Enough – you can’t manufacture fitness!

As I headed onto my blog to write an entry today I was full of ideas.  Obviously, I don’t make it on here very often so there are a ton of topics on which I want to cover.  But, then I opened up safari and up on my Yahoo pops this scandal on The Biggest Loser.  In all honesty, I don’t really watch this show and I’m not a huge fan from what I have seen and heard.  Having said that, I do think it is great for America to see that plain old exercise and healthy eating habits can lead you and keep you in a healthy and fit lifestyle.  Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for Miss Jillian Michaels, she felt the need to provide caffeine supplements to her team.  Her defense on the matter was that it was better than drinking endless amounts of coffee.  Hey Jillian, why don’t you just advise your clients to limit the coffee!  Explore why they are drinking so much and what else can it be replaced with, either another drink or activity or anything other than a supplement?!  Oh, by the way, major rant on its way…

 

As the title of this post states, I have literally had enough of manufactured fitness.  If you can’t make me sweat, make me healthier, make me stronger or make me better without outside assistance then you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re just not doing a good enough job of what you do know.  All of this for the same reason that numerous supplements are banned from every major sporting event.  Accept your body and use your personal challenges to work harder.

 

Supplements should be used like makeup, they should enhance your natural beauty or help in areas where you may be deficient.  Like wearing blush to enhance your high cheek bones or putting on a little cover up to conceal a pimple.  Similar to taking probiotics to keep your digestive system healthy or a Vitamin D supplement to help improve low levels.  Supplements are not “the shortcut” to healthier and more fit lifestyle.  And they should only be prescribed by a knowledgable and licensed homeopath, naturopathic doctor, or nutritionist.

 

But my rant goes far and beyond this little scandal.  If you have to heat up a room, put your client in a sauna suit, or refuse water then your workouts aren’t enough.  Stop manufacturing sweat and create a better workout.  I am all for ways to inspire people to become fit, but each of these new fitness crazes establish routines that are more dangerous one right after the other.  At the core, I think most of them are positive, but somewhere along the way they each lost their focus…

 

I went to Billy Blanks Jr.’s fitness studio up in North Hollywood a couple months ago at the urging of a friend.  I, who started my love of fitness with cardio kickboxing, was more than excited to attend this class.  My friend forewarned me that it was a little unconventional, but she always leaves with a great sweat and burns tons of calories…  Here we go, the instructor moves around the room doing an exercise and you either have to look for him or find someone who looks like they know what they are doing and watch them.  Not my biggest issue.  The room was crowded and small with barely any room to extend arms and legs, which seems not only uncomfortable but unsafe in a kickboxing class.  There were 2 ceiling fans on either end of the room, moving at the slowest pace possible for any ceiling fan to move.  There was no air flowing through this room, it must have been in the 70’s at the onset, but with body heat, it must have risen an additional 10 degrees.  I have never stopped an indoor workout from being overheated, but here i was in the bathroom adjacent to this cracker jack sized workout room pouring ice cold water on my head in an attempt to lower my body temperature and heart rate.  I returned to the room and had to lower my intensity in order to complete the remainder of the workout.  My  sweaty friend turns to me at the end of the workout and says she burned 700 calories, which was determined by a heart rate monitor throughout the class.  Heat speeds up your heart rate, heat makes you sweat.  Was the class hard? Maybe.  Turn on the air conditioning and make me work for my calories and my sweat!

 

I have never been to soul cycle so I have been waiting to attend a class to give my opinion, however, this posting goes along with everything i have ever heard about these classes.  The room is 74 degrees.  People love going because they leave sweaty and under the presumption that they have burned hundreds of calories.  Heat speeds up your heart rate, heat makes you sweat.  Is the class hard? Maybe.  Turn on the air conditioning and make me work for my calories and my sweat!

 

And last but not least – I train a client at a personal training gym where trainers pay to use the facility.  One night as I am finishing with my session I see another trainer with his clients who are wearing sauna suits.  If you are unfamiliar with these outfits, imagine wearing a trash bag with sleeves.  These are giant plastic bags intended to help you release water, no moving even required, but the more you work, the more you sweat.  As they completed their session the client removed the suit and the trainer commented how sweaty she was.  Of course they are sweaty, they were wearing plastic!  Make your client run down the street or up the stairs or whatever.  Don’t put them in a trash bag, have them do leg lifts for an hour and then jump for joy when they look like they just went swimming in their clothes.

 

All of the aforementioned classes/trainers are trying to give their clients what they want and each of them has created a special community of fitness enthusiasts that keeps them coming back for more and I think that is great.  I just want everyone to be safe and make their clients work for their accomplishments.  It’s like doing your kids homework for them, sure they will get good grades, but are they smarter for it?  Clients deserve the best an instructor/coach can give them, so work for those A’s, don’t accept a cheat sheet.

And if you do workout in the heat, inside or outside, drink more water than you think!

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