Are you training the wrong way?
Athletic injury and the science of sport
Take yourself out of the neanderthal gym-monkey mind-set and start thinking like an Olympian this season.
When setting your goals, there can be a lot more to getting in shape than lifting more weight or doing more reps. One in-training sports science master’s student, Johan Lahti, says working out can be seen as an experiment of the body, and that there are better ways than others to sculpt and hit peak performances.
“What we know right now about proper body movements is based on the combined research data on injury and performance mechanics. Usually, the biggest issue in the gym is people picking up bad movement habits and then adding too much weight to those movements.”
Lahti says that by only focusing on how much you’re lifting, and not on how you are lifting, you can actually harm your body, rather than help it make progress. Internally, you might be harming your muscles, even if you’re not feeling any pain.
“The dilemma is that the body can sometimes take years of damage before it shows up as a chronic or acute injury. People just assume that they are using the right technique.”
Talking to a professional is one of the best ways to break old habits and to avoid long-term injury.
“Most people do not invest in experts teaching them correct form until it’s an issue,” says Lahti.
The sporty scientist says that to be the best you can be, you should be investing in your body for the long-term. He says personal training sessions are a good start, but to get the biggest bang for your buck, strength and conditioning sessions are where you’ll see the greatest return.
“Why not invest in high quality training? I think most people would be surprised how cheap of an investment it actually is. Strength and conditioning coaches can be great personal trainers because they see potential clients, no matter their level, as athletes and all-stars.”
This year, Lahti will be completing his masters in his home country of Finland. Currently, he taking a year off from his degree to work at The Athletic Factory in Calgary. The opportunity is allowing him to gain high-level practical experience for his thesis as a strength and conditioning coach. He says there is always something new to learn.
“The fascinating thing is that the science behind training is a very young field of study. There is still an amazing amount to discover. As a scientist, in athletics, I always keep an open mind to new discoveries that completely change what I might have previously thought.”
In 2011, when Lahti first visited Canada, he became infatuated with the intricacies behind effective training.
“As an exchange student, the most interesting breakthrough I experienced is how little the scientific community really knows about what makes somebody faster. You may think quickness is natural and can’t be coached, but I believe that hard work has the potential to beat talent if you find the right tools.”
To contact Lahti for training sessions and pricing, reach out to him on his cell at 587-432-4218 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mount Royal University also offers training consultations. For more information visit mtroyal.ca’s personal training page.