Thursday, July 5, 2007

'This is the new old school' and 'Nothing to read'.

As I am re-establishing myself as an independent trainer I am getting the chance to get first reactions from clients again, which is always entertaining. A new client today remarked that despite having done no direct abdominal work that he had seen from our first session, he was feeling his entire abdomen had been worked for days after.
We are a very visually based society. If we see it, we really do believe it, and if we do not see it, we find it hard to accept it as fact. Abdominal training is no different.
For longer than I have been alive the fitness industry has been preying on the desire of the average person to have six pack abs by selling them silly machines, and having them crank out endless repetitions of exercises that are not even close to being the most effective that they could be doing. Yes, you can re-engineer the crunch to make it more effective, but that's like dropping a V8 in a VW Bug because you want a faster car. Just go get a faster car.
Let's look at kettlebell swings. If you were to watch someone performing Kettlebell swings, abdominal work is probably not the first thing that would come to mind. However, this is a movement that punishes the midsection far more efficiently than a crunch ever could.
Before you start thinking I'm some kind of kettlebell nut (which I am) this also carries over to compound movements preformed with barbells and dumbbells, sled dragging, pull ups and other body weight exercises. Men all over the world seek to build leg strength by doing sets of 12, 10, and 8 barbell squats, when dragging an 80 pound sled a few miles down a trail would most likely yield greater results, as well as building the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
Many of the things we have accepted as gospel in the fitness world, preached from the pulpit of the men's fitness magazines, are in fact heiracy.
Speaking of which...
I keep going back. I know what I will find, but like an abused wife I keep going back for more. The fitness section of the magazine rack. There's just nothing there. How can there be so much full of nothing? I keep expecting there to suddenly be a print copy of the crossfit journal, or a copy of MILO.

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