in your inner ear.

#3. Take measures to stop any further hearing deterioration.

Reduce your exposure to loud, sustained noises. If noisiness like this is part of your job try wearing specialty ear plugs or changing jobs. If you wear earbuds or headphones to listen to music, keep the volume low or moderately low. When encountering loud sustained noises protect your ears with your hands and move further away from the source of the noise. Try to reduce your exposure to high volumes overall, and you'll reduce future hearing loss.

#4. Don't talk so loudly.

If you have lost a significant portion of your hearing, speak in a slightly softer tone than you think you need to. It's common to overcompensate and talk loudly if you can't hear your own voice very well, but if other people can't hear you, they'll tell you to speak up.

#5. Use your hearing more.

Your brain's pathways are like rocky trails, gravel roads and highways. If you use part of your brain more often the extra activity (traffic) on those mental pathways will strengthen and expand. This is why blind people often have very acute hearing and sense of touch - they have been forced to use their hearing more and thus their mental pathways controlling the interpretation of sound has been rapidly expanded.

This is not going to turn you into some kind of superhuman listener (like the blind comic book hero Daredevil), but it will allow you to improve your ability to hear things - even despite minor or moderate hearing damage.

#6. Learn to identify sounds / Auditory Indexing.

According to Zen monks learning to identify sounds is one of the first steps in learning to better control your sense of hearing. The practice is known as "Auditory Indexing". Without identification a person can become confused, overwhelmed or frightened by the sounds they are hearing. By learning to identify which sounds are which they can hear the sounds, but tune out those sounds they recognize as being too far away, not a threat, of little interest, etc.

An hearing exercise you can do at home is to listen for sounds you cannot identify, and once you find a sound that you don't recognize go and see what it is. Memorize that sound. Start over again and listen for other sounds you don't recognize.

#7. Learn to control your mind and avoid distractions.

A person who is distracted by random thoughts will not notice sounds that are nearby them. Learning to control distracting thoughts is a complex process and first requires a person to let go of their mind before they can learn to control it. I strongly recommend reading the book "The Unfettered Mind", which is a small collection of essays / letters by the Zen monk Takuan Soho and deals directly and indirectly with the topic of how to control your mind. In the book Takuan Soho references Japanese swordplay (kendo), but that can be used as a metaphor for any task.

#8. Listen for your own heartbeat.

This is difficult for even people with perfect hearing to do, but it can be done. The sound of heartbeat is there, but it is being muffled by numerous other sounds. Late at night, in a quiet room it is a much easier task to hear your own heartbeat - but with practice a person can listen for their heartbeat even in a crowded room.

If you get bored of listening to your heartbeat you can also listen to your breathing, your stomach/digestive organs, and even the sound of yourself blinking. If that seems like too much of a challenge try making very quiet sounds with your feet or fingers - such as rubbing your fingers together - and listening / concentrating on that sound.

#9. Extended Hearing Exercise.

This exercise has its source in tantric yoga. To do this sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Imagine a series of circular ring emanating around you at fixed distances.

First listen to all sound coming from within a 3 feet radius of you. Identify each sound that is closest to you. Ignore sounds that are further away, even if they are louder, so that they become background noises. Each time you concentrate on a new sound briefly identify what it is. Footsteps, conversations, mechanical noises, the rustle of leaves, the buzz of insects, the sound of running water, the distant roar of the city.

Next expand your hearing range to 10 feet and concentrate on the sounds found within this range. Continue expanding in circles around you to include the surrounding room, the building, your neighbourhood and the distant sounds of the world beyond.

#10. Listen to music.

When listening to music - such as an orchestra - identify which musical instruments are making what sounds. Learn to tune out the sounds of the other instruments and only listen to the one instrument. Challenge yourself to try and listen to only one of the musicians at a time.

#11. Test your limits.

The human eardrum can hear sounds anywhere between 16 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Extremely low (bass) sounds or extremely high pitched sounds cannot be heard by the human ear.  High pitched sounds like a dog whistle can only be heard by a variety of animals because the frequency is so high its beyond the range of human hearing - but that doesn't mean you cannot attempt to hear similar high pitched sounds.

