August 7, 2012

Watch out for fitness fads

Trends are everywhere.

They are seen in all aspects of society — in clothing, electronics and interior decorating. Trends are fun and entertaining to keep up with.

One place where trends do not belong is in the health and fitness field.

Fitness fads are what unqualified personal trainers use to get their clients to buy into them. They can originate from scientifically sound research that is misinterpreted and misused by unqualified personal trainers, which can easily lead to injury.

Those who practice these fitness trends are often trainers who obtained their knowledge from talking to others in the gym, looking up exercises on the Internet and mimicking the latest exercise video/program they purchased. These unqualified individuals do not have any real understanding of human movement, exercise physiology or safe exercise progression and should not be prescribing exercise.


The most common trends lately have been functional training and high-intensity interval training. These two types of workouts can be extremely effective but are dangerous if not taught properly.

A high-intensity program that gets results is not always a program that is effective. An exercise program that works is one that is set up to help you achieve long-term realistic goals while also minimizing injury. Education must also be included in order for a program to be truly successful.

Personal trainers who just beat you up senselessly in the gym are not doing you a favor. They are setting you up for serious injury or death. Yes, you may lose weight, but at what expense?

An exercise program that helps you lose 5 percent body fat won’t do you much good if you end up tearing cartilage in your knee and can’t exercise for six months.


Those that ignore the importance of technique in the exercise programs they promote are setting you up for failure. I’ve seen some trainers throw novice clients right into advanced exercises, such as the push press or deadlift, just because they know the exercise will yield quick results. But then they don’t stop clients when they aren’t doing it correctly. If anyone tells you to ignore exercise form, don’t train with that person.

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