Fitness fundamentals over fads

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First Posted: 5/19/2014


Whether or not we partake in physical activity, we all know it’s beneficial. The benefits are endless and range from increased muscle mass to better stamina to increased confidence and improved health screenings, to name only a few.

Just as there are endless benefits to exercising, there are countless ways of achieving it. While the fads and trends of fitness change every year, the fundamental principles with all the methods remain the same.

Before I get into the bottom line, here is a brief list of the trends for this year. According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), the trends for 2014 are: high intensity interval training (short bursts of high intense activity followed by a period of rest); body weight training (using body weight for resistance); educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals (although any Joe Schmo can whip out his credit card and get certified via the Internet, there is expected to be some degree of regulation in the industry where the educated fitness professional will prevail); functional fitness (although this term has been watered down, its true definition means training to serve a certain function, i.e., specific training for someone recovering from an injury – you don’t group all cool exercises into the functional training category); training programs for older adults and children; and lastly, group personal training, as well as a few nutrition trends.

Regardless if you follow the trends or fads, the common denominator is that in order to change your body composition (the ratio of fat to muscle on your frame), you need an exercise plan you can sustain. That’s the key. Ideally, you’re after 30 minutes of activity everyday day. The best approach, however, is to vary what you do. Cycle between resistance training, interval training, and rest days, for example.

Also, maintaining a balanced diet is the trend versus nutrient restriction diets. This means filling half your plate with produce, a quarter with whole grains or legumes, and a quarter with protein. The best diet is a diet you can stick with. Forcing your way through a meal or diet plan you don’t enjoy is setting yourself up for failure, and you won’t maintain it in the long term.

Leverage Fitness Studio specializes in personal training and group training. We will start you out at your own level rather than just throw you into the pack and expect you to keep up. We also offer memberships and specialty programs. Call us at 570-338-2386 to learn more or stop in for a tour.

At Leverage, we feel that anyone can promise the world, but only the special can deliver!

-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.