Testing the limits of your hearing may require the help of an audiologist doctor, in which case I can recommend an audiologist in Vaughan who gives free hearing tests.

#12. Hypnosis.

According to a variety of researchers people in a state hypnosis can hear sounds from extreme distances, such as the case wherein a hypnotized person could hear a constant hissing sound at 230 yards (0.21 km), whereas a non-hypnotized people typically could not detect the same hissing sound until they were within 30 yards of the source.

This suggests that experimentation with hypnosis and hearing could prove to be highly beneficial for someone who wants to retrain their brain to hear noises more acutely.

BONUS: Audio Calibration!

During this exercise the listening person stands in the middle of a room and imagines him or herself to be at the centre of a clock face: directly to the front would be Twelve O'clock, directly behind is Six O'clock, ninety degrees to the right is Three O'clock and so on.

A second person moves about stopping at random and calling out “Now”. The listener must then guess the direction and distance. So for example, if the second person is standing six feet directly behind them the correct answer would be; “Six O'clock/six feet”. When a correct answer is a point is scored, if incorrect, the second person says the correct answer so that the listener can associate the correct answer with the immediate auditory experience.

Once the listener can get 9 points out of 10 then they go to the next level of difficulty, for which the listener and second person come up with a slightly more difficult task - possibly by changing the volume of the sound, the distance to the speaker, the preciseness of the distance, adding extra background noises, etc.


Don't listen to what the audiologists are saying that you cannot improve your hearing. If you have only minor or moderate damage to your ears then there are plenty of ways to rewire your brain so you can function without full hearing capabilities. I managed to do it and my hearing only seems to be getting better the older I get.

BOSU Exercises - Take it up a notch?

If you have a gym membership or happen to own a BOSU, then it is often cited as a great way to challenge yourself, take it up a notch and test your limits.

BOSU stands for "both sides utilized". It can be placed either flat side or ball side down and can be used for various balance, core, strength and cardio exercises. There are some neat ways for you to get the most out of your BOSU...

#1. Use the BOSU flat side down (for extra challenge switch to ball side down) to take basic exercises up a level by adding the challenge of balance to them. Standing on the BOSU try the following exercises: Shoulder press, bicep curls, overhead extension, squats and lunges with one leg on the ball and one leg off.

#2. With the ball side down use the handles to do push ups. Or place the BOSU flat side down, and place your feet on the ball for push ups. This targets the upper pectorals more, while simultaneously engaging the core.

#3. Using both a stability ball and BOSU try a bench press bridge. Use the stability ball like a bench for your press, but place feet on the BOSU, and raise the hips up high into a bridge. This targets the core, buns, hamstrings, chest, triceps and shoulders all in one exercise!

#4. Try using the BOSU flat side down to perform aerobic step exercises (variations of step ups with weights) but now you have to balance, and the surface is even smaller!

#5. Try uneven traveling squats. To do this one, place the BOSU flat down. Perform a squat with one foot on the BOSU on the other off. Then step or jump over the BOSU to do the other side. Repeat this exercise for 15 squats on each side. It is harder than it looks!

The good thing about BOSU is that they are relatively cheap and take up very little space under your bed, in your closet, etc.

For more of a challenge you could also use a stability ball, or even a basketball or football for doing various exercises. eg. Doing push-ups on a football.

Heart Rate Targeting for Aerobic Efficiency

Trying to attain a specific heart rate during aerobic activities is one way to increase your overall fitness and endurance (and the strength of your heart).

Monitoring your heart rate by taking your pulse is the best way to see if you are working at the correct intensity to be getting a full workout. If your heart rate is above or below the acceptable levels, you should either increase or decrease your effort.

40-70% MHR = Active Living Zone - Best for "fat burning" and general health. Work at the level that meets your needs.

60-90% MHR = Aerobic Zone - Best for improving efficiency of cardiovascular system.

