What is wrong with one-size-fits-all fitness programs?

When you sign up for a cookie-cutter fitness program, you are given too much to do, too soon, with no preparation, and very importantly, no consideration for the shape your body is in right now. You are told to do the same exercise routines as everyone else, for a specific number of repetitions. Some fitness programs are not right for you, and some are not right for anyone! The trail of injury from fitness fads stretches back many decades now, yet new fitness fads continue to come along.

Fortunately, at the same time, and probably as a result of experience (and injury), there is another trend. Over the past 3 decades there has been an evolution in fitness. This quiet trend has taken us away from high-impact, towards low-impact, then to non-impact, and now I offer you minus-impact (shape shifting).

Cyclist CartoonCyclist Caricature
This cyclist is a victim of contemporary notions of fitness and of his own lack of conviction to the programs he chose. Doing what he was taught to do (and what he misunderstood) gave him an (overly) beefy torso, a pot belly he was trying unsuccessfully to lose, no butt, spindly legs, and bad form.

No one had corrected what he misunderstood, and off he went! He also chose to do only those movements that were easy and appealing to him. For the details of where he went wrong, and how to correct the disproportionate results, see “Bicycling“.

Nov. 26, 2000: CTV News asked rhetorically, in reference to Tae-Bo: “Who can resist a low-impact exercise program that burns 500 calories in a single session?” They followed that with reports of the damage caused by strenuous side kicks and other movements. A chiropractor examined a young woman and described the damage to her: skeletal misalignment and torn muscles (caused by extreme side kicks). In conclusion, they reported that many exercise classes have removed Tae-Bo from their programs—a direct result of the damage it has caused.

I like Tae-Bo, and I believe that these injuries are caused by a lack of preparation. In other words, Tae-Bo could be a good program if it included preparatory training to gradually build the solid muscle layer required to be able to position yourself to execute these movements without harming yourself.

Done properly, martial-arts kicks, blocks, and punches are not only fighting tools, but also healing tools.

What good are fitness programs if you need to be fit before you start?
The idea that many of the fitness programs we see advertised are not for “the rest of us” is shared by many. I hear it expressed frequently, and I agree. Many of us are never going to look like the trained athletes in the ads (who are able to do the workouts). Trying to copy those who are able can lead to injury. Fortunately, Gliding can keep us fit and agile without risk of injury and without making a career of fitness. Gliding allows you to enjoy movement.

Summary
Article Name
Fitness Programs – It's Madness!
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Some fitness programs are not right for you, and some are not right for anyone! The trail of injury from fitness fads stretches back many decades now, yet new fitness fads continue to come along.
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