Fitness myths and truths
First Posted: 3/25/2014
These days it seems as if people jump on the bandwagon when it comes to the latest trend in fitness. If you do yoga, you only do yoga. If you spin, you only spin. If you lift, you only lift. Same goes for swimming, running, Zumba, cycling, etc.
This is a huge problem in terms of overall fitness development – which is the reason you sought out fitness to begin with, right?
The fitness industry has evolved quite a bit since I started my career in 1996. Back then, it seemed that people exercised to “solve” some sort of problem: lack of strength, excess body fat, or cardiovascular disease, to name a few. Nowadays, people join a group, or clique, and all they do is what that group does.
Marketing is partly to blame, as it pulls us in with their keen tactics, leading us totally astray from what we truly need. Nevertheless, we continue working in these groups hoping to achieve some sort of result.
If you begin to think that all off your problems can be solved with spinning, yoga, or even strength training, you’ve been misled.
Your body is more complex than that and needs much more than a one-dimensional training philosophy. And the answer isn’t always hybrid training, even though it’s becoming increasingly common. The issue with that is it’s a mostly made-up style of training concocted to lure more people into classes to boost sales and re-invigorate stale classes.
Trainers and instructors are so quick to throw around the words “Tabata,” “functional training,” and “plyometrics.” A lot of these same instructors have no idea what these words really mean or how to safely implement them into their training.
Sadly, the industry is getting watered down with high-energy people with weekend certifications, the type who combine real science with trendy terms and who lure people into their class with buzzwords.
The truth is that most people need a general plan that covers a variety of movements and requires a variety of tools. True professionals understand this notion and will seek out what their clients need for success. It’s all about picking the right tools for the right person.
With that said, here are some things to keep in mind when creating a plan for your clients (trainers, I’m talking to you) or if you decide to go at it alone:
1. Not all classes are for all people.
2. You need a progressive approach for success. Doing the same thing all the time will stall your progress.
3. Simple movements are better than complex ones. Don’t worry about the “cool” exercises if you are unable to dominate the basic ones.
4. It doesn’t matter what type of squat you do – just be sure to do them.
5. It’s strength AND conditioning, not strength OR conditioning. You need both.
6. Don’t create odd exercises because you’re bored with your routine. Chances are you need a better program.
7. Do not underestimate the power of the warm-up.
8. You’ve heard it before – you cannot out-train a bad diet.
9. Not many people truly need Olympic lifts.
10. The more complex a lift or exercise, the greater your chance of injury. You’re doing this to get stronger, not injured.
-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.