60-70% MHR = Optimal Active/Aerobic Zone - This is the best zone to get all the benefits of fat burning, general health and improving your cardiovascular system at the same time.

MHR = Maximum Heart Rate


When measuring your pulse use index and middle fingers. Never use your thumb since it has it's own pulse.

When you feel your pulse, count the beats for 10 seconds and then multiply your 10-second pulse rate by 6 to determine your pulse in Beats Per Minute (BPM). Alternatively you can also count for 15 seconds and then multiple by 4. It really depends on personal preference.


Depending on your age and your physical condition your target heart rate will be very different. For athletes with strong hearts their heart rate will be 10% to 20% lower than a normal person because their heart is stronger and doesn't need as much effort to reach the same level of intensity.

You can also determine your target heart rate using the following mathematical formulas.

220-Age = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

MHR × 40% = Low level of Active Living Zone

MHR × 60% = Low level of Aerobic Zone

MHR × 70% = High level of Active Living Zone

MHR × 90% = High level of Aerobic Zone

MHR × 65% = Is the halfway point between 40% and 90% and inbetween 60% and 70%, making it within your Optimal Fat Burn / Aerobic Zone.

Thus 220 - Your Age x 65% - Your Optimal Active/Aerobic Zone

Example: If you are 40 years old your MHR = 180. Times that by 0.65 to get 117, which is your optimal heart rate.


A great and easy way to determine what level of activity you are doing is to do the "Talk Test." Can you manage to carry on a conversation while being active? Then chances are you are working within your Active Living Zone. If conversation is impossible because you are too busy trying to breathe then you are within the aerobic zone.

The Path of Most Resistance

Do you dread going to the gym or exercising?

Do you have more negative memories about exercising than positive?

Do you treat your body poorly?

Do you talk about how miserable exercising makes you because you feel you aren't accomplishing anything?

Do you exercise less and less on a monthly basis?

Do you have fewer positive experiences with exercise every year?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above then you need to change the way you think about exercise and becoming a fitter, healthier, stronger, faster, more youthful you.

First of all consider the following formula:


Talent is your natural talent to do something. If we were to rank your Strength for example on a scale of 1 to 20, with 10 being the average, how well would you rank? High? Low? And how high would you want that number to be? 14? 16? 18? 20 evidently would be amongst the strongest people on the planet and very rare. But a 14 isn't anything to sneeze at either.

Investment is the amount of time and effort you want to spend on a task. In this case the task might be losing weight, building strength, improving flexibility, or even just feeling better about your health.

Now lets pretend for a moment you are below average in your Strength. A mere 7. The local wimp who wants to be the next Charles Atlas (bodybuilder from the 1920s to 1970s). Is the young Mr Wimp going to accomplish anything special if he is only working on it 5 minutes per day? No, he won't, not when you consider there is 1,440 minutes in a day.

Now lets pretend for a moment young Mr Wimp decides he wants to really practice hard and aims higher, perhaps going for 1 hour per day. Well its better. But is 7 hours per week really enough to turn Mr Wimp into Charles Atlas? No, probably not. It will improve some of his muscle tone, but its not going to be anything spectacular. It might boost him up to an 8 or a couple more points higher given time.

No, what Mr Wimp really needs is a CHALLENGE. And its going to become a huge time commitment.

Think 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. Approx. 15 hours per week. If his goal is to be building muscle then he needs to lifting weights during those hours. He will be tired and sore afterwards, but if he has the mental fortitude to keep doing it then he will start to see results. Over time he will continue to challenge himself and build up his strength. If his final goal is a 16 Strength then it will take him years to accomplish, but it can be done if he invests the time.

He isn't going to accomplish this goal by being lazy and taking the path of least resistance. No. He has to take the Path of Most Resistance if he is going to accomplish this goal.

Now I am not suggesting you go out and buy Charles Atlas' book. Certainly not. You can do so if you really want to, but its really like any other bodybuilding book you might find. (According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Atlas is the reason Arnold became a bodybuilder in the first place.)

