Fitness New Orleans | Fitness Fads


You’ve probably seen and heard about them everywhere: quick fix options that “guarantee” to get you into shape fast and help you stay in shape longer. These quick fix options are the fads of the fitness world, much like bell bottom jeans and the Caesar style haircut of the 90's that dominated the fashion world or even more recently in the technological world. These fads come and go, usually lasting a year or two before the next big thing arrives and are packaged for your consumption, offering the promise of long term benefits.  But, don't be fooled!  These fads are nothing more than gimmicks with great marketing.

The question then is how can we tell the difference between a fitness fad and a legitimate fitness innovation?  A fad is something that is short lived; it comes and goes in bursts and creates a general “craze” whereas an innovation will change the way things are perceived and practiced.  A good way to spot a fad is its narrow focus.

There is always a new piece of equipment that specifically targets "those troublesome areas".  Every month a new diet emerges that emphasizes eating just one type of food or eliminating certain ingredients or foods.  The fact is you can't get a six pack just by doing sit ups, and nutrition isn't as simple as not eating sugar or carbohydrates.  You need to move your entire body to get in shape, and everything we eat is essential.  It is all about finding the proper balance of nutrients, not cutting things out.  Anyone that tells you otherwise is taking you for a ride.

Another good way to spot a fad is its marketing.  Had you never heard about this thing, but now everyone is talking about it?  Did it blow up overnight?  This is artificial hype that has been bought through ads, infomercials, commercials, etc.  Real innovations have been tested and are developed.  Boot Camp training is a good example of this.  It didn't come out of nowhere.  It was developed by the military over years and years before the general public realized its efficacy.  Crossfit and similar style workout programs are also good examples of this.  They were just high intensity workouts that incorporated Olympic and power lifts.  There was nothing new about this concept, except Crossfit made a website where people could communicate about their workouts.  They found more and more people were using this website to find other people to workout with.  They used this to start a gym empire where like minded people could train together.  The innovation wasn't the workout itself, but the community based aspect of the experience.  Social interaction makes exercising a lot easier.

Speaking of which, another really good way to spot a fad is if it says you can accomplish your fitness goals alone.  Home work outs and equipment just don't work.  Sure, there are people that can maintain a consistent home workout routine, but these people are the exception, not the rule.  Most of us have a much greater chance of succeeding if we have people supporting and guiding us along the way.  Having friends by your side is one of the most important fitness decisions you can make.

The truth of the matter is fitness fads do not work in the long term, because they are not designed to. They are designed to be a quick fix, money grab.  There is no real fitness secret. Fitness is achieved by maintenance of a balanced diet as well as commitment to exercising regularly. That is how long term benefits are achieved. The true key to long term fitness is incorporating nutrition and exercise into your daily life as opposed to thinking of it as a separate entity. True fitness is not a fad, it’s a lifestyle choice.

Mushin Training Center

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