Sunday, May 8, 2011

SCCS Fitness Training Intro: This Fitness Program will make you look just like Sarah Connor a Stronger You!

*ALWAYS check with a medical professional before starting a new fitness program or making major changes to an existing one, especially if you have any risk factors for heart disease. *


Many of our website hits are from people looking for how to get Sarah Connor’s muscle, so I have decided that a series of fitness pieces would be welcome here. For the record, I am a personal fitness trainer, but do keep in mind that the following is never a substitute for consulting with a real-life trainer, which is never a bad idea even if it’s for short term evaluation and program updating. As noted above, it is also your responsibility to make sure you are healthy enough to start an exercise program, if you are currently un- or de-conditioned especially.

So to the title…..the truth is that no, I’m not going to be able to offer you some super-secret-no-sweat-no-work short-cut to looking just like Sarah. I can’t even offer you a super-hard-lots-of-sweat workout to look like her. It’s not going to happen for a number of reasons. The first is that you’re not Linda Hamilton (unless you are, then I would swoon if I found out you were reading this), nor her identical twin, Leslie, nor a clone of either. The only way to look just like that is to have identical genes. Or be a T1000, I suppose.

All those sites that promise you’ll look like *CELEBRITYX* with their offered work out are scamming you, for that simple reason. We all look different, we all muscle up different, none of us in the SCCS look just like Sarah; in fact, I’d say we represent a very wide variety from very muscular, possibly bigger than her, to very skinny but with definition to quite plump but with lots of muscle to something sort of in betweenish. What you need to look for is your own optimum strength and conditioning, while being inspired by what Sarah did in going from Waitress to Warrior. But it will look different. No routine is going to magically change your genetic code. Sorry.



Just two examples of SCCS members, Thistle and Saigh, who were
inspired by but do not look like "Sarah Connor" but instead themselves, just
stronger.
Likewise, this means that I can’t give you a “one program fits all” program. Just like you will look different from anyone else, your body will respond differently not only from others but from itself as time goes on. There are basics that will create the strength, endurance and flexibility that you should be striving for, but your exact program is going to be different from that of others and be ever changing, to create muscle confusion. The ever changing part is often the most difficult and I’m likely to dedicate an article just on that.

And it does take work, it really does. There are no short cuts. That being said, it actually doesn’t take the “hours and hours every day” in the gym that some out there claim, for long term fitness (Hamilton did work longer hours, but she had a short term goal…she also could get away with it because she has good muscle genetics, for most of us her schedule would likely have led to overtraining and injury, for some it would work but lead to burn out). That is, of course, if you are otherwise physically active, this will be our discussion in the next segment. It also takes progression and, eventually, muscle confusion (that is, the exercises need to change), the “just do these easy exercise” part in those “look like *CELEBRITYX*” offers may well be a good start, but in a short time, you’ll need to make some changes. If you’re already working out, these workouts may well be giving you less than you’re doing now and might even qualify as “active rest.”[i]

So if you’re looking for an easy fix, give it up one way or the other, that is, either decide now if you are willing to work and prove your SCCS material or move on to someone who tells you want you want to hear even if it won’t actually help you. If your mind is going immediately to all the excuses for why you can’t do it “too busy, too poor, too whatever” then go here to be reminded what conditions Sarah Connor had to endure to remain fighting fit. *Of course, if you have actual health issues that counter indicate strenuous exercise that’s a reason not an excuse. Remember you are responsible to making sure you are healthy enough to start a fitness plan, and to get the help you need to develop a safe program if you have health issues.*

What I can do, over the next several weeks, is give you some tools and some path pointers to develop the programs you need to develop serious and functional strength and health.

[i] “Active rest” periods are used by many athletes, including bodybuilders, to give their bodies time to heal from heavy training, allowing for a bit of a “reset.” The “active” part is that you don’t stop exercising and especially don't stop being physically active, but rather stop the sports related part. For bodybuilders, most will continue cardio work, although perhaps a bit lighter (most alter the amount of cardio work they do by what their body fat needs are at the time, usually upping it before competitions to burn fat, as well), but not lift during this period. For the rest of us, we might switch the sort of lifting we do, for instance someone doing free-weight training with a focus on single joint action might "take a break" by doing powerlifting styled full-body training or kettlebell or Pilates....

See also:
SCCS Fitness Training Part 1: The Activity Triad
SCCS Fitness Training Part 2: Flexibility
SCCS Fitness Training Part 3: Cardiovascular/Endurance/Aerobics
 SCCS Fitness Training Part 4: Strength Training


Saigh is a co-founder of the SCCS and is head of the physical fitness department. She is also an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for such a great post. Even though I have been working out with weights for over 2 years, I still get stuck on wanting to "look" a certain way. As I have gotten stronger, that has diminished quite a lot, but sometimes it rears its ugly head anyway. I am looking forward to more of your posts!

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  2. Thank you, Thistle. I think it's easy to get caught up in the idea and that as we're a group who is especially inspired by someone, Sarah Connor, it's probably an issue we all deal with. I know I still do. But I think that unlike some of the Madison Ave examples that we get shoved at us, which the models actually don't even look like before air brushing, she's such an active role model that we can shift that thought pattern. And, now that I think abot it, I think that the first scene of Sarah in Terminator 2 really helps us do that. After all, if we can't look like her doing chin ups, we can at least work on getting to do those chin ups! I wonder if Cameron had a clue about how important that might be. ~;)

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