Wants vs. Needs - Aligning Fitness Outcomes

Early March 2022, Queens Wreath (Petrea volubilis) in full bloom in the Botanical Gardens of Lakes Park (Fort Myers).  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

As a coach and professional for over 30 years now, I have had a wide range of clients with a variety of goals.

Some want fat loss, muscle growth, improvements in performance, more energy, the list goes on.  

While it is important that we recognize and be clear about what we want, it is vital to also establish and align with what we need. 

Even though we may not think we may not need a particular exercise, from an optimal health position, it might be as important to correct posture and improve functional movement patterns as it is to develop specific muscular strength.

How do we integrate what we need seamlessly into our training session so that we still get what we want? 

Educate yourself and seek professional help.

Have an evaluation to find out where your fitness is currently and what you need to improve it.

We don’t know what we don’t know.

You may not know the benefit of a certain exercise, how correcting posture is important or how activating weak muscles can assist you to reach your goal faster and with a decreased risk of injury.

Divide your training sessions into two parts.

This is one that I use all the time, especially for weight loss clients who’s intensity can be limited due to being less conditioned when they are just starting out.

Sometimes, exercise enthusiast see less intense, corrective exercise as not helping them achieve their goals and this is when I circle back to number one and educate.

Have the first part of the session focus on technique correction, proper activation of muscle groups and moving pain free, then spend the second half focusing on conditioning through high quality movements at an appropriate intensity. 

The outcome is maximum energy expenditure and leaving your exercise session feeling fatigued and accomplished.

The first part of the session meets what you need, while the second half of the sessions gives you what you want!  

Finally, do your homework.

This is where I assign certain stretches, activation and mobility techniques to help correct some of their postural imbalances or issues so that we can spend more time on their body composition goals during their training sessions. 

Homework is a wonderful accountability tool and provides additional reinforcement as you measure progress.

We can manage what we can measure. When we measure appreciable progress in fitness we are motivated to do more.

Meeting both our needs and wants is an art form and takes some time and experience to get right. 

Stay the course though because the end result is optimal health and goal achievement.

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Let's go on this journey together and change your life as always, “Practice with Purpose and Live with Passion!

Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist and Tony Robbins Results Coach from Fort Myers, Florida. She also is a Corrective Biomechanics Specialist, USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach, has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification, and a PhD in results!


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