Training Gimmicks and Training that Works
Exercise should be fun is a common sentiment I hear all the time from clients, prospective clients, health club members, and trainers trying to build their client base, but should it be fun?
That depends on what you consider fun, I suppose. Some people love grueling hard work and find enormous physical efforts bordering on the impossible to be fun. Most people don’t.
The argument is often made that any activity that gets a person doing more than they normally would have, must also be beneficial; hence *exercise classes like Zumba and SoulCycle*
[Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube](
“Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube”)
that are only marginally more intense than a fast paced walk are promoted as fun alternatives to the harder workouts associated with traditional weight lifting, Spinning, running, etc.
On the other end of the exercise spectrum you have the *extreme intensity activities like CrossFit [What is CrossFit? – YouTube](
“What is CrossFit? – YouTube”)
[The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker](http://gawker.com/5928989/the-problems-with-crossfit “The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker”)
and all its derivatives*. These encourage you to workout at extreme intensities with no real specific goal in mind beyond getting better at doing those specific workouts, unpredictable body shaping results (maybe you’ll bulk up or maybe get skinny), no transferable improvements for sports or other athletic activities, and an extremely high risk of injuries.
Michael Boyle is one of the most highly respected strength and Conditioning coaches in the world of NCAA collegiate athletics and professional sports, with dozens of published books to his credit. This is what he has to say about CrossFit.
Members and inexperienced trainers often fail to understand that the chronically out of shape civilian has no concept of what exercise intensity means. They actually believe that coming to the gym 2 hours a week is a lot of work. They believe pushing 50 lb. on a leg press is tremendous, even though they might weigh 180 lbs themselves. It’s not their fault. They have no reference points at all. Also, they’re really not that interested in whatever goals they might tell you and themselves, they have. Anyone who really cared about fitness and athletics would likely have been engaging in fitness and athletic activities most of their lives to begin with. And then there is belief. Most of our clients don’t really believe they can get in shape. They don’t really have goals. They have fantasies that deep down they believe are impossible to achieve, and so undermine their own efforts every chance they get by consuming junk food or too much food or exercising without consistency or jumping from fad diet to fad workout to discouragement and abandonment of any effort.
Many believe it is just strictly the luck of good genetics or bad, and there is some truth in that. But good genetics that get you by when your 20 will fail you when you’re in your 30’s unless you take action. The sooner you start the better, but it’s never too late.
First, I’d like to thank Monica for the kind praise, as it was all her hard work and willingness to follow my slightly sadistic advice to the letter.
Monica isn’t an actress or professional model. She’s a “real” woman with a real job and has a real commitment to her workouts and getting the results that she wants. She doesn’t live in the gym 4 hours a day, and she knows that when it’s time to work out you work out damn hard and real smart (or hire a real smart trainer like me) and then you go home. I won’t be specific about her age, but she wasn’t a child when we started, and 10 years later she looks better than she ever did. Period.
Forget the trends. This isn’t rocket science. I’ve been at this for 29 years and the fundamentals haven’t changed. Do what I say you need to do in order to achieve your goals (or whatever shorter term measures I deem more appropriate for each individual) and you will.
Train smart. Train hard. Don’t be a mark for every con game that comes around.
See you in the gym.