Yesterday Dad began working out with a personal trainer. Getting started is always the toughest part, and he hasn’t really worked out at all since his surgery in April. I had no idea Dad was so out of balance.
Angie Katz is his trainer, and the first session was really pretty much a strength and balance assessment. Angie is a great trainer who comes highly recommended. At the end of the hour-long evaluation she gave Dad and me her findings. It was shocking but not at all surprising.
First she explained that Dad is very strong and that he may want to consider wearing a t-shirt that says “All Natural” when he is working out so that others won’t think he is “on the juice.” (“On the juice” is a gym term for steroids.)
Then she explained that his positive strength moves (when you are pushing with your arms or pressing with your legs) are very strong, but the negative move (returning the weight back to its position) is fairly weak. When lifting weight you must control the weight throughout the exercise, and Dad needs some help on the negative movement.
In short, Angie said, “Zig is out of balance.”
Just to make sure I heard what Angie said I asked, “So what you are saying is that Dad is out of balance. His strength is much too positive, and his negative strength is not negative enough. In other words, Dad needs to focus on the negative?”
“You got it!” she said.
It’s official. Dad is physically out of balance, much too positive and not negative enough. I will keep you posted on how well his negative workouts go!
(In case you are trying to figure out what this really means, here is a pure and simple explanation: Stepping up stairs Dad does great. He is very strong on the “positive” push going up. Stepping down the stairs Dad needs to build some strength. The “negative” move coming down is not as strong as it should be and this creates a lack of stability and not as good balance as he should have.)
I never dreamed that Embracing the Struggle would mean focusing on the negative!
Angie says – the “positive” side of muscle contraction is known in biomechanical terms as concentric, and the “negative” is eccentric.
I always new Dad was not eccentric enough!