Trainer Troy Perez explains how to rethink your local gym after quarantine
Most 14-year-olds see lifting weights as a launch pad to escape an awkward teenage body. Troy Perez saw the practice as something different: a bridge to connect with his father, who was affected by a brain aneurysm. “He was one man's man - he built everything - and when his entire right side was paralyzed, so much was physically taken from him,” says Perez.
The high school student spent hours every day training his father and noticed his joy as his strength improved, even slightly and gradually. “It was then that I realized that you are not alive if you don't move,” says Perez.
Perez is now 50 years old and part of a new wave of personal trainers. He and others insist that "gains" can be more than just a bigger bicep measurement and preach that the gym is not just a place to swell.
"Physical fitness is more than just strengthening - it's about other physiological processes that you can't see, and also about the mind." Perez represents the philosophy in personal training sessions and at Club Metro USA, his gym in Franklin Park, NJ, where he helps his clientele get back in shape after a long COVID layoff from the gym.
Return to gyms after the pandemic
Perez points out that one of the reasons America has been hit so hard by the pandemic is because so many people are overweight here. The CDC figures show a boom in obesity and link it to an increased rate of hospitalizations and deaths. While the COVID vaccines are alleviating the worst effects, they are not the only answer.
“We all wanted the vaccine, and that's great,” says Perez. “But now everyone thinks they are fixed. This is wrong. You need to go to a local gym and undergo a program to make your life more sustainable, with fewer injuries, fewer illnesses, and a stronger immune system. So you are fixed. "
To anyone who listens, Perez preaches that when we return to the gym, we should view it as a holistic place where we can grow both physically and spiritually. "Curve balls are thrown into every life," says Perez, who says he found his calling when his father fell ill. COVID, he continues, was the curveball that came for all of us. So you can reconnect to the gym after your membership has expired - and get your health going again.
1. Toggle it
For over a year in quarantine, you may have leaned on a workout routine that works for you, like peloton or running. But now it's time to branch out. "Switch it over. Exercise cardio, weights, and flexibility over the course of a week. Stimulate your body in a variety of ways and you improve your functional strength. "
2. Attend this free session
Join (or rejoin) your nearby fitness center and they will likely offer you a free personal workout session. “Most people don't take it, and that's a big mistake. Nine times out of ten you will hear someone say, 'I never knew I was doing this wrong.' "Use the session to correct your form on your favorite device.
3. Don't choose a gym based on price alone
Some corporate gyms have raced down in price with the intent of signing up as many people as possible and then hoping they don't come back. "Shopping. A few more dollars a month at a local, more personal gym might be worth it."
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