That and the whole "15 minutes per day" slogan from Charles Atlas just isn't enough time investment to be truly effective.

What I trying to convey here is that it is really more a matter of will power if you want to succeed in a particular goal.

Yes, natural talent is good. But it will only take you so far if you don't have the will power to spend the investment of time in attaining your goal.

You can learn to self-motivate, you can hire a personal trainer, you can get yourself an exercise buddy... but the end result is you need to find the will power and the motivation to make that investment of time in taking the Path of Most Resistance towards getting your goal.

Because doing nothing or almost nothing will get you this far: Nowhere.

Lets pretend you are Mr Average with a 10 Strength. You only exercise 10 minutes per day. About an hour per week. Using our formula from further above how far will that get Mr Average?

10 Strength X 1 Hour per Week = "10 Strength-Hours" (sorta of like measuring Torque in "foot-pounds").

In contrast Mr Wimp's new exercise routine is...

7 Strength X 15 Hours per Week = "105 Strength-Hours".

Now who do you think will be growing muscle mass faster? Someone doing 10 Strength-Hours or 105 Strength-Hours? The answer is obvious. Before you know it Mr Wimp will have a 10 Strength or higher. He may eventually reach a point where he decides to change his name to "Mr Strong" (kudos to the children's book).

So how do you know where you rank on the Strength Scale of 1 to 20?

Well, there are several ways to try and figure that out for yourself. You could use the previous post I made titled "How to Test your Muscle Tone", but that won't give you a detailed result because its only 2 exercises.

What you really need is a comprehensive test for a variety of different exercises and a ranking / points system for each of the exercises. In theory you could ask your personal trainer (if you have one) to come with some kind of system for testing you and then giving you a ranking. Or if you live in Toronto you could hire me as your personal trainer and I could do it for you.

You could try and come up with a system yourself, but it will be tricky to judge since you're not the most unbiased person when it comes to your own fitness. What you really need is an objective judge.

Then once you know where you are you can say where you'd like to be. Go after that goal. Invest the time and every month do the test again to see how close to your goal you are. If you are start off at 9 Strength and your goal is 14 and you're up to 10 after only a month then in theory you only have 4 more months to go before you reach your desired level of fitness.

And there is nothing more motivating than knowing you're making progress and succeeding at your goals.

How to Test your Muscle Tone

Here are two commonly used methods for testing muscle tone:

#1. Muscle Tone for Legs Test: Knees bent

Put your back against the wall, bend your knees as if you were sitting. Hold for as long as possible.

Results: If you hold

Over 60 seconds: excellent
Between 45 and 60 seconds: good
Between 30 and 45: medium
Under 30: low

EXAMPLE: The Olympic ski champion Franck Piccard held this position for over 15 minutes.

#2. Muscle Tone for Arms Test: Push-ups 
Lying on stomach, hands resting on the ground at shoulder height, arms bent, push up the floor stretching arms up and come down. Count the number of push ups made in 1 minute.

Result: If you exceed

Over 30 : excellent
Between 25 and 30: good
Between 15 and 25: medium
Under 15: low

The world record for the most push-ups in 1 minute is 199. Source:

5 Tips to Push Yourself Harder

Doing something is better than nothing, even if measurable results stopped happening a long time ago. Many people want continual progression they can measure, they just don't now how to take it to the next level where things become more abstract and they can't measure things like "muscle control". These five tips will help you to push yourself harder, to test your limits and give yourself the extra edge.

Five Tips to Push Yourself Harder 
+ Get Better Results

1. Form is Everything

Even if you think that you're practicing correct technique, it doesn't hurt to brush up and confirm your form. Maybe even hire a personal trainer to make certain you are using the correct postures. If you can't afford that review posture and form online or buy/borrow a book from the library. Not only will this improve results but along the way, you will find new exercises to spice up the workout.

2. Add more Weight / Reps

Don't fear the weights! If you have been doing bicep curls with 5 pound dumbbells for five years, an increase to 8 or 10 pounds will get you added results within a few sessions. With such low weights you will not pack on muscle but your arms will be much more toned and defined!

