"Let me take a moment and share some interesting "findings" in the fitness industry. Stretching is bad. Stretching is good. Fruit will make you fat. Fruit is good for you. Heavy resistance is bad unless it's Crossfit. Paleo is the only way to eat even though no caveman lived past 30. Cardio/conditioning needs to be done fasted, not fasted, early morning, at night after training, HIIT, steady state and everyday not everyday. And so on and so on. Confusing? I know it is. Here's a fix I gave my clients and anyone who would listen. Don't read/listen to any study regarding exercise that begins with "studies show." Lift what's heavy FOR YOU and have a plan of steady progression. Condition when you can but no less then 3 times a week and make it sweaty while breathing really heavy. EAT less of what you are if you are fat. Make sure protein, veggies and fat are in your meals and EAT FRUIT. I don't know where or why fruit became evil. There's a diet out there that lets you eat skittles but you are a moron for eating a banana. So in closing...I hate the fitness industry. It's as bad as big pharma." Matt Carlson
Now it's been some time since I had an idea as to what I can write about fitness and the whole working out thing but the above quote has ignited something, so bare with me while I attempt to write about it.
First things first- Matt is absolutely correct about everything he said and you can see the various different opinions that almost everyone has inside the fitness community. I've been there and done that and said Zumba was bad and CrossFit will hurt you- do this and not that, but for the purpose of this blog I will not discuss what is right or wrong but rather how the questions and focus can be dealt with before neck deep in exercise horseshit.
There are a few reasons why people workout.
1. To look good naked.
2. Because I am an athlete.
3. The doctor said I should.
Why is it different when your life and health is in danger or in need of fixing? Sure some people are really handy and can do things themselves but the majority needs professional guidance.
To Look Good Naked- This is the number one reason men and women work out. Like it or not that is why people choose to workout.
So most of the people who workout to look good naked usually join a gym and get a tour of the facility showing different equipment. Young men go to Flex, Muscle Mag, Men's Health and Bodybuilding.com to find out what they need to do to look good naked and women turn to Oprah, Weight Watchers, Dr. Oz, and Women's magazines. Great. Most of these places, if enough time is spent weeding, have some good information to use. So why is there always questioning, bickering, and hollering going on?
We want it now! The results are not coming fast enough, we are not dedicating our time to one thing because 1000000 other things popped up in this month's health magazine of choice. Most people are afraid to commit to anything- known fact- but when it comes to training time is essential to success.
Lack of mobility, exercise, proper nutrition, and general activity has created skyrocketing issues: Obesity, ACL tears, Back problems, Hypertension, Shoulder and Neck pain, Ankle dysfunction and yada yada..
These conditions are not just for the adults, young men and women also have these problems and guess what? They are overlooked.
By overlooking these conditions and jumping right into a P92x routine, because it's whats hot at the moment, is going to cause the battles Matt spoke of- because while 2-4 weeks may work, the injuries, imbalances, and other factors will come out of the shell.
So now XyZ who started doing a Biggest Loser workout found in a Health magazine, becomes tired and slightly fatigued, and they go and blame the issue of weight training and how this and that is bad for you.. or while working out in this routine they do not lose enough weight and blame it on eating Oats before a cardio session- leading to the bickering about fasted or non fasted cardio training.
The companies publishing this stuff or creating this stuff sit back and watch the heated battles ensue and brainstorm on HOW to keep this going. They write an article saying yesterday's article is irrelevant now and people continue to want RAPID results so they bite the hook.
Besides wanting results now, with the least amount of effort, there is this over abundance of information out there that people consume daily. Breaking News ABC 7 at 7- pork chops have fat in them! Breaking News ABC 7 at 10- pork chops with fat are pork chops with fat.
Men's Health cover article of the month is this and that. Totally different from last month! I need to try it NOW! Stop in the middle of my 4 week program that I'm having great success on and try this because Jason Statham does it.
Enough is Enough and I've said it before. One person's words won't change the opinions of millions but the words of one have turned into two, which turned into 20, and now is continuing to grow. If you follow Strength Coaches, (Good) Personal Trainers, and Diet Gurus you will see a little trend growing that is bringing 50 years of exercise horseshit back to square one.
There will always be the Zumba people, the CrossFit people, the Aerobics people, the Spin Class people, the Jazzercise people, and then there's the Strength Training People. Where it all started.
What is the one thing that all Trainers and Coaches who focus their exercise philosophy on strength training have in common?
They understand TIME. Not the difference between 12 noon from 12 midnight. They understand the time it takes to create success and that "Good looking naked body."
Strength Focused Trainers and Coaches will not promise you the Golden Egg before you climb the Beanstalk. They will not argue that Paleo doesn't work until they tried it for 12 months while keeping excellent records so they can give an honest opinion. Fasted or Non Fasted Cardio will not be a dicussion because they both work well but the results from them take time. Try talking diet talk to a Strength Coach and they'll say do what works for yourself. Try something, anything, and if it works great- if it doesn't- make some changes.
One thing all fitness PROFESSIONALS will say is that Resistance training with free weights produces great results and conditioning a few times a week will keep you HEALTHY.
Prowler or Battle Ropes?
Sandbags or Kettlebells?
Squats or Deadlifts.. Wait what?
Do them all, do one, do two, do whatever you want but make sure you dedicate a consistent time schedule to whichever option you fancy. Don't push a prowler for 2 weeks and say it is useless. Don't lift sandbags for 2 weeks and say it's not enough..
While the Good Looking Naked Body hunters continue jumping from A to B back to A to C and continue on in frustration due to lack of results- the Time Folks are on their 12th cycle of the 5/3/1 program or on Macro-Cycle 100 of the GST program and they look like they train.
The moral of the story is to go to the doctor and get some ADD medication and relax. Enjoy the ride. Choose a workout program like it's your dream home that you wish to keep looking brand new for years to come. Do not focus on tomorrow or the summer at the beach. Focus on the yearly plan you have and take it step by step. If you've never trained before you need your yearly plan to focus on corrective exercise and stabilization if you have imbalances or past injuries for about 4 months. Will you get that awesome naked body in 4 months? NO, but the proper steps you are taking will help you get there quicker. Do not bounce from 4 week Men's Health program to 6 weeks Flex Magazines programs. PICK ONE program, one focus, and do it for a year- hell as Jim Wendler says "Do it for 10 years". He is serious. You want MASS? Lift like you want it for ten years and then look in the mirror. It'll be on your frame- whether you did 5/3/1 or Westside for Skinny Bastards. You like CrossFit? You plan on joining a CrossFit garage? PLAN on staying there for a year before you say it doesn't work or it's the best. You want to do Zumba and see results? Guess what? Do it for a year. Avoid bickering and exercise battles by deciding on what you want your focus to be and be consistent. You will save money, heart ache, and your motivation will stay on cloud nine.