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December 3, 2012
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Finding right fit for your body and goals

I have been so busy lately that my creative writing juices have been a bit dry, but I am back now! I just read an article written by one of the fitness industry’s “Master of the Master trainers,” Mike Boyle. He was writing on the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of our clients.

While it may seem this topic is only important to fitness trainers and instructors, I disagree.

In about a month, fitness facilities will experience a surge of new clients streaming through the doors looking for guidance with their health and fitness goals. By writing this column, I hope to remind both trainers and clients that not all programs are for all people.

If you are looking to reduce your weight/size but haven’t worked out in years, then for example, the popular bootcamp-style exercise classes, while fun, may not be the best choice for you to re-start your fitness program.

Why? They often are too much too soon for a deconditioned, mature participant, and that back, knee or shoulder injury that has been plaguing you for years may not be ready for the rigors of that class. Actually, unless it is designed with beginners in mind, a class of any kind may not be the best “re-entry” choice.

I encourage you to muster the courage to ask the hard questions. Remember that you are seeking help about your body, and you know more about your history than anyone else. Make sure that you are taking appropriate measures to ensure success with your goals. It may be wise to observe a class or training session before jumping in. Ask the instructor or trainer about his educational background and experience to determine if he are qualified to work with your body — including your medical conditions and injuries. Most trainers have the integrity to admit if a client’s physical condition renders them a less-than-ideal match for the trainers abilities.

You may want to have a conversation with your medical professional and let him know that you plan to start a fitness program and ask if there is a fitness professional he recommends or if he has any specific guidelines he’d like you to follow.

It would be totally appropriate for a qualified trainer to work with you under the guidance of and in conjunction with your medical professional, be it your MD, chiropractor or physical therapist. It often is an excellent idea for you to exercise in spite of your physical condition — but not with just any trainer and not just any exercise program.

To wrap it up, be sure that the health and fitness choices you make are appropriate for you specifically. If you are not sure, get professional advice. The questions that are asked and answered could make the difference between your exercise success or failure!

Scott Jackson, CSCS, MES, B.S. Physical Education, owner of Scott Jackson’s Real Life Fitness Personal Training Services in Nevada City, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist and an IDEA Master Trainer. Email questions to, call (530) 265-4041 or visit or our Facebook page for information.

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The Union Updated Dec 3, 2012 11:30PM Published Dec 7, 2012 08:00AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.