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CUTLOOSE & JOURNEY WITH US as the forever badass Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, Emily Rodenbaugh and I hiit you with stories and topics regarding REAL REAL LIFE and Fitness! Covering everything from microwave power level settings all the way down to squatting at 90 degrees. Let’s get after it!
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“Top 10 Gym Fears”
Happy Sunday to you all! Having been a wrestler for 15+ years and a Personal Trainer for 2, I’ve seen my fair share of bone breaks, tears and freak accidents. I have also seen a handful of ridiculous movies such as Final Destination which I partially blame for this list. You cannot un-see these things and there is no Men In Black Memory Eraser. These are a list of the revolving thoughts I have as a gym-goer and a Personal Trainer. A personal list of my Top 10 Gym Fears. #SqueamishAF
1. Dropping Bench Press Barbell on Chest
Lol, yo. Let’s just get this one out the way. I never thought this was actually a thing until I did it to myself. You always hear to use a spotter and use the supports, of course this all makes sense. But it’s like, who in the hell is going to drop the whole barbell on themselves? Sure one has heard of lifting until failure where one has to ease the bar down towards the chest and rest the barbell on the supports, causing one to climb out from underneath. This is never fun. But it sure beats the hell out of 225 coming down on your chest lol. I fear for everyone. Actual footage of me down below. @ me.
2. Get Up Sit Up, Kettlebell Slip to Face
This is probably the more gruesome of the fears only because I obsess over my teeth. Although there are a couple things that can go wrong during the movement, the Get Up Sit Up is a remarkable core exercise when done correctly. My mind can’t help to wander to the kettlebell slipping through the hand of a client and coming down onto their face. I honestly just shook my head to remove the thought from my mind. No need to lie, you do it too. If this were to ever happen in my presence I would definitely pass out. In a snap.
3. Kettlebell Swing to the Knee
Lol yoOoo I swear if I ever see this happen to someone, I’m falling down with them! This is one of those vodoo pains where you see someone stub their toe and you cringe and lift your foot as if it happened to you! I always stress a wide base to clients when doing the kettlebell swing for this exact reason. One mis-step, or distraction and one could be swinging the kettlebell into their knee. The thought of this happening makes me sad.
4. Tension Band Snap to Eye
Nope! I’m already squinting my eyes as I type! I enjoy stretching with the tension bands and I encourage all of my clients to do so. However, I try to do as many tension band stretches that I can where I am looking away from the anchor point. The last thing I need is for that band to snap and pop me in the eye. This is probably the fear that bothers me the most. One, because I’ve scratched my cornea 4 times. Two, I’m still bent from the scene in The Haunting where the one lady gets struck in the eye with the Piano string. Fast forward to 1:50-2:15, eeeeek!
5. Get Up Sit Up, Shoulder Snap
Back to the Get Up Sit Up. I often have my clients start on the lighter side when doing this exercise to get the mechanics down first. To complete the exercise correctly, the arm and core must move as one. My fear is the core coming up too fast and the arm lagging behind to the point where the arm never catches up causing the shoulder to awkwardly bend in a way that it shouldn’t.
6. Leg Press, Platform Folding one in Half
Okay so this one is probably the least likely to happen and I really think Final Destination is responsible for me imagining this. I always see people resting with their legs stretched out, heels at the top of the leg press platform. Now listen, I understand it’s racked, but why even put yourself in a situation where if that thing unhinged, your straight ass legs are winding up behind your head, folded like sandwich. Snap, Crackle and Pop. Farfetched? Yes, but know that this will never be me.
7. Knee Snap, not Pivoting
I feel like this is the fear that is most likely to happen only because it’s such a common injury in both high and low-impact sports. I’ve seen it during wrestling matches, lacrosse and field hockey games, definitely during football games and a few basketball games. There are a handful of explosive exercises my clients perform such as LIM ROT’s and ALT MED BALL CHOPS where pivoting the foot IS A MUST to avoid injury. A pivot is simply planting the toes in the ground where the back heel is raised allowing the foot to execute on a swivel. Trouble occurs when we are explosively twisting our bodies with flat feet. PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT!
8. Deadlift, Pulling one’s Back Out
As a Personal Trainer, this fear probably upsets me the most because it’s very preventable with proper technique. It pains me to see a ton of videos and Instagram stories of Trainers and Coaches performing deadlifts with questionable form. The improper technique then gets passed down to their clients and the next thing you know, someone’s back is toast. The deadlift is one of the more complex movements to perform so take your time learning it, performing it and teaching it. Let’s try not to look like the croissant emoji!
9. Squat, Knees Folding
Personally, I only had to duck out from underneath the bar once. The other times that I failed a squat I had a spotter. If it’s going to be a PR or the thought of a spotter crosses your mind, GET A DAMN SPOTTER! Please do not let your ego get in the way because I have seen it in the gym and on YouTube where one goes to hit their lift and cannot get back up, bruh. YOUR KNEES! Not to mention the fact that you gotta either dump forward or sit down and back with it, OUCH NO. I’m sorry but I don’t bend that way.
10. Fingers Crunched Between Weights
The dreaded fingers getting in the way! I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to put back a dumbbell and I end up smashing my finger. Or crushing my finger trying to carry too many kettlebells! But the thing I fear is having the cable weight guillotine and smash one’s fingers on the way down. I envision two things happening here. I can see the bones being turned to mashed potatoes and I see something similar to when one would pound on a ketchup packet and ketchup would shoot out. Watch where you place your fingers!
There you have it! You have been blessed with my Top 10 list of Gym Fears. A list of my revolving thoughts as a gym-goer and Personal Trainer. Sure my imagination may run rampant at times but hey, you know what they say, “SH*T HAPPENS”. Please by all means, take care of yourself when you are at the gym. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert when performing any type of exercises. Most important, have fun!
