Hey ya’ll! I’m very excited to share this with you. If you know me, you know that I am an avid supporter of body weight training and primitive style fitness routines. You might also know that I sorta distain CrossFit and P90X, but not for the reasons you’d think. Don’t stop reading yet, I will explain more about this shortly. I also thought I would pepper in some humor with these someecards. Enjoy!
Fitness trends are insane in my opinion. One minute everyone is jumping on the Jazzercise bandwagon the next people are doing Zumba in high school gymnasiums nationwide. While I don’t hate all fitness trends, I believe that in order for someone to adopt a healthy lifestyle a couple things need to happen.
1. Personal Improvement. A person will need to see results from adopting said fitness routine and want to make further improvements to be better at that routine. For some this can translate to losing weight, feeling stronger, eating better to perform faster or longer, mental clarity, etc.
2. Injury Prevention. In order for someone to continue with a fitness routine they need to not only see results, but still be physically able to perform this routine regularly in order to continue to see results. For many this means, feeling sore after a workout but still being able to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
3. Support System. People perform better when they have the support of like minded friends and feel part of a small community. Without the support of others it becomes difficult to improve and exchange information.
4. Sticking To It. The most successful people are always the ones that stick with it. Too often people give up before their bodies change or they attempt to embrace a lifestyle that doesn’t fit who they are, their abilities or interests, so they give up. I think this step going hand in hand in enjoying what you adopt.
5. Commitment. In order to get the benefits of everything listed above, you have to commit to whatever it is you are trying to do. You have to go all in if you want to see the results you want, stay healthy, rely on others, and stick to a lifestyle. No one has ever been successful at a lifestyle change from riding the fence.
As someone who made it her goal to get healthy and has worked hard to overcome unhealthy habits, it makes me so sad to see people I care about and complete strangers fail at adopting a lifestyle change. It truly breaks my heart to see people start out so motivated and then fall off the wagon and end up worse than where they were before they started.
While I think there is merit in high intensity interval training (HIT) fads like Crossfit, P90X or Insanity I think most people aren’t able to maintain them as part of lifestyle for a couple reasons. These programs are designed to make your body change fast, but that can also mean your risk of injury increases. These programs are also quite challenging. I am all for pushing your body, but most people try these workouts and fail. They aren’t set up for a person to be successful unless they already have some level of fitness. When I tried P90X years ago, it was a disaster. I felt like it was impossible to keep up and I was so sore the day after a workout that I struggled to get through the next one.
I think HIIT fads make it difficult to hit all five points mentioned above. Also, when these fitness trends start to fade out the support system and community of people who enjoy those activities often fades out too.
Now that you know how I feel about HIIT fads, let’s talk about fitness goals that last. I am a huge fan of primitive exercise and body weight training. To me body weight training is the most natural progression of human physiology. Our bodies tone, change and maintain by supporting our correct weight. I use the term correct weight, because everyone’s frame was designed to carry a different load. Look at fitness routines like yoga, entire civilizations have thrived from the practice and there’s a reason. Our bodies were designed to carry the load of our body.
This is another reason why I love running. It’s a natural movement that our ancestors did to hunt, flee predators and get from one place to another when we were nomadic societies. Most people think that running a marathon is not natural and I get it, but the fundamentals haven’t changed since the beginning of time. If you read this blog, you know lately I’ve been digging barre. I love the elements of body weight training that it incorporates. Body weight training is also great because it challenges your body. Your risk of injury also decreases because the weight of your body is the training tool. I will be sharing some of my favorite body weight training exercises soon! Stay tuned 🙂
If you are new to your fitness journey I would recommend starting with body weight training workouts and working up to other routines. Sometimes push ups, pilates, walking, yoga, lunges and squats are to best way to see change in your body without injury. They are low impact exercises that still shape and change your body while making you stronger for other activities. They are also great stepping stones to bigger goals. If you want to be a runner, walking regularly is the natural progression. If you want to attend a CrossFit class as your goal, squats and core work will make you better prepared.
I think in order to be successful at HIT you need to have a basic level of fitness, so incorporate body strength training workouts 1-2 days a week. Use these workouts in addition to your regular routine as a boost and not the primary form of exercise. Using HIT as a supplement will help you stay motivated because you can try new things, but also help you stay healthy so you can continue without injury. Having a base level of fitness will also help you prevent injury because you will be better tuned with listening to your body. You will already have a better idea of soreness versus injury because your body will have already changed before adding HIT to your routine.
At the end of the day, you can only be successful when you have those five items (listed above) in place. You will have to see your body change, stay injury free to meet your fitness goal, learn on others for encouragement and accountability, stick with it and fully commit your life to adopting the change.