I would like to share some important insight about how I see the future of fitness, and how it’s to your benefit.
After almost 30 years in the fitness industry, I find myself getting skeptical once in a while. It’s an amazing industry. However, like any industry, particularly one that’s enmeshed itself in the fabric of popular culture, it has its frustrations.
If you’ve paid any attention to fitness over the years, you’ve probably seen or heard about some new craze or fitness trend that’s hitting the gyms.
After decades of attending and speaking at fitness conventions across the world, I’ve seen my fair share of crazy exercise fads come and go. Does anyone remember the Thigh Master, TaeBo, or the Shake Weight?
The good news is the future of fitness is moving in a more positive direction overall. Think about how far we’ve come.
The Bodybuilding Era
This phase was born out of the 1950s and ‘60’s bodybuilding culture (particularly Muscle Beach, California). Fitness culture received a massive impact from this.
It promotes splitting the body into component parts and training them (mostly) in isolation. This is where we got all those individual exercises like bicep curls, crunches, tricep kickbacks, and hundreds of others.
This era caused a massive disconnect between the brain and our body. Leading to a disruption of normal functional movement patterns that are still being felt today.
The Fixed Axis Machine Era (Dysfunctional Training)
Machine training was pretty much the same as the bodybuilding era, but supposedly ‘safer’.
The sad, (but funny) part is that many machines came with “safety” belts to strap you in…just in case you accidentally fell off the machine! This feature was obviously designed by some mechanical engineer with no knowledge of how the human body actually works or any experience with fitness training.
Because this style is so opposite to how the body moves, I often joke that the fitness boom of the ’70s and ’80s (dominated by Fixed Axis Machines) led to the Physiotherapy boom of the ’80s and ’90s.
The Boot Camp Era (Train like an Army Recruit)
Boot Camp training is very functional…as long as you are already in good shape and getting ready to go to war! For the deconditioned population (the large majority of people), it’s not so functional.
“Bootcamp” also became a watered-down buzzword. This encompasses everything from a Curves circuit incorporated something other than a fixed axis machine, to full-on military training that would challenge a Navy Seal.
The CrossFit Era
OK, we are definitely getting better! The concept is great. However, CrossFit is a bad idea for people who suffer from musculoskeletal issues (again, the majority of people). Or if you aren’t familiar with performing complex movement patterns at high speed and high load.
For years I’ve been saying that CrossFit could benefit from a practical overhaul to include graduated phases of training, much more transverse plane (rotation), cross-body, and unilateral work.
Each of these eras continued to contribute to the growth of the physiotherapy industry by promoting “sweat at all costs”. However, they are failing to address movement quality and neglecting the varied needs of a severely deconditioned population.
The Future of Fitness
So, what does the future of fitness look like?
Despite most big box gyms still buying them, old school bodybuilding and fixed axis machines are on their way out. Good riddance!
Even Bootcamps and CrossFit have started their decline (Bootcamp much faster). The smart ones are adapting to a new paradigm.
There is a large increase in coaches being trained to integrate scientific exercise prescription with primal nutrition and modern lifestyle coaching.
We live in an age of unlimited information. This has turned the average person into a researching machine…for better and worse. Since you can find anything online, it’s hard to know what to believe. Plus, any fit-looking person with an Instagram account can be a self-proclaimed expert and command an outsized influence that has zero to do with their knowledge base.
However, in general, most people know that exercise alone is not going to help them reach their goals. They may even be aware that their bloated abdominals and constant back pain will likely get worse by going to the gym!
The next decade is all about advancing INTELLIGENT, CUSTOMIZED EXERCISE!
Personal trainers and fitness instructors are evolving to be smart coaches. They customize entire programs to the specific needs of each client.
With more Personal Trainers teaching group programs, this is even starting to happen to traditional group fitness.
As a leader in the industry, I’ve been doing my part to promote this training evolution. For the past 15 years, I’ve been teaching continuing education courses to fitness professionals across North America. Including developing my own certification program for the fitness industry and writing my book “The Fitness Curveball” for the general public.
At FRESH!, my team of expert coaches has been trained in these advanced coaching methods. All of us are continually learning, growing, and attending courses with the best minds in the industry.
it’s an exciting time to see more of the industry utilizing these methods to truly make a difference in the health and wellbeing of our society.
As a fitness consumer, you can do your part by being aware of this information. Avoiding “old school” methods, and seeking out practitioners of advanced coaching methodologies.
If you’re ready to learn how to move your body exercise effectively and combine it with primal nutrition and lifestyle coaching, then join us at FRESH! to create your customized fitness, wellness, and lifestyle program! You can contact us by clicking the link here!
Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of proper movement, check out The Fitness Curveball! Pillar #3 talks all about MOVEMENT and the effects it has on your daily life! Click the link below to grab your copy today!