It seems like every day there’s a new type of workout class or studio popping up in cities around the country. Some of them make bold promises about “torching calories” or “toning”, and some claim to be the “only” workout class you’ll ever need. From cycling to group fitness to sprinting on treadmills to keep your heart rate in the right “fat burning” zone, classes keep you busy, make you sweat, and often, you leave feeling exhausted- the sign of a “good” workout, right?

What many people fail to realize is, despite the way exercise has been presented to us in media and advertising, feeling tired (and/or puking?!) at the end of a session is not an accurate measurement of efficacy in your fitness regimen. In fact, pushing your body to its max every session, even multiple days a week, can result in stagnation of progress- however you measure it- or serious illness and injury.

Overexertion often leads to overtraining. Overtraining symptoms include chronic injuries and pain, which can put a serious damper on your efforts to get fit. Think of a cyclist in spin class with constant lower back pain, or a weightlifting athlete with inexplicable knee pain, or a sprinter with nagging shin splints. Constant, repetitive force on the same muscle groups, through the same range of motion, may result in overuse injuries that take weeks or months (maybe years!) to heal. Exercising around an injury is possible (we can help), but what’s advisable is to vary your workout and to exercise in a fashion that suits your unique body’s needs.

In addition to repetitive stress injuries, overexertion can lead to serious illness like rhabdomyolysis (or, “rhabdo”), a condition in which the skeletal muscle breaks down and its byproducts can lead to kidney failure. Rhabdo is experienced in soulcycle and crossfit classes, where students are encouraged to push, push, push, at the same rate as their classmates, regardless of fitness level and ability. Rhabdo results in a hospital visit, treatment with fluids, and can be fatal if not detected early.

Overtraining can also lead to metabolic imbalances and adrenal fatigue. This means that, even if you are in a caloric deficit, your body will hold on to its fat stores in a protective fashion. The constant fatigue can lead to sickness, loss of sleep (the famous “wired and tired” feeling), loss of concentration, agitation and moodiness, and an inability to progress your strength goals.

If all of this feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Group fitness classes that encourage students to push themselves to their limit are growing in popularity because they seem like the easy way to lose weight and “get in shape”. That is, afterall, how they’re marketed. At Pongo Power, we ask you to think critically about these classes, your goals, and your unique body.

Every single one of our clients receive an individualized program that addresses their specific needs. In fact, one of our core principles is centered around the need for individual programming. There are certain corrective exercises and abdominal activation drills, that all clients are taught to master, in order to lay a strong foundation from which to build on. Those movement patterns are intertwined with one another, and as a result,  there are even more specific exercises, for each client’s individual issues, conditions, bodies, and goals.

This approach allows you to actually address chronic pain associated with your past exercise classes, avoid injury while exercising, get stronger, lose fat, and feel better, all without puking at the end of your session (seriously!).

At Pongo Power, our specialists come with years of experience in movement and sports; often with degrees in exercise science, and certifications, that require months and months of study. We are comprised of career movement specialists, exercise scientists, and coaches. Pongo Power personal trainers are committed to the field, and to helping others. It’s with this knowledge that we are able to create and implement the best possible programs, designed specifically for you and your goals!

Come in for a free fitness assessment. We’ll have you answer some health history questions. We’ll talk about your past, present, and future fitness levels and goals. After this, we guide you through a brief movement analysis to observe how your body moves. Which muscles are tight and overactive? Which muscles are weak, and need strengthening? From there, you decide if the Pongo Power community is a good fit for your lifestyle.

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