|We can ALL agree that this is just plain AWFUL!|
So what is the best form of exercise to get in better shape? There are so many answers to that question, but there are more opinions on what forms of exercise not to do, than what is the right thing to do. Some people who perform one form of exercise are quick to bash another group because they feel that certain forms of exercise are stupid, worthless, and just plain awful.
It's common to hear things like - "Crossfit sucks", "Yoga is stupid", and "lifting heavy weights is just for showing off". It's almost like one fraternity against another- you hardly ever find a person who lifts heavy, does pilates, and every once in a while does a Crossfit class.
If you drive up to a commercial gym and walk inside, it's pretty crazy to see the Group X(ers) on one side, the "Spinners" on the other, the Cardio groupies somewhere in the middle, and the people "strength training" on the outskirts. If you drive a little further down the street you'll probably see a Crossfit studio. People are lined up and psyched to do the "W.O.D", and ready to get shredded. At the other end of the shopping center, there is a Pilates studio where a group of people are going to "activate" their core and get long, lean muscles.
I have to admit I haven't tried some forms of exercise that are pretty much considered "In" or "Mainstream". I have yet to enter a Pilates Studio, a yoga studio, or perform a Crossfit session. So maybe I'm not entitled to give my opinion on those forms of exercise, so I won't. I just have a problem with people assuming that what they are doing is the "Holy Grail" of fitness.
I've had some clients tell me that they would love to watch me struggle through a Pilates class, or see me in agony during a Yoga session. They're right, I probably would have a tough time on that reformer, keeping my body in perfect alignment and keeping my core tight. And doing "the king pigeon " pose in yoga would probably an uncomfortable feeling and test my flexibility. I just don't feel that those things are worthwhile of MY time to accomplish MY personal goals.
|Yeah, I would look like a train wreck trying to do this!|
|This doesn't really interest me......|
Some spinning instructors I've encountered love to preach to their classes that their legs will "balloon up" with heavy lower body resistance movements and that peddling away on the bike will get you slim, sexy legs. The Crossfit gang is so into their style of workouts that everything else is just for sissies!
There is no doubt that there are some people with excellent strength and conditioning levels that are part of the Crossfit posse, but once again it's not the "end all, be all" form of exercise. Neither is lifting heavy things, pilates, yoga, spinning, boot camps, or distance running. People tend to perform what type of exercise the are good at, as well as, what "group" they fit in with socially. They also tend to drift to where they think they'll have the most fun, ever see a Zumba class or "Strip Aerobics"??
So what is the RIGHT way to exercise? I wish there was one correct answer that everybody would agree on. There are so many "right" answers, so where do we begin. First of all, your body should be able to perform basic movements. I've trained so many people who spin and take pilates that can't even perform a lunge with correct form, posture, and body alignment.
I've worked with Crossfit folks who can't perform an overhead squat without some movement deviation, such as their heels lifting off the ground or their knees caving in. A basic movement such as a squat, a lunge, a push-up (with the shoulders even), and a chin up or inverted row are all things that ANY and ALL people should incorporate in their exercise ritual. As a society, our movement patterns pretty much suck. Why don't we improve our ability to move correctly before we perform barbell snatches for 50 reps or crank away on a spinning bike for 60 minutes?
|Is this really necessary?|
Instead of the negativity, think about the positive things that you will achieve through whatever form of exercise you are currently doing. Does it relate to your goals? Will it improve your daily life? Is the instructor/trainer educated and qualified to teach this form of exercise in respect to the way the body should perform a specific movement.
Once you decide what fits you best, start kicking ass and taking names. You should be focused on getting results and reaching the goals you set out to achieve. If you are not getting closer to your goals, switch it up, what you're doing might not be the most appropriate form of exercise for what you are trying to accomplish. You have the freedom to stop spinning and start lifting heavy things, and your legs will probably start looking a lot better once you do!