On a personal note…
I suffered an ACL injury about 6 years ago that, even after surgery, never actually healed until it was finally confirmed as ruptured at the end of last year (2015). The protocols my doctors and physical therapists prescribed me left me limited until May of this year, and to this day I am conscious of my knee every time I step in the gym – more annoyingly than after the first go round. Returning to my own standard of training has been a struggle, and finding the right approach to once again cement one of the most important parts of my life became somewhat of an obsession.
For those of us – athletic or not, trainers or not – coming off of injuries or sizable breaks in gym attendance, we need to take our time to heal. If you add one pound per week to each of your lifts, you will be fifty pounds up at the end of the year – one hundred pounds up after two years. Train not to work out harder, but rather to never miss a work out. Those sentences may or may not sound like an eternal time span and a sideways approach, but they have gotten me much further. I feel more stability in the nutritional and training aspects of my life than I have ever felt before.
Earlier this year, I spent time at the gym killing myself 5 times a week for a few weeks, leading me to exactly 5 different burnouts. I traded that for a plan that began with 5 times a week in the gym for thirty minutes, spending the week prior adjusting my daily food intake to the same philosophy as my training (nutrition philosophy will have to wait for the my next epic letter). It’s been 6 weeks back in, double my usual 3-week stints to getting my athletic lifestyle back in balance. No stress here because I eased myself. You can take twice the time to get there. No one is pushing you except your body, and that’s okay. Your body gets to do that so it can heal. It’s not worried about how we look in swimwear; it just wants to be around to swim forever.
A drastic “one day to the next” approach to changing my lifestyle worked for me at a basic emergency level 5 years and one hundred pounds ago. Slow progress and moderation are lessons that have taken much more time to learn than the pounds took to come off. Drastic approaches, fueled by my gut reaction to feeling out of shape, did not work after my injury or help me heal, and it was moderation and starting small that stabilized me once again. Success in the fitness aspects of my lifestyle has always boiled down to personally working with helpful professionals and employing different strategies to find what works best for me.
I know that I’m fortunate to have a team for support that helps me understand these concepts and put them into action. I’m also fortunate to be in a business that will always make healthy living accessible to me. However, it is not like that for the majority of people. That’s why I founded Pledge To Fitness®. I want sensible approaches to personal fitness to be available to everyone regardless of what your daily life looks like. Your personal fitness habits should be progressive, safe, and sustainable. You should be able to go to one place and have knowledgeable people who love their jobs guide you making achieving your fitness goals as painless and straightforward as possible. I wanted to create a cooperative of people who want to help others, and thanks to those who work with me, Pledge To Fitness® is doing just that.
To many years of health & happiness,
Andres Loperena, Founder of Pledge to Fitness
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