Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 Simple Lessons from Fitness Experts

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Today, I was really inspired to post a more summarizing look at the Future of Fitness and highlight some take-home points from the presenters with my own interpretation.  From core training to cardio training,  unilateral loading and intermittent fasting, let's take a look! 

1) Anti and Uni are the future of movement training.  This topic was of huge debate in Phoenix: the value of single leg training versus bilateral, and for good reason.  Recently, strength Coaches Mike Boyle and Mike Robertson have extolled the virtues and benefits of training on one leg versus two.  In the fitness industry especially, trainers and coaches typically pick one side or the other, and debate the sides ad nausea.  But is any method RIGHT?  Both have their place, and being 'right' truly depends on the person's 'sport'.  Hockey player?  Definitely needs a ton of single leg work.  Shot put?  Maybe as an accessory exercise, but not as a focus or main lift.  Key word here is specificity: training for the requirements that your sport, life, body type and energy demands.  My personal workout program consists of varying unilateral (one leg and one arm) lifts, paired with bilateral movements (power, olympic and kettlebell).  One of my favorites as an accessory exercise (can also be done on hardwood or tiled floor with towel underfoot):
2) The Power of Less.  Not only as a great book, but as a way to implement change.  Quality trumps quantity!


  • Nutrition: having less choices to make eliminates the potential for cheating (aka Intermittent Fasting)
  • Cardio: interval training, of 1/8 mile (200m), 1/4 mile (400m) or 1/2 mile (800m) runs are completely exhausting when repeated with shorter rest intervals, and don't take as long as a 45-60 minute long slow cardio workout on a treadmill, stepmill or elliptical.  Caloric burn is also extremely high post-workout
  • Strength training: working out 2 times a week for 60 minutes is a thing of the past; even celebrity trainers are using shorter workouts (30 minutes) at varying intensities and different focuses each workout
  • Supplements: fish oil + multivitamin + probiotic.  Eat real food from mother nature, organic if necessary.  
  • Movements: lunge, deadlift, squat, push, pull, resist movement
  • Power training: doesn't necessarily mean kettlebells or fancy plyometric movements, rather, focus on moving quickly (in some cases, as quick as possible) to develop and stimulate harder to reach motor units within muscle.  Can be done with own bodyweight!
3) Tissue quality is highly important.  From Don Chu to Thomas Meyers to Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, fascial fitness is a topic that, for good reason, has been the focus on many workouts, treatments, and seminars.  Phoenix was no different, as Don Chu highlighted some of the ways muscle works separate from fascia, and Thomas Meyers elaborated how the evolution of the human has led us quite far away from where we were hundreds of years ago.  Buying a foam roller, getting a massage or ART and stretching muscles that are 'short' and strengthening muscles that are 'long' will be topics in mainstream health and fitness magazines for many years to come.

4) Box Gyms will filled with immovable equipment while Fitness studios will be filled with people moving in space.  This much we know: people want results along with service.  Big box gyms are starting to decline, with everyone from 24 Hour Fitness to Lifetime Fitness (the manufacturer of equipment!) seeing their numbers decline.  Fitness studios, on the other hand, are service and results-oriented.  In fact, for most, that's all they care about, and they're damn good at delivering.  Wonder why?  Look at a picture of lifetime fitness versus a training studio:

Selling results or membership?

5) Metabolic training is the new cardio:  Combining bodyweight movements, bands, TRX, medicine balls, ropes, kettlebells in a workout, with minimal rest, will replace 'cardio' sessions.  Cardio programs have a 70% dropout rate after 8 weeks, while retention rates for workout programs like the video above are extraordinarily high.  Personally, I love metabolic workouts, both for how they feel during (not high in impact upon joints) and after (energized, not lacking energy).  Form can be maintained while intensity is lowered, allowing participant to dial in on quality. 

I was truly inspired from Phoenix's conference, and am looking forward to delivering more perspiration and motivation.

In health,

Coach Kev

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