3. Mind your Diet

Studies show that high carbs, high fat diets are causing that belly fat that simply will not go away. Plan a few meals per week which have lean protein and vegetables as the main course. No matter what meal plan you create, there's never any need to give up foods that you enjoy forever but if you do cut back on high fat, extra carbs and alcohol you will be able to achieve an overall difference.

4. Try Different Activities

Every once in a while do something completely different. Take a water aerobic class, do archery, boxing, martial arts or join a walking / nature hiking group. Variations in types of activities will work the body in a different way and promote new results.

Try to vary your workouts by changing the amount of time you work out, using different exercises and alternating intensity levels.

5. Get Some Rest

Fatigue produces stress hormones which don't allow fat cells to release their fatty deposits. A lack of rest and sleep causes the body stress, even if the mind feels unaffected. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night to stay well rested and to allow the body to burn fat, digest and function at its optimal ability.

Or better yet, get 6 hours of sleep and 1 hour nap in the early afternoon. Sietas are good for you so if you're life is hectic try and sneak in some siesta time every weekend.

Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

If you have never tried working with a personal trainer, there's some serious benefits to trying out a few sessions. I'm not just saying that because I'm a personal trainer... You could just as easily hire someone other than me.

Five Great Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

1. Your Own Private Yoda

True, you won't learn any telekinesis uses of "the Force", but the teacher-student paradigm cannot be understated. Having someone to tell you what to do, how to do it, why to do it and so forth will help motivate you to try even harder. Do or do not, there is no try.

2. Better Judges of Limits

A personal trainer will push you further but a great trainer will push you at the right time when you are ready for a new challenge. The "art" of personal training involves the ability to give clients a good workout by exerting them within the range between comfortable and hard. There is definitely a balance between a workout that feels effective, one that is not doing anything, and a session that does too much and leaves you feeling aches and pains. If you search for complaints about personal trainers you will find complaints regarding both ends of the spectrum, but never complaints about those in the middle. "My last trainer was too hot," says one. "My trainer is too cold!" says another. What you need to look for is the trainer who is "just right" for you and still challenges you the right amount.

3. Personal Trainers Organize the Workout to Maximize Efficiency

Anyone can learn to organize their workouts with a little research, but a personal trainer knows how to do it so you get the most out of your workout. Often they will focus on training big muscle groups first, and then working over to smaller muscles so you get a full body workout without missing anything. However, a personal trainer will also learn about their clients as individuals and as we all know, there is no standard prescription to exercise. Some clients have the most energy at the beginning of the session, and their trainer will learn that this is the time to do the more exerting and difficult exercises. Other clients take a good twenty minutes to get warmed up and into the session. In such cases, harder and more cardiovascular based exercises too early in will not be as effective as they could be.

4. Interval Training

Personal trainers know a lot about the topic of interval training and can push your limits even further by giving you hard and soft intensity exercises which allow you to get your heart racing even further, up your adrenaline and metabolism and allow you to get more out of a workout than you would if you were training solo. If you are training for a competitive sport they can also give you cross-training tips and exercises you can do so you can up your game the next time you're in competition.

5. A Trainer will Adapt to their Clients Needs and Wants

This is really important. A personal trainer quickly learns likes and dislikes of their clients. Some clients just want to make sure that they are exercising twice a week to stay healthy, and want a general routine that is changed up often enough so they do not get bored. At the same time, they do not want to feel like they're training for the army or the marines. Others really want to be pushed because they can't force themselves to be trained hard on their own - and they want a military-like approach. Some clients have very specific goals in mind and hire their trainer for technical exercise knowledge, sports instruction and implementation. eg. Hiring a personal trainer who also teaches boxing lessons. Whatever the case, a personal trainer is a chameleon in the gym, and can be the type of trainer that their client needs them to be.

Just don't expect them to be all like Yoda.

Need a certified personal trainer in Toronto? Hire me!
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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