I shut down output about 4 months ago. All writing projects stopped while other life issues took over but I continued to watch the fitness world with a detached, objective interest. This included watching important issues and trends. So here are thoughts to consider.
1). From the great philosopher, Homer J Simpson, “Everything works in theory, even communism works in theory”.
Good god, the market place is cluttered with “fitness authorities” all claiming the ultimate fitness truth, your last stop on your quest for the Fitness Holy Grail. They want you to believe that they are right, which also makes everyone else wrong. With a thousand (at least) paths to travel for health and fitness and with each path having enthusiastic followers happy with their results, it hard to reconcile right vs.wrong.
This plethora fitness possibilities has turned the fitness world into its own version of The Golden Corral Buffet, too many voices in your head about what is best to do, which leads to too much sampling, a form of fitness gluttony. You really have to give a program at least 3 months to understand how it works and to see results.
Sometimes its best to tune out all of the noise and concentrate on what you’re doing now. You can always change directions later.
2). We have been moving away from bodybuilding as the go-to template for resistance training since the late 90’s. A more functional approach to training had been evolving since that time.
The first model focused on basic human movement patterns: deadlift (glute), squat (squat), horizontal push/pull, vertical push/pull and core with cardio added usually as interval training.
Then the idea of combining strength and conditioning in a Special Ops model appeared, most notably CrossFit and its variations.
Now strength training for all age groups is gaining serious momentum. Alwyn Cosgrove & Lou Schuler recently release The New Rules of Lifting for Life which focuses on strength training for the 50+ market. The RKC, long associated with Kettlebells, has rebranded as RKC, School of Strength, focusing on everything strength and power.
It is fascinating to watch this grand exercise experiment. As we try new approaches, what works gets built upon and what doesn’t work gets disowned like a sports talking-head forgets a wrong prediction. I can be as wrong as anybody so I’ll adventure a prediction: watch for a decreasing interest in CrossFit type workouts (including bootcamps) and an increasing interest in strength training for all age groups. However, CrossFit will not likely to disappear totally but will have to morph (as well as bootcamps) to account for changes in the marketplace.
3). By the way, on the cover of a recent Vitamin Shop magazine, the headline stated that CrossFit is now mainstream. Ouch! That must really hurt for an organization that has prided itself as being elite renegades.
You have to be careful what you wish for. When something becomes popular, there is a price. The original theory gets twisted, copied and then ripped off by the marketplace. Also with popularity, the first people into the movement get restless and start migrating away in search of a new shiny object to claim as the next fitness savior.
4). Speaking of popularity, interest in the Kettlebell continues to grow which means it has taken its rightful place in the serious fitness equipment toolbox along with the barbell, dumbbell and bodyweight but this popularity has been at a price. Much of the equipment is poorly designed and manufactured. And as a Kettlebell Purist, I am really offended by the what is being passed off as qualified instruction especially the home-grown wannabes who have had little to no formal instruction themselves from a true Kettlebell authority.
Interestingly, the reaction of the two men most responsible for bringing the kettlebell to the US and for what we know about Kettlebell lifting today, Pavel Tsatsouline and Valery Fedorenko, is not what most would expect. They understand that this part of living in a free society that same society that gave them the opportunity to creat a better life. Its not that they approve of bad product and questionable instruction, that definitely is not the case. It is simply not worth getting upset. They just focus on what they do best, continue to improve and expect the seekers of quality to find them. I’d say that is a lesson we can learn from our new citizens.
Peace & Power