After a brief break, I am back with a new post! This week we are taking a look at some health and fitness trends, and what you need to know about them. Like fashion, fitness trends seem to be cyclical. Every 5-10 years an old trend gets re-branded as something new and exciting (e.g. was Adkins now it’s Paleo). So let’s dive into the “new” trends and take a look at what they have to offer!
The Way You Move
The term “functional training” can mean a lot of things. Are you training to become better at a technical skill like a golf swing? Then sure! That’s functional training. But outside of getting better at a task, the resurgence of functional training has me shaking my head. You’ve probably seen the proponents of various “movement system” training at the gym or Youtube. Crazy folks standing on a wobble board to do squats, trying to mimic the movements of various animals, or doing all manner of contortionist circus tricks while standing on a physio ball attached to various bands, and so on. The people claiming that these exercises are necessary may use sciency-sounding words to justify what they are doing. In reality, there is no real standard to which functional training exists because we all move differently. There is no textbook form/function for specific exercises, but rather guidelines to prevent injuries while exercising. In all, there really is no justification for doing these crazy moves other than wanting to change up your routine. But if you’re trying to get strong and lose weight, well you may want to focus your efforts on practices that have been proven to improve those outcomes.
Holy crap I’m tired of seeing all these “experts” online. Everyone and anyone with an Instagram account and bulging biceps is apparently qualified to be a coach. This maddening concept is partly responsible for the resurfacing of the “muscle confusion” concept. Good lord it’s time to put that garbage term to bed. Adopting a periodized approach, rather than just winging it and doing something different every time you enter the gym, is a far superior way to see results. These coaches are also to blame for the social media fitness “challenges” that ask for both demanding and dangerous feats of athleticism. Fitness challenges may keep things entertaining, but it may come back to bite you.
Lose Weight Fast!!!!
Losing weight is easy. Just sweat a bunch, and you will lose weight. But because most people are looking to improve their body composition, it’s not weight loss that matters. That’s why the “lose weight fast” movement drives me crazy. Here are the tag lines of many “coaches” and/or companies that are essentially scamming us:
You don’t eat enough meals in the day to help your metabolism
You skip breakfast, which means you don’t “turn on” your metabolism to start the day
You don’t do intermittent fasting, which means your hormones are messed up
You eat too late at night and those calories are more likely to become fat
You eat “starchy” carbs, which are transformed into sugar
You eat white foods, such as white rice, which make you fat
You eat gluten or non-organic food sources, which pollute your body
All of these statements are laughably wrong (feel free to ask me for more info if you have questions). But millions of people waste money on products and services each year because these ludicrous statements are branded so well that they become social facts.
One Simple Trick!
It takes years of education and experience for fitness professionals to be able to properly help those they serve. So the insinuation that there is “one simple trick/plan” to help everyone is insulting and maddening. So when you hear/read some of the following statements, think “crap”:
Obesity isn’t a complex disease at all. It’s simple!
Calories don’t count; you just need to balance your hormones.
Hate exercise? There’s a wrap for that, and It Works!
Do fasted cardio to burn fat!
When it comes down to it, if you’re not eating well and regularly moving, then there really is no reason for you to even consider these trends. Try to master the basics of eating lots of fruits and vegetables and moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Because like everything else in life, achieving your fitness goals takes patience, dedication, and effort. If it’s truly meaningful to you, shortcuts are not an option.