Do you need a personal trainer? Of course! Everyone could benefit from a fitness professional who is always at their side for workouts, guiding them through an exercise routine, making it safe, efficient and enjoyable.
In the real world, unfortunately, most people can't afford a personal trainer at every workout. But expert guidance is important, especially when you're a beginner, and then whenever you learn a new exercise.
With those concerns in mind, my husband Chris and I - personal trainers as well as owners of the Mission Fitness Center in San Marino - began about a year ago recording free Youtube fitness videos.
Two of our videos in particular take viewers through a complete circuit class using gym equipment. In a circuit class, people start out with exercises that move large muscles. These raise the heart rate, as well as strengthening muscles. After the large muscle exercises, the circuit targets individual muscles.
Proper form is crucial - and not always easy. In an average circuit , there are maybe a dozen or so different exercises, done with specific pieces of equipment that range from a 10 lb. medicine ball to a huge leg press machine. Especially for a beginner, the variety can be overwhelming. Do I stand up straight for or lean slightly forward? Are my legs far enough apart? Where do my elbows go?
We hope our videos can help can help. The first is called 'Mission Fitness Center - Circuit Part I of II (Beginner Level). 'It's at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iju8DlBS4NA. Part II is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcLdWgAhtQ8. Circuit Class Part I or II is good for all ages, including middle age and seniors.
The videos take you, machine by machine, through an entire circuit class. We take the time to show the proper positions, and do beginner as well as advanced versions of the exercises. And we tell you when to rest and for how long.
They're good to view at home - but even better, bring them to the gym, and refer to them on a tablet or other device, pausing the video when necessary. It's the next best thing to having a personal trainer at your side, and a whole lot cheaper - in fact, it's free!
There are also, of course, a lot of fitness apps for your smart phone available that are supposed to serve a similar purpose. I would say that if you're looking for an exercise app or video, the ones that only offer still photos are not as good as the ones in video format, which show someone doing the entire exercise in real time, and explaining it verbally. A video provides details that a photo can't.
There's one more way we're beginning to use video technology to help people improve their workouts. We're encouraging long distance-clients to have a friend video them doing a particular exercise, then send it to us. With their permission, we'll put it on Youtube, and comment on it there so everyone can learn about proper form. My husband is a power lifter, and this service is especially useful for other lifters.
So check out our Youtube channel, with a variety of fitness videos, here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MissionFitnessCenter. Along with the subjects mentioned above, we also have videos on strength training for children; car-pushing exercise; and working out with stretchy bands, which is especially good for travelers. We're adding more videos all the time. I hope they help make your workouts more efficient and more enjoyable!