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Fundamentals and Functionality Dominate Fun Workouts at Elite Athletic Development

March 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Articles

By Nicolette House

At Elite Athletic Development in Arlington Heights, local residents train like  professional athletes. Founder and owner of EAD Jim Inman, prides himself and his  team of high quality trainers on giving the “everyday athlete”  access to the  same strength and conditioning methods the pros use. Their mission is to help people  get in optimal shape.

Inman believes that better overall athletes make better basketball players, soccer  players, runners, figure skaters, hockey players or athletes in any chosen field.

“Building strength and conditioning and being in better shape before athletes start working with coaches or training certain skills is going put them one step ahead of the game. That’s our philosophy,” says Inman.

Those working out at Elite Athletic Development aren’t training under the typical body building paradigm used by so many personal trainers and standard gyms. Inman chooses to focus on the quality of a person’s movement rather than on giving exercises to improve appearance alone.

“Obviously a side effect of working on human movement is you’re going to lose weight and increase lean muscle mass,” notes Inman.  “Our focus is on movement.  One of the tings we look at is full range of motion.”

Inman emphasizes the need to incorporate functional movement into workout routines. Conventional workout machines may not do the trick when it comes to strengthening our bodies. Inman says the body is designed to work together. Machines that isolate certain body parts goes against how our bodies are naturally designed to move.

“Functional training means building strength and speed which can be used for sports, activities of daily living, or your job. What we see in the big box type gyms are people sitting on machines doing a particular movement. The machine is supporting the rest of their body. In real life that doesn’t happen. When you’re lifting a box out of the trunk of your car you don’t have a bench to sit on or an arm rest to rest your elbows on. You need to support the body with the rest of your body,” says Inman.

The ability to use our bodies to their fullest range is diminishing in a society that perpetually places people at desk jobs and jobs where they must work behind a computer screen for hours on end.

Inman notes that it doesn’t seem to matter how active people were during their youth. If they have adopted a sedentary work style their mobility will have diminished somewhat. Inman and his fellow coaches and trainers work to help people regain that range of motion by helping them settle into a deep squat or lift their arms fully extended above their heads.

“It’s very humbling, especially for someone that may have played Division 1 basketball and they’ve been sitting at a desk for 15 years. They remember what they used to be able to do and they come in and here and see that somebody that’s 74 can out lift them,” says Inman.

Reclaiming that athletic ability may be part of the appeal of Inman’s gym. There is something for everyone and every fitness level. From the six year olds that attend summer camps to the women in their 70s , to the mothers in their 30-40s EAD works to tailor the workouts especially to their needs and abilities.

In addition to high caliber conditioning programs, Elite Athletic Development is a  CrossFit affiliate, a fitness craze that begun in Southern California and has made its  way to the Midwest. CrossFit yielded good results due to its high intensity and  functional exercise routines. The workouts are constantly varied and scored, turning  the workout into more of a competitive sport.

“I think that is one of the things that has helped with the popularity of CrossFit is that  it covers so many different aspects of overall fitness. I can usually find some area that even professional athletes can use improvement on. Improving that area is going to help them overall,” says Inman.

After 50,000 hours of training under Elite Athletic Development’s belt Inman says the key to top performance is motivation.

“It’s really cool to work with soccer moms because they come in and see the weights and the bar bells and it is intimidating. Then you see them two months down the road hollering and  holding a personal record weight over their head. It’s empowering. It gives them that confidence that they can do more and it changes their perception of what their limits are.  Building their confidence is key but we can’t do that unless they’re motivated to come in,” says Inman.

For more on Elite Athletic Development and their programs visit: http://eliteathletic.com/

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