As the world has shut down over the last couple of weeks many industries have already been shaken to their cores. The fitness industry is one of them.
With studios being shut down most fitness people have scrambled to get online in order to keep their client bases during this time. I understand we all need to try and keep ourselves in business but for you, the consumer, there is more to think about.
I have seen some really scary stuff the last couple weeks as online training IS NOT the same as training in person. Exercise selection, programming, instructions, and pretty much everything else needs to be changed in order to deliver a safe and effective fitness program.
What I see instead, is a mass of quick high intensity workouts being haphazardly thrown together with no thought at all. Not just in the workout design but no thought as to who the workout is for and what long term strategy is being employed.
Especially at a time when physiotherapy, massage, and other health services are either closed or overwhelmed, now is NOT the time to hurt yourself.
Instead it is HIT challenges, burpees till you puke and a plethora of other fitness bullshit that should have died out 20 years ago. Literally, every social media platform is filled with workout after workout filled with the same stupid shit in a different combination. It’s scary.
Remember: the BEST fitness won’t leave you sore, hurt, and broken. The BEST fitness will leave you feeling awesome, moving well, and energized.
How can you tell the great from the crap if you are not already in my online platform? (<– see what I did there??)
Here are things that will tell you right away when you should run away. If you see any of these things…DO NOT DO THE PROGRAM OR WORKOUT!
#1 – Burpees
It is time for these things to die. Stop doing them.
For the vast majority of people, no matter how fit you are, the risk of poor form far outweighs any perceived benefit of this exercise. ANY fitness ‘professional’ who knows the slighted bit about what they are doing should be able to effectively build a program to target your whole body and your cardio system WITHOUT using burpees.
Programming a shit ton of burpees is lazy and stupid.
#2 – Dips
Bench dips are everywhere. They are terrible for you!!! PLEASE DON’T DO THEM!!!
On a bench, a chair, a stair or wherever else your insta-trainer is posting their FAT BLASTING sessions, doesn’t matter. This exercise puts your shoulder into a VERY precarious position and then ADDS load to it. It’s truly fucking stupid.
Don’t do these.
#3 – V-sits
The chance that you are maintaining good form on this exercise is around 0.01%. (No, not link to a study on that, just my 20 years of, you know, doing this day in and day out plus a master degree in human movement…).
You are going to put you back into poor position and that is why SO MANY PEOPLE complain about how much their back hurts during this movement.
Then every fitness ‘pro’ hands you a med ball (load) and tells you to tap it to the ground beside you (rotation) or has you pass it back and forth with a friend (again, rotation). When you add rotation to the lumbar spine when it is in a loaded and not properly positioned is a recipe for disaster.
#4 – Bicycles
This is hip flexors. It bends your spine the wrong way. It is the posture we lambaste constantly as we sit too much. There is nothing good about this and no benefit over 100 other exercises.
#5 – Ab Workouts
You should never, ever, ever, never do an abs only workout. Ever.
I know why you do it and why fitness peeps program them. Because deep down you all think that if you ‘blast your abs’ you will get a flat tummy and sculpted six-pack and everything in your life is going to be just so much better.
It won’t work. Flat tummies and six-packs have NOTHING to do with training the recuts abdominus (that is the muscle that makes the six-pack…) and is completely dependent on your level of body fat, which in turn, is completely dependent on your diet.
AGAIN! You spend enough time anteriorly flexed (hunched forward…think sitting…) and ab exercises exasperate this immensely. You need to train your posterior chain (your back) which might not have the same sex appeal but will keep you happier and healthier!
#6 – HIT Workouts
Look, when you’re fit and exercise regularly HIT workouts are awesome. But if you are new to training they are WAY too intense. And for EVERYONE right now, you need to be careful. When rehab services are closed and doctors are over-worked they don’t have time to deal with your strained back or tweeked shoulder. So why take the risk?
Train with an intensity appropriate to you and your level of fitness. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and steady work everyday will payoff in the long run!!!
Yes, I will plug me. I have been building an online platform for the last 3 years and have 20 years of experience. I am not the only one. There are good quality options out there.
How can you tell?
If the program or the coach includes any of the above listed items, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Staying active at home with little to no equipment is absolutely possible and when done right it is very effective! When done poorly, well, it is a disaster.
Be safe out there!