As a personal trainer San Diego, I attended some national personal training conventions during the past year. I was struck through the seemingly random nature that fitness fads come and go of fashion. Many people in the fitness world seem to move from a single fad to the next, with no evident rhyme or reason. I believe it is best to exercise what is most beneficial, rather than flitting from fad to fad.
In “aerobics” dance there has been Jazzercise during the ’80′s, Tae Bo during the ’90′s, and these days something called “Zumba” is one of the fitness dance craze. In other parts of fitness, some of today’s popular exercises are throwing kettlebells up and down, boxing, ballistic Olympic weight lifting movements, CrossFit, P90X, heavy hula hoop dancing, “boot camps”, plyometrics, stripper pole dancing (there is an actual personal trainer certification for this one, no joke).
I consider most of these methods as basically misguided, because I consider the purpose of exercise to improve our bodies physically. And, essentially all physical developments that can be stimulated by exercise are caused by loading the muscles. (Creating your muscles work is the way you “get at” and motivate not only the muscles, but the rest of your body’s systems. Intense muscular work is what encourages improvements in the cardiovascular system, lungs, endocrine system, immune system, general metabolism, and more.)
Done efficiently, exercise must load the muscles effectively, efficiently, safely, and as such motivate the body to improve. Rational strength training is designed particularly to load your muscles effectively, efficiently, and safely. Conversely, the fitness fads mentioned have NOT been specifically designed for the purpose of optimal muscular loading. They are activities, which do incorporate some muscular work, but they are not really the effect of a logical approach looking at the muscle and joint functions on the body of a human and the way to load them best. As a result, when properly performed, training for strength can provide you comparatively greater fitness take less of your time, and also with less risk of injury.
When properly performed, high-intensity training for strength may increase every aspect of general fitness. The study is pretty clear that when done effectively, strength training can make you stronger, give you more stamina, add calorie-burning lean muscle mass to your body, halt and reverse age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), increase your metabolic process and the number of calories you burn even while you’re resting, improve losing fat, strengthen your bones, reverse aging of muscle cells (expresses younger DNA in the nuclei), improve your cardiovascular fitness, improve levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve lower back pain, help control glucose levels, improve the immune system plus a number of other benefits.
One mistake most people make is to expect their workout program to be a reason for entertainment. It is an error simply because the effective, efficient loading of the muscles encountered during high-intensity training for strength is challenging and complicated. When you are really challenging your muscles and making them work intensely, it’s not fun. But, it’s very effective for stimulating fitness improvements. However, while some of the fitness fads listed earlier could be entertaining, in every case they are comparatively ineffective and inefficient for loading the muscles, and in many cases those ideas involve higher joint forces which are unacceptably dangerous (for example, throwing weighted kettlebells up and down over your head is dangerous for a number of reasons, including the joint forces are too high). So, while effective exercise is difficult while you’re doing it, you may spend the other 167 hours and 20 minutes of your week having so much fun as you would like (since slow-motion strength training only takes 20 minutes, twice each week). Plus, if you’re like me you can also find joy with the superior fitness outcome from your exercise program, even if it is not fun while you’re actually working out.
So my advice to you as a personal trainer San Diego is to stay away from the latest fitness fads. Stay with slow-motion high-intensity strength training, and your exercise will continue to be quite effective, efficient, and acceptably safe.
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