what is a fad

February 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

Random Thoughts….

So I’ve been pretty dang quiet here, on account of being busy getting married, and helping to open up multiple Fitwall studios. So here are some quasi related things that I’ve been thinking about…

Is Fitwall just a “fad”? I have to answer this question because of the fact that in the fitness industry certain things come and go. Well here are a few reasons that Fitwall is not going to be a “fad”.

  • We are using the most used and advanced training equipment in the history of ever. Your own body!  One of our advisors, Dr. Mantell, says it very well “at Fitwall the only thing that moves is you”.
  • We are primarily a bodyweight movement centered training program. Think: pushups, lunges, squats, hip hinges, rotation, anti rotation, pulling, climbing, crawling. The Fitwall itself is a large tool-the way that a KB, barbell, cable, or pull-up bar is a tool. Each of these tools allows for some specific exercises and benefits.
  • Bodyweight training has been around for, ummm….FOREVER.
    • Now…the Fitwall as a tool allows us challenge the body in some very unique ways, that I don’t see repeatable at other gyms. Namely the large amount of reflexive stability demands required to stabilize and control movement when on the wall. Other bonuses such as working pinch grip, fat grip, and horizontal pulling in large amounts are also great.
    • I don’t believe I can recall many people commenting on how “bodyweight movements, aka calisthenics”  is a “fad”.
      • It’s cute how people see a 3 minute piece on some news outlet about what we are doing and come to conclusions that it is a “fad”, or “gimmicky”. Cute because without trying something or spending any time doing it-one is simply ignorant about what they are commenting on.
    • In fact, bodyweight training is only getting more and more popular, in many programs, because the industry is coming around to the fact that simplification of training the body into body parts, or even into specific qualities of fitness can be an inefficient way to reach their goals. READ: machines are not all that great, and neither is just barbells.
      • To reiterate…the Fitwall is not a machine. It is an opportunity to explore movement of the human body in novel ways.
  • We are using solid, scientifically sound programming and relying on real expertise.
    • This is definitely a dig at most “professionals” out there. If you got your certification in a weekend cert, be it CrossFit, Pilates, Yoga, KB, or anything….it doesn’t mean you are a fitness professional. I don’t believe everyone needs to have a masters, or even a bachelors in Kinesiology in order to understand human movement and be a good coach. But when someone decides to get their weekend cert and “parrots” what they are told without a single critical thought about what they are taught, they are not a professional.
      • Examples: “this bind will help cleanse your spleen” -NO IT WON’T
        • “squats and deadlifts is the only core work you need” -NO IT ISN’T
        • “we are lengthening and toning” -I WANNA SHOOT MYSELF WHEN I HEAR THIS
        • “we are broad modal and time domains” -NEGATIVE, YOU ARE DEFICIENT IN ROTATIONAL DEMANDS, UNILATERAL TRAINING, AND COORDINATED MOVEMENTS. GENERALLY IT IS NOT BROAD AT ALL.
        • “it really works more core because they cue me to brace my core the whole class” -YEAH…PROBABLY NOT A GOOD THING. THE CORE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RESPOND AND BE REFLEXIVE, NOT JUST TIGHT AT ALL POINTS.
        • “I’m gonna get that yoga butt” -THOSE ARE JUST THE PANTS. GO SQUAT AND HIP HINGE UNDER LOAD PLEASE.
      • Picking movements at random, and doing always high intensity wods, which when you look back seem very very same to each other, is a great way to over do things
      • Looking at the “experts” of a gym where a recent commentator saying Fitwall is likely a fad I noticed something: not one had much of any experience in the fitness industry. They were all people who lost weight doing their exercise, got certified, and decided to open a gym. This is not to say the gym is not good, doesn’t produce results, and can’t yield a great training session. However, I can tell you that our team is going to remain to be the most qualified and experienced group that we can possibly be. As a result of this experience and expertise we will be delivering exceptionally well thought out programming. I will gladly entertain any questions as to what and why we do the things the way we do.

Now…I understand why and where some “fad” criticisms come from…most likely our integration of technology into the training setting. However, if that is why you think it is a fad then you are simply ignoring the increased utilization of technology and monitoring to track and enhance how people train. We are using the tech to enhance and guide a smarter training experience. Here’s how…

  • we track your recovery in one minute blocks following one minute all out efforts of various drills.  We use the historical average of your recovery to track fitness improvements, and also to serve as a measure of when to take it easy. So if your average 1minute recovery after our first sprint is generally 30 beats, and today you only get 22, the system will tell you to make it an easy day. It clearly shows your recovery being compromised, so we treat it as a regeneration day and ask you to only take your HR to no more than 80% during the workout. We use your own personal Fitwall max HR to come up with the %’s because all the estimates and formulas in the world aren’t as exact.
  • we will be counting your reps via accelerometer and comparing it to your past efforts in the same exercise in the same workouts. You do more of something in the same time and you are fitter.
  • We send it all to the cloud where your info is stored, and you can track how awesomely you are improving.
  • We have videos of the movements going while you exercise, not for you to follow and not to be the coach, but to help with form ongoingly rather than people looking side to side at each other.

Oh yeah….also….we have TWO studios and are making this much noise. It’s because people who understand fitness are paying attention. It’s because we do have a big thing that happening. My goal is to make the most delicious fitness gummi vitamin possible. One where it tastes delicious with sweet timed music mixes to the workout, where the vibe is fun and funny, but also where nobody is going to tell you that you will lengthen your muscles and tone and not get bulky.

GOAL: The best group training available. Most principle based. We aren’t just doing things because they are “hard” like a bootcamp generally does. We aren’t just going for the burn. This is real athletic training.

PS….in our private training rooms, we have heavy stuff to pick up, squat, and press. I just don’t think that should be taught in a fast moving group class to people who are generally not experienced enough to be doing heavy weighted movements in a large class environment. But we do have them available because yes, it’s important, and yes, people should do that once they have a certain movement and strength baseline.

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