A conversation earlier today got me wondering about people and their journey to health and well being.  We always call it a “journey” or a “path” and we use the “road map to success”.  It got me thinking.  What is your “road map” and more importantly, who is your “guide”?  Rand McNally used to make all the physical maps back in the day, now it’s Google Maps or Apple Maps (eek!).  We use those maps because we KNOW they know where everything is.  We know they can give you step by step directions on where to turn, how long to go for, and what direction to go.  You guys know I love an analogy, so let’s apply it to fitness!

     First off, where are you going?  Are you trying to lose weight?  Do you want more muscle?  Are you just trying to wake up and feel good about yourself and move more?  Once you figure that out,how do you get there?  What “map” are you using?  Are you maybe going off the map of ” I know what general direction I’m going, so I’ll get there eventually “?  Are you using a map that you got from the grocery store that cost you $7 and is meant for people on massive amounts of steroids?  What are the directions you are following?  If you just go to the gym, lift a little, do some cardio, and hope for the best, that’s akin to looking at a picture of the United States on a map,and driving from Cleveland to Seattle off memory of the picture.

     You may eventually get to your destination, and it may happen by pure luck, or take you FOREVER to get there.  What you are looking for is a GUIDE, or a PLAN  or…DIRECTIONS.  An educated personal trainer, a detailed program specifically for you and all your capabilities.  The reason this is important can be displayed in yet another analogy.  If the shortest way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is off road, but you only have a Toyota Camry, how well will that plan work for you?  You MAY end up in Las Vegas, but you’ll end up in a worse position than when you set off on your journey.  Probably a few flats, a lot of dents, maybe a broken axle or two.  This is kind of like your body.  We all have various injuries, aches and pains and dysfunction in our own bodies.  If we all do the same thing, we won’t all come out with the same results.  If your knees kill when you squat, should I have you doing squat jumps because squat jumps burn a lot of calories?

     That’s why you need to follow someone who knows the way.  One, for safety, two for efficiency, and three because they are educated enough to KNOW THE WAY.

     If you go out on your own, remember that there may just be a better map.