The do’s and don’ts of exercise

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day to day I train beginners, intermediates, and folks on advanced exercise regimens. I even train other personal trainers to better their skills. I teach everyone I work with the fitness do’s and don’ts. Here are just a few. No matter your fitness level or expertise these rules apply. 1. Don’t: Over train. Over training at any level is a bad idea.
Remember, rest is the glue that holds your exercise program together. If, for example, you were baking a cake, and it called for one cup of sugar. You wouldn’t say “that being the case, if I use three cups of sugar, the cake will be three times as good. Of course not (well, some of you might), because you would ruin the recipe.
Your fitness program is like a recipe too. Every aspect has its own proper portion. Also, don’t do extra exercise “because you enjoy it”. It’s still over training. Think of rest as an active part of your exercise regimen, not passive.
2. Do: Stretch before and after your exercise routine. When you stretch, you’re not stretching your muscles, but rather your tendons. Tendons hold muscle to bone and behave much like leather in two ways. First, the more supple tendons are, the stronger they can hold. Second, you can’t condition tendons or leather in just one day. Both have to be conditioned over and over. When I was head strength coach for the S.C. state champion girl’s gymnastic team, our team stretched for a full 30 minutes before every practice. Never bounce a stretch, because that’s like snapping a rubber band, and could cause you to tear a muscle, or other connective tissue.
3. Don’t: Learn your exercise routine by watching a friend workout. Learning from a buddy or trying to come up with your own regimen will not only prevent progress, but can get you injured as well. Everyone is different, with individual needs. I don’t have any two clients on the same program. Get help from an expert.
4. Do: Have a workout partner. You can motivate each other, and because knowing one of you is going to show up to work out, it helps make you both accountable.
5. Don’t: Workout without staying hydrated. Remember, muscle is composed of 70-75 percent water, so if you’re dehydrated while exercising, it’s like your muscles are running on flat tires.
6. Do: Get plenty of sleep. Even though your muscles may feel tight during a workout (that’s because they are gorged with blood), they don’t tone and strengthen until hours later while you sleep. In fact if I’m training someone for a time sensitive event like a sport or competition, or a model for a future photo shoot, one of the first things I require of them is that they get an extra hour sleep each night whether they have to bed earlier or get up later. A nap won’t do it because, there needs to be a cycle of sleep.
7. Don’t: Give up on yourself. No matter your fitness level, you’re going to have set backs. At times you’re going to feel like you can’t make more progress. Stay with it. When it comes to exercise, consistency is even more important than effort. Remember slow and steady wins this race. Diet or exercise question? Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years.
He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and the Converse college equestrian team.
He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead train to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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