Training (Functional Exercise)
There are two
issues that I hear coming up repeatedly so I thought it best
to give you a heads up on both. The first is an exercise
principle flooding the Personal Training field . . . the introduction
of "Functional Exercise," otherwise known as "Core
Training." The second is the widespread use of
the new "fat burners" and "metabolism boosters."
I'll cover them here.
Training or Functional Exercise
If your health
club has Pilates or Ground Zero equipment, you've been exposed
to "Functional Exercise." While it is spreading,
conceptually, like wildfire through the Personal Fitness Training
field, I believe it's very simply the re-emergence of common
sense. I've heard many definitions.
the body beginning with its proximal musculature moving outward
toward distal focus . . . "
the body from its core center of gravity"
the core muscles first utilizing balance and full body awareness"
However it is
defined, it can be reduced to something far less complex.
Functional Exercise simply asks us to train our bodies as
they were designed to move. Rather than sticking our
arms, legs, and butts, in odd looking machines, we should
use movements that keep our bodies free to move through space
as we target various movements and muscle groups. Did
it take a genius to come up with that? Actually, I believe
that after things come full circle, they wind up right back
where they started. In the 1940's physical education
classes had students moving their bodies through space, working
the various muscle groups. In quest of $$, innovators
and product developers came along and took this industry so
far over the edge that fitness enthusiasts believed they couldn't
get fit without expensive memberships, equipment, or futuristic
machines. The fact is, biologically, biochemically, and physiologically,
we are made of the same material as humans were 40 and 50
years ago. Functional Exercise is a much needed concept,
but not because it's a new innovation. It's needed because
it brings us back to common sense. Move the body as
it was designed to function and allow it to improve through
progression and repetition. I share this with you because
the next wave is bound to happen. As this concept infiltrates
the public eye, product manufacturers will find it to be the
new "buzzword," and they'll soon come out with nonsensical
products that play off of the "functional" trend.
I want you to realize that if you are doing lunges around
your living room, you are training functionally! Putting
one foot in front of the other, working the large muscles
of the legs, and moving the body through space. Don't
get caught up in believing, despite what some future infomercial
is soon to tell you, that you NEED some new device for effective
exercise. You've had it all along. You simply
need your body and the ability to move, and improvement can
be facilitated with nothing more than a pair of dumbbells
(or rocks for that matter).
New Metabolism Boosters
I'll make this
simple. Whether they're sold as fat burners, energy
enhancers, or herbal metabolism boosters, most of them are
combinations of drugs. Ephedrine and caffeine.
These drugs both have herbal sources so product manufacturers
can create mixtures of guarana (a caffeine source) and ma
huang (an ephedrine source) and sell you drugs under the label
of "herbal and natural." These are stimulants.
They can facilitate weight loss by several mechanisms, none
of them secrets to long term fat loss. There is a diuretic
effect with these combinations leading to water loss.
There is a suppression of appetite from alteration of brain
neurotransmitters. Caloric burn is increased due to
the drugs' stimulant properties.
Here's the bad
part. I can scare you by telling you of ephedrine related
deaths and strokes. They are a reality, but admittedly
rare. If I tried to scare you by telling you of your
stroke risk, you could easily find five people you know taking
the stuff and still kicking. I've found something that
is far more common. Addiction. I meet many fit
people, athletes in some cases, who can no longer train without
their daily "boost." I've met police officers
who feel as if they can't function, or even stay awake, without
their "jolt" three times a day. Nurses.
Housewives. Recreational bodybuilders. School
teachers. Pilots. I can keep going. The
new drug addiction has found its way into every walk of life.
After all, if you were selling weight loss and energy in a
bottle, who would turn it down? Realize that the value
of these products to their manufacturers is in their consumability
and addictive properties. They are over the counter
drugs, but drugs just the same, and overuse quickly leads
to a tolerance leading to larger and more frequent dosages.
When dosing becomes "regular," the adrenal system
tends to back off leaving you weak and tired without the drugs.
It's a product manufacturer's dream! Addictive drugs
that can be manufactured cheap, legally sold with overhyped
claims, and can generate a fortune.
Do you need them?
No. should you take them? I can only give you
my opinion. No. I'll leave it at that.
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