Here is an issue that I have been wrestling with for some time now and it is fueled by emails……
I have received several (inbox & junk mail have equal amounts) emails from ‘fitness professionals’ promoting the latest way in how to lose weight or how to get into shape. I have also seen new instructors on the block teaching classes on how to tone your body and also talked to instructors who claim to live, breath and eat fitness, you name it I have either read about it or seen it. Mini rant you may say, but where is it leading? Well, I will put my head squarely on the block and declare what I have really noticed is that whilst instructors are preaching to people about fitness or the way to get into shape, they themselves are out of shape, lack passion or fail to keep up to date with the latest fitness scientific research…..CONTROVERSIAL ALERT, CONTROVERSIAL ALERT, CONTROVERSIAL ALERT!!!
Now, I truly believe in spreading the word of fitness but it bothers me when instructors are unable to practice what they preach. Is it really fair to tell people how to get into shape but as a representative of health & fitness, you are out of shape yourself?!?
We all have different body types & shapes but over the years, I have seen real fitness as a product fade into the background and it has been replaced with ‘gimmick style fitness’ offering an unrealistic, easy way out. How many info-mercials have you seen promoting the next best thing for abdominal training, chest and arms definition and an amazing body from only £29.99 + postage & packaging? Perfect push-up, impingement alert, super ab training = dust collector, the list goes on. Unfortunately, this reflects on some representatives in the business by the way they physically look. The truth is, you are not going to have an amazing body and feel healthy by taking five step classes per week and eating 2 rice crackers and a bowl or two of special ‘K’ with skimmed milk…..you need to change your approach and begin to train your body specifically.
I try to break it down by explaining to potential clients/participants that there are two ways to view the fitness industry, the Exercise Sector and Training Sector.
Within the Exercise sector, which consists of dance, step, aerobics, light conditioning/toning classes, mind body etc, are a stable variety of classes found on any gym timetable. These classes promote movement, activity and are usually great for people who want to start getting fit. Classes in this genre are usually fun and leave you with a ‘ feel good factor’ but offer no real bonafide physical fitness changes or results. The Les Mills explosion has added to this sector (Body Jam, Step, Combat), but they also have added to the training sector and have what I call a hybrid in Body Attack, which has some elements of the Exercise and Training sectors.
Then we have the Training sector, which consists of weight training, strength training, circuit training, personal training etc. and is usually for people who are used to physical activity and want to move to the next level to develop their fitness. These classes or programs require a lot of hard work but the results are extremely rewarding. As a regular weight trainer, I was impressed to finally see a commercialised weight training program come from the Les Mills stable, Body Pump, though the routines should in my view change more frequently to account for how soon our body adapts to loading and to challenge the participants form.
Most instructors need to be Training at least twice a week in order to keep themselves in shape, whether it be a gym strength session or circuit training. This is good for business and for themselves, personally I get 2 quality sessions based on H.I.T (high intensity training) prinicple, which saves time and consistently gives great results. BTW H.I.T as it is now known, is what my peers and I call our ‘no-hustle’ sessions, no breaks
Regular fitness enthusiasts need to incorporate quality training sessions into their training schedules to really see or feel a physical difference. I would recommend that at least one session per week is a high intensity session, something to be finished with 30 to 45 minutes, and I promise you that you will feel and notice the results within a relatively short period of time, and never ever underestimate how much you can and will gain from body weight training ( I am shouting TRX [or alternative] suspension system from high)
On y va mon amis!