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 was Jazzercise during the ’80’s, Tae Bo in the ’90’s, and nowadays something called “Zumba” has become the fitness dance craze. In other parts of fitness, a number of today’s popular exercises are tossing kettlebells up and down, boxing, ballistic Olympic weight lifting exercises, CrossFit, P90X, heavy hula hoop dancing, “boot camps”, plyometrics, stripper pole dancing (there is an actual personal trainer certification on this one, seriously).
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 stimulate your body to help improve. Rational strength training is designed particularly to load your muscles effectively, efficiently, and safely. Conversely, the fitness fads listed above haven’t been specifically designed just for optimal muscular loading. They are activities that do incorporate some muscular work, but they’re not the result of a logical approach checking out the muscle and joint functions of the human body and the way to load them best. As a result, if appropriately performed, training for strength can give you comparatively greater fitness take a lesser amount of time, and with less injury risk.
When correctly done, high-intensity training for strength may improve all aspects of general fitness. The research is pretty clear that when done effectively, strength training can make you stronger, give you more endurance, add calorie-burning lean muscle mass to your body, halt and reverse age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), increase your metabolism and the number of calories you burn even when you’re resting, improve losing fat, strengthen your bones, reverse aging of muscle cells (expresses younger DNA in the nuclei), improve the cardiovascular fitness, improve levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve lower back pain, help control blood sugar, improve your body’s immune system plus a variety 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 for you being a personal trainer San Diego is always to avoid the latest fitness fads. Stick to slow-motion high-intensity training for strength, and your exercise will still be extremely effective, efficient, and acceptably safe.
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