Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some observations about fitness industry...

1) I have people focusing less on how much you are lifting (i.e. reps/sets) and more stuff that just doesn't matter. People want to make light weights hard rather than lifting heavy. I am not sure why this is, but I have a feeling that heavy lifting is just hard work. Also, some people think that they have to be "different" to get in shape. You don't, just put in the work. In my one boot camp, I talk about "Simple is not Easy".

2) In the top of the lift, like a kettlebell snatch, you want to stabilize the weight. Stable means it doesn't move. It does not mean that you look like you have been tased. I am not sure where this came into fitness vogue. Think of the word "stable" like the word "wet". Something is either wet or not wet. An overhead lockout is either stable or not. There is no "stabler".

3) A lot more people lunge than squat. I know the reason for this, and it is pathetic. If you are not getting the results you want, and you are not squatting, all other discussion is pointless until you squat.

4) The dragon walks, and shown in Beyond Bodybuilding, are the most underrated exercise ever. If you want to improve your squat depth or improve your balance and athleticism, do this exercise. For you runners out there, if you have IT band problems, do this to open them up. I do them as lunges, and they work great.

5) I don't bother asking how important fitness results are to someone's training. I just ask what they did in the last week. If you didn't do anything, it is not important. Nobody's goal is to be fat and weak, but they don't prioritize changing it.

6) I used to be a Civil Engineer, and one of the first thing we learned is if something "looks" wrong, it usually is. Trust your judgement. Movements should look strong and athletic.

7) People talk about the Biggest Loser recently, both positive and negative. Personally I find the show annoying for the following reasons:
* It is more focused on the drama than anything else.
* Most of the people that watch are those that should be training instead of watching TV.
* There isn't full disclosure about diet and medications (this is also what killed bodybuilding as a sport).
* It is completely unrealistic for most people.
* In a show like this, I should learn something from every show. I don't.
* The product placement on the show is ridiculous.

I will say this. The show for the most part does get results and does get people into better habits. I think if they went "full disclosure", it would have a bigger impact on our fitness landscape. Just like bodybuilding, people just say its the drugs. In Biggest Loser, people say "If I had a trainer.", "I have a job.", I have to take care of my family." It may not be the ratings winner, but it wouldn't be the turd sandwich it is today.

8) There seems to be a lot of overuse injuries. I have had them, but there is never an excuse for them. Overuse injuries are not from training hard, they are from badly planned training. And a torn callous is a overuse injury.

9) If your warmup lasts longer than your workout, you need to reconsider what you are doing.

10) If a fitness test can be "gamed" with bad technique, the test should be changed. People are complaining the the RKC snatch test can be passed with bad technique. No kidding, it is not a test of technique. If it doesn't meet the needs, change it. The old snatch test (one hand switch) penalized bad technique much more. It sounds like one problem (people using GS style snatches) was fixed and bigger one (ugly style) was created. If you can pass the test with sets of 8, don't expect it to be a test of technique. It is what it is.

Now, the snatch test is a small part of RKC weekend, and if you are an instructor, you should know how to pass any test put in front of you. I have seen both tests at certs, and I know which one rewards better technique. I have less of a problem with a corkscrew drop than I do with the swing/front raise or the forward cast that I see that is not penalized with unlimited switches.


Boris said...

Good stuff Faiz.

Sandy Sommer RKC said...

Awesome observations Faizal. I really enjoyed this posting