What’s wrong with the fitness industry? In a lot of ways, things are better than they’ve ever been in the fitness industry. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some serious problems that need a looking over.
The Biggest Problem In The Fitness Industry
So what is the biggest problem in the fitness industry? A mentality that was usually reserved for competitive athletes has spilled over into the mainstream fitness industry. And actually, I have a lot of problems with this mindset for competitive athletes too. It’s now a huge problem in youth athletics. Life altering even.
I talked about the difference between a training mindset and a competition mindset already, but this isn’t exactly the same. So much of the fitness industry uses the model of here’s the workout, now let’s see if you can finish it. The focus is on moving more weight, getting more reps, or working for longer.
The goal is to become fitter and the trend now is short workouts where you basically brutalize yourself. The thought process is that you’ll get more bang for your buck. There’s nothing wrong with putting in your work, but what is your work doing for you?
Are you just stressing your cardiovascular system? Maybe you’re trying to exhaust your muscles. Or are you just trying to run that sprint a little bit faster? The truth is you don’t have to kill yourself several times a week to get into better shape. The goal for general fitness training shouldn’t be to end up in a puddle of your own sweat.
We’ve become such an extremist culture that a huge percentage of people feel like they didn’t accomplish their workout goals unless they’re on the verge of puking after every workout. Or they have an anxiety attack if they miss a workout. This is completely unnecessary. And even more so if your goal is just general fitness.
The major issue in focusing on the weight, the rep, or the duration is that people tend to not look at the quality of the movement. For example, many people squat in weightlifting shoes because they lack the flexibility needed to squat properly. The shoes allow a lifter to ignore major mobility issues and continue squatting. The right answer is to step back and fix the mobility issues first and squat later.
What’s The Solution To The Fitness Industry Issue?
You can acquire very good conditioning just by working on basic natural movement patterns every day. As you get proficient in the basic patterns, make them more challenging. Yes, you can add more weight or do it faster to do that. But you can also make the movement more unstable or add something else you have to pay attention to while performing the movement. You can also move up to a more complicated version of the movement.
When I was younger, I really enjoy doing a workout that just kicked my butt. I felt like I’d accomplished something. The truth is, now I have far too much on my plate to walk around noodle armed all day. That’s why I really like the MovNat concept of conditioning through consistent movement skill work and that a workout should leave a person feeling better than when they started.
Featured Image from Flickr