Shut it Down: Welcome (Back) to Reality
This article is reprinted with permission from the TRXTraining.com website. I think the problems outlined in the article apply to 99.9% of motocross athletes. If you don't train with a TRX, you should but the take home message is to make training novel and enjoyable whatever equipment you use. - Virtual Trainer
The concept of the “screen environment” is a hot topic among many modern researchers. According to some statistics, the average individual logs more than eight hours a day in front of a screen, be it watching television, playing computer games or communicating via social networking sites. And that’s just the average individual. Many are spending more time than that in front of a screen, with a variety of deleterious consequences from obesity to depression.
So with more and more people becoming addicted to the screen environment, what can we do about it? According to Paul Taylor, director of PT Academy in Australia and practicing Exercise Physiologist, the answer is simple. We need to make fitness more fun. If we can do that in an environment where we can increase real, meaningful social contact then we will have the winning formula. (This sentiment is echoed by TRX Master Trainer Hayley Hollander in her recent TRX Games post.)
Taylor believes the answer lies in small group personal training or boot camps, with approximately four to eight people. This is very different to group fitness in that the group size needs to be small enough for everyone to be able to interact with everyone else and also feel that they are getting a personalized service.
What we do in these groups is also critical. We must make it both novel and fun, as the brain loves both of these things. When we can do that through exercise, the brain will release lots of the neurotransmitter dopamine (which symbolizes reward in the brain) that sends an unconscious message that this behavior needs to be repeated. Novelty, as most of us know, is also important for the body to adapt and hence for people to see results.
With this in mind, we need to consider exercise tools that can help us to achieve that. One of the answers is a combination of functional strength tools and things that we can use for games. Training tools like the TRX Suspension Trainer challenge the body functionally, increase novelty and create a metabolic load that triggers a flood of brain growth factors (such as BDNF, VGF and FGF); and team-based games using balloons, reaction balls and other non-traditional fitness tools can seriously ramp up the fun element.
For more on the vital role the TRX Suspension Trainer can play in the mind/body connection, check out Paul in the video above.
This is not the only possible answer to how to combat the screen environment, but one thing is for sure: our approach to fitness needs to evolve from the machine-based, body-building focused exercise prescription model if we are to meet the multi-faceted challenges of a technology-dependent society head on.
About the Author: Paul Taylor is an accredited and practicing Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. He is Director of the Personal Training Academy in Melbourne, Australia, a company that handles TRX Education in Australia. Paul is a former Airborne Anti-submarine Warfare Officer and a Helicopter Search-And-Rescue Crew Member with the Royal Navy.
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.