For those that want to stay in shape – say you're a skier and you don't have the opportunity to get to the mountains on a regular basis but want to stay in good shape so you can enjoy the snow season coming up – this is where recreational strength and conditioning comes into play. The majority of your day is spent at work. Whether you're sitting or standing, it's necessarily going to get you to the place where you need to be in terms of being in the best shape you can be for the activities you enjoy.
If you're a surfer or mountain biker, these are weather dependent types of sports so when the time is right you can enjoy them. However, it's great to condition yourself so when those times arise you'll be ready to meet the needs of whatever activity you're enjoying.
Even If you're not approaching your activities with extreme intensity, know that the majority of the week you've just spent with very limited exercise or conditioning has been spent in very sedentary ways whether it's commuting in your car, sitting in the office or the dinner table. Every time you're not moving your body is being trained to do just that. Therefore, you're telling you body to do one thing through the week and something completely different on the weekend – whether you're hitting it really hard or just going out and enjoying yourself. If you don't get your body into a position that will handle the demands you place on it over the weekend, then you'll get into the "weekend warrior" syndrome where you're injured because you haven't prepared yourself during the week.
The extremes can be very dangerous. When going from a sedentary environment to a highly active one the likelihood of injury is much greater than preparing your body through exercise to meet the demands of the weekend. Sitting is one of the most tortuous environments that we can place the human frame in. Prolonged periods of sitting will be detrimental to the human form. You need to have good function movement in the body and sitting – especially for long periods - will unfortunately reduce the likelihood of function occurring and actually start to enhance dysfunction
It all depends on the body performing the activity. If you're doing mountain biking or cross country skiing, it is your body's expectation that it should move the way it was designed to but unfortunately the week that you spent huddled over a desk, computer or steering wheel has taken you away from that ideal form. So the chance of compensation or over-working an area of weakness that has developed is much greater than if you stay active with exercise during the week.
We can't prevent injuries from occurring, but we can narrow your chances and reduce the likelihood of injury occurring by better preparing your body. This can be through group exercise, or one-on-one training whether corrective in nature or more focused on strength building or endurance training. It all depends on the sport you enjoy and what you need to do to better at it.
The Rocky's Fitness Approach
At Rocky's, we treat everyone as an athlete no matter your age, gender, weight or conditioning. Everyone is an athlete so we go through the same protocol whether you're trying to get to the Olympics, the NBA or you're just trying to get out of bed in the morning. We want to see how your body moves because as long as you have a human form there are a lot of similarities regardless of your level of intensity.
We want to put you through a functional movement screen, a balance assessment, and some basic fitness assessments to see where you are on the spectrum between completely dysfunctional forms to highly operating peak performing forms. Once we do that we can better design a program to meet the needs of the activities you so enjoy.
I saw that in the past – ten years ago when I started writing the books for outdoor adventure sports – there was a disconnect between the gym and those activities. It was much like years before how it was once thought that NBA players should not lift weights because that would be counterproductive to their speed and endurance on the court. We found out that this is not the case. Some of the most conditioned athletes now are in the NBA.
We found that the same thing was happening with adventure sports. People were enjoying those sports but weren't necessarily doing the exercises that would help them perform better in these activities. They were doing traditional body building isolation exercises so when they got out into their environment where they're climbing rocks ,canoeing, skiing or surfing that the gym didn't carry over well into their activities. So we had to look at the needs of these sports and design exercises around the sport rather than the other way around – design the sport based on the exercise.