June 17, 2024

Are YOU right for your exercise? By Nicole Bryan

Fads and trends will always come and go. The next latest and greatest quick-fix is just around the corner. Your best friend swears her class is the absolute best way to lose weight. Your boss is adamant that her way is the best way ever! How do you know what’s best for you? Instead of asking yourself if an exercise is right for you, ask are YOU right for the exercise. Here’s how to tell:

What’s your goal? First determine what you’d like to accomplish. If you’d like to run a 5K in a certain time, then your program may be different than if you’re wishing to build strength for your job. Sounds like common sense, but many aren’t aware of what they’re goal is. Determine your goal, and then determine which exercise.

Are you right for your exercise? For example, you’re 2 months out of major back surgery perhaps now is not the time to participate in that karate class where challenging single-stance movements are required. Or you’re just getting back into the swing of your routine after a 20 year sabbatical, maybe now isn’t the time to jump right into a 5 day a week high-intensity circuit class. This point may be summed up in the following question; why do you want to do that particular exercise? Keep in mind this doesn’t mean the certain exercises are bad or impossible; this simply means appropriate exercise/exercise progression is specific to the individual and determined by what one wants to accomplish.

There is a principle called the SAID Principle that reinforces this idea. The SAID Principle stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. This principle simply states that our body will adapt to the load under which it is placed. In other words, we should do specifically what we’d like to accomplish. For example if we want to be a runner, then we’ll need to run. If our goal is to increase strength to be able to lift our children easier, then we’ll need to perform strength training exercises. If our goal is to increase flexibility, then performing strength training three days each week while beneficial in general, will not improve flexibility. If our goal is to be able to walk around town with less effort, than performing 100lb power-cleans may not be the most appropriate exercise. This is not to say 100lb power-cleans are a bad exercise, it just depends who wants to do them and why.

Every movement performed in our workout should serve a specific purpose in moving us towards our goal. Enlist the assistance of a Fitness Professional to create a program based on your goals.


  1. Sarah Johnson says:

    Great article! Very well said – I ask new clients this question all the time, and many times they haven’t thought about “why” they want to start personal training! Asking them to think about specific goals will help me create the best program possible for them, and they will be successful.

Leave a Reply to Sarah Johnson Cancel reply