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“Top 10 Things “THEY” Don’t Tell You When You Become A Spin Instructor”
Listen, take it from me when I say there’s no better feeling than signing on as an Instructor at the Studio or Gym you hope to call Home! You’re going to welcome so many guests day in and day out while you host killer classes with bangin’ playlists leaving those clients drenched in sweat, smiling from ear to ear! You’ll be stoked to learn how to open the Studio, how to close up shop, work the sound-board, how to sign-in new clients, handle transactions, clean, stock, ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE (major key) the whole nine yards. What THEY don’t tell you are these 10 things that you’re bound to learn REAL QUICK!
1. You WILL need to rehearse your playlists.
Listen, this isn’t to say that you need to run through the full 45 minutes of your “routine” before every class you teach. However, when you first begin, you definitely want to have an idea of what choreography and exercises you want to start off with at the beginning of each song. There’s nothing worse than crunching and pushing for 2, 3 4, 5 songs in a row. Oh wait, yes there is, freezing up and shooting a blank. “Are we just riding it out today?…”
2. You’re going to stress TF out.
No but really. Especially when you’re new to teaching and you just received your schedule and you know when your first class is taking place. You’re going to be so anxious to start that you may consider a sprint for your first song! Don’t you dare. The stress is natural, let’s be real, you most likely have a 9-5 job, additional side-work, grocery shopping to do, laundry on top of that, food to prep, a paper to write, an apartment to clean and your own workout to fit in. My eyes are widening as I type. Take a breath, complete your playlist, get a gist of what you are going to do and honestly when you hit the stage and that beat drops, you’ll be swept away by what you choreographed and created. So will the clients! Don’t worry. (And then get your tasks done).
3. You will be exhausted AF.
I’m talking completely drained. You are basically jogging (more like running) for 45 minutes while talking. Take note that studies show 5 out of 4 people hate running and then you want to throw in conversation on top of that?! Of course you do! Otherwise, you wouldn’t want to teach Spin! Forewarned.
4. You will listen to your playlist to and from work and everywhere in between.
You will listen in the car, you will listen to and far. You’ll even listen while at work, you will listen while you twerk. In the shower or in your room. On a sunny day or a day of gloom. You’ll listen to it at the gym, or while you’re waiting for your time to spin.—You get the gist yo.
5. You’ll catch yourself crunching and pushing at the steering wheel.
No joke, it could be a banger of a song you are hearing from the first time, a throwback on the radio, or just a poppin’ song that tugs on your eardrum. You’re going to start, “crunching twice and pushing twice” which will eventually lead you to “singling it out”. Never-mind the looks you’ll get as people drive-by. Chances are they’re just wondering what you’re listening to and if you’re sane. Everything is fine Carol, come to my spin class, its LIT!
6. Bring extra clothes.
I don’t spin in DRI-FIT shirts. I prefer to spin in very light and breathable long-sleeve henleys from H&M, Lucky Brand, Zara or Express. I love to sweat when I workout, I’m a wrestler. I’ve invested in a few pair of compression pants (yoga pants, whatevs) but nothing that compares to the caliber of Lululemon. What I am trying to say is, chances are you are going to be a sweaty mess after class and if you plan on hanging around afterwards you are bound to be cold and uncomfortable. My advice is to at least bring a shirt to change into. The compressions tend to air-dry pretty fast but that shirt will be soaked. Which transitions nicely into number seven…
7. Bring a towel for your car seats.
I wish someone would have told me this off the rip. If you’re ballin’ like Embiid and have the whole leather seat thing going on for you then hey, trust your process. However, for us that are rockin’ out with stock seats it is imperative to have a few towels on deck to sit and lean back on unless you want those large, weird looking stains on your seats. Trust me you don’t. No one enjoys detailing their own car and if you do, please CUTLOOSE & SLIDE INTO MY DM because my Civic is due! Towels are cheap. Head to Wal-Mart or something and grab 3-5 for $10. I keep them in my trunk. You’re welcome!
8. You’ll make playlists on the go.
Like everywhere. On your way to work you’ll scroll through songs and think, “Oh! This song pops!” and you’ll add it. You will be waiting in line somewhere adding songs to a playlist, on your computer making a playlist, at work, at the gym or studio, you’ll be in bed creating a list when you should actually be going to sleep. You’ll create a playlist while you’re watching Netflix, while you’re chillin’, cooking dinner. I’m not going to lie, I’m still listening to songs from “New Music Friday” on Spotify and I’m currently making a playlist while I blog. Get used to it, it’s real.
9. Your SoundHound game will become strong AF.
Get familiar with SoundHound, Shazam or Siri because identifying music will become your new hobby as a Spin Instructor. No lie, you’ll get so good at it that you can take your phone out mid-conversation, know where that app is on the home screen and begin holding that button down to quickly ID the song you plan to add to your playlist. All of this while your friend is spilling the juice about last nights Tinder date. Don’t worry you’ll see. PS–Night clubs, the gym and car rides with friends are the best times and places for identifying music. Take note.
10. There will be a time where “winging it” will be appropriate.
To be perfectly honest, if you’re adding music to your playlist, chances are you know how the song makes you feel and you know how you plan to move and how you would like your clients to move. If you find yourself over-planning for class, or over-stressed from the day leading to you becoming overwhelmed before class, remember this: “Spin is supposed to be enjoyable and fun. When that beat drops, you become mindless and the only thing that matters are those clients and the 45 minutes you have to show them one heck of a time, empowering them to return.” So let that music play, catch that beat, feel the rhythm and count them in!
CUTLOOSE & HAVE FUN WITH IT,