fitness

From tragedy to triumph: Michelle's story

When Michelle Kong-Rosario finally emerged from all the surgeries and complications following a motorcycle crash, fitness was the last thing on her mind.

Before she could focus on herself, Michelle had to deal with the enormous emotional toll of losing her boyfriend in the accident. She also had to learn how to walk again on her prosthetic leg.

“There were complications that led to me losing my leg,” she said. “The process was very long. After two months in the hospital, I was in in-patient rehabilitation for another two or three months to learn how to walk again with a prosthesis. Then it was out-patient rehabilitation. It took me about a year.”

This past year marked 20 years since the accident, and it was only recently when Michelle, a 42-year-old mom, started focusing on herself again — her fitness, her strength and her body. Unfortunately, that only led to more frustration.

“I’ve been through so many different gyms that left me in pain or injured, and that would put me out of commission,” she said. “I would be out for two or three months.

“I’ve worked out on my own, I’ve hired personal trainers, I’ve been to classes,” she said. “And each one of them, when I talked to them about my leg, they said they could help me and I always ended up injuring myself more. By the time I came to Max [Velocity], I was pretty frustrated, pretty tired. Everybody tells me they can help me, that they’re going to create this whole program for me, but nobody really does. But when I came here, things changed.”

MKR-21-Day.png

This past November, Michelle finished second in Max Velocity’s Fall Fitness Challenge. Contestants were scored on attendance, consistency with their nutrition habits and check-ins and performance in their baseline workouts. Michelle recorded the second-highest rep total in her initial workout and the fifth-highest improvement in her retests. She was also 80 percent compliant with her nutrition habits and 100 percent compliant with her weekly check-ins with her coaches.

“It took me by surprise,” she said. “… That challenge was a great way to measure that I am improving, I am doing better taking all these classes.”

Michelle has even bigger goals for this year, as she is now training for a mini-triathlon, a bike tour and a full triathlon in 2019. After seeing her amazing results, Michelle’s husband is thinking about joining her at Max Velocity.

“He wants to get himself onto my level,” she said.

Would you like information about our next fitness challenge starting Jan. 28? To learn more, follow this link.

Why no pain, no gain is no good

The old adage "no pain, no gain" has been around as long as fitness has. The idea being, if you're not getting the results you want from your fitness program, there can only be one reason: You're not training hard enough.

First of all, the notion that there's only one variable that affects physical adaptation is pure folly. The human body is complex. There are too many variables that contribute to fat loss, muscle growth and overall health and fitness to enumerate in a single blog post.

That would require a book.

Suffice it to say, this is where the vast majority of fitness enthusiasts and athletes go wrong. They fail to account for the dozens of factors that contribute to how their bodies adapt and respond to training. This thorough post from Joel Jamieson explores some of the more common obstacles: stress, overtraining and what is known as a "recovery debt."

In short: Your body's No. 1 priority is to keep you alive. It is not going to divert precious energy and resources away from vital functions like breathing and circulating blood in order to make your biceps bigger. Its No. 2 priority is to respond to stress. This is exactly where most fitness programs go off the rails.

Take a moment to think about your life. Job, career, kids, school, bills, sleep depravation and various emergencies that invoke a stress response and require substantial amounts of energy and nutrients to be mobilized. Now, how do you suppose your body will respond if you then trudge into the gym determined to kick your own ass and completely destroy yourself in the name of "stress relief?" If you're piling more stress upon all the stress you already have, and then wondering why you're not losing weight or building muscle, then you are probably stuck in the vicious cycle known as recovery debt.

Rather than forever seeking to max out your intensity and effort in your workouts, you would be better off learning and practicing some stress-management skills, moderating the intensity of your training sessions and incorporating some type of recovery activity into your fitness routine. If you need help with us, let us know in the comments or fill out one of the forms on our website and we'll be in touch right away.

And one more thing. Forget about the saying "no pain, no gain." Exercise and training should NEVER involve pain. Discomfort, yes. Muscle soreness, of course. But if your workout has you collapsing on the floor in a state of utter physical and mental destruction -- or worse, spending the rest of the day icing your joints -- you are most certainly doing more harm than good.