Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fitness Trends For 2014 (Not The Usual Suspects).

The official ACSM list of fitness trends for 2014 can be found here. Yeah, high intensity interval training, bodyweight training blah blah, catch up fitness industry and media hacks, that's so 2008. The real fitness trends and hot predictions are listed below:

No.1: Bicep Curls or if you are a female - tricep extensions (or if you are a patronising fitness expert appearing on daytime TV in January 'working on the bingo wings ladies').

The bicep curl will always be number one in the gym. If you spend more than 2 hours in any gym at least one guy will come in and start his workout by warming up with some alternating dumbbell curls while standing exceptionally close to the dumbbell rack.

The bicep curl is so versatile, too tired to squat? You will still have enough energy to do some arms. Hard conditioning session? Always time to work on the guns at the end.

Can you see how complicated this is? Of course it needs to be trained every workout.

The bicep is essentially three muscles that cross the elbow and shoulder joint (or if you are Charles Poliquin probably 23 muscles -each with a unique action) but at last count there are approximately 23,000 bicep exercises. Because it doesn't matter that it may be one of the smallest muscle groups you work on - it is the most important. No one can tell if you workout if you only do legs and have to wear trousers. But biceps, there is always time to put on a tight T-shirt and pump up before heading out.

No.2: 30 minutes on the x-trainer/ elliptical if you are female or Chest Day if you are male.

It doesn't matter how much people tell you that you don't need to do steady state cardio to lose weight, or that weight loss is all about nutrition, because as a female you know that the real key to success is the x-trainer. Whatever  fancy program your trainer gave you with weights and kettlebells and functional shit and HIIT it doesn't matter; because deep down you know the key to all physique goals is the x-trainer. Plus all that stuff is too hard, and you can't remember how to do it plus there is no TV attached to the kettlebell so you can't watch Hollyoaks while instagramming fitness inspiration pictures.

For Chest Day refer back to no.1, there is always time for chest, and Monday has been international bench press day since the beginning of time or at least the beginning of Golds Gym in California. And all those dopes doing bodyweight stuff are just clogging up the area that you need to scatter weight plates around the flat bench to prove how much you can lift.

No.3: Paleo & Ketogenic Backlash.

You tried paleo and it was fucking hard and you didn't transform in to a paleolithic warrior in 7 days. Plus no one knows if you can eat a freakin' potato or not (sweet potatoes are okay but no one knows why) and if you so much as look at a legume your intestines will explode. If you write a paleo book be sure to make sure that whatever you like and don't want to give up is considered paleo - this normally means coffee, red wine, chocolate (Swiss paleo) or milk (as long as the milk is from a wild cow and you milk it yourself).

Potato: Can I eat this or not?

Plus those coconut farmers need a break, Somewhere in Hawaii or Southeast Asia or wherever all the coconut oil comes from, some of those farmers have been working 24/7 since The Paleo Solution was released. And if the world runs out of coconuts all the Paleo/ Keto people are screwed. And there will be mass panic at your nearest Crossfit Box.

Give it a rest paleo people, these fellas need a day off

As for the ketogenic diet, the Italian Pasta Cartel is not going to stand for it anymore. As pasta sales plummet they realise this madness has got to stop. They are going to 'take care of' Robb Wolf, Mark Sissons and Tim Noakes for sure.

Expect some of your favourite fitness and diet gurus to change their mind and decide that now you have to eat high carb and low fat; bran flakes, pasta and rice galore. As you already bought their last book, you are going to buy this one too.

In the future we will discover that High Fructose Corn Syrup is actually a health food. Much like when Woody Allen wakes up in the future in the film Sleeper, his character was the owner of a health food store, but in the future they have realised that all that health food is actually bad for you.

Dialogue from the film Sleeper

Dr. Melik: Well, he's fully recovered, except for a few minor kinks.
Dr. Agon: Has he asked for anything special?
Dr. Melik: Yes, this morning for breakfast. He requested something called wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk.
Dr. Agon: [ laughs ] Oh, yes. Those were the charmed substances...That some years ago were felt to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies? Or hot fudge?
Dr. Agon: Those were thought to be unhealthy, precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Source: www.Explore-Science-Fiction-Movies.com

Woody Allen in Sleeper
Stay confused and consume.

No.4: 700Ibs Deadlifts.

There are now a record number of elite powerlifters who only ever lift in their garage or on the internet. You rarely see them in the gym, I guess because they are all at home lifting 700Ibs but unfortunately they don't have a video camera. The 600Ibs deadlift is now so common that most lifters achieve it within weeks of reading Starting Strength and critiquing Supertraining and claiming that those Westside guys are all pussies; so the only place left to go is the 700Ibs deadlift.

Strangely, I don't see so many people claiming sub 2.10 marathons, I guess because you can't do that in a garage.

No.5: Some crazy kids toy/ bongo fusion disguised as the latest fitness tool.

Right now there is some guy, probably in California or Australia or New Zealand figuring out how he can part you with your cash.

The quickest way to come up with the latest fitness gimmick is to take a kids toy like a hula hoop and then combine it with some high energy music, then brand it, licence it, and claim it burns fat and works the core better than anything else.

But most of the obvious stuff has been done, for the fitness entrepreneur this means some lateral thinking is required. How about taking one of  those pedal powered cars the kids drive in the film Bugsy Malone and turning it into a cardio machine. Or how about the new dance sensation - Polka, combined with Flag Signals - I call it Polkwa. A total body conditioner plus practical if you get lost at sea or find yourself at a wedding in Central Europe.

Car from Bugsy Malone: Strap a TV on this and you've got a new cardio machine

No doubt Gym Box already has these classes, so please don't write to me.

I've combines Polka and Flag waving - I call it Polkwa.

No.6: Barefoot Backlash.

It turns out barefoot running didn't turn you into a Kenyan overnight, plus your calves hurt and it took a lot of goddamn effort.

As is human nature, rather than finding a middle way, we swing to the other extreme. How about attaching a couple of sponges to your feet or those springy pogo stick shoes that Saturday morning kids TV presenters would bounce around on back when such TV existed. Unfortunately, Flubber doesn't exist, or does it? How about a pair of Hokas. Or how about training, or doing some strength training, or work on your mobility or not thinking there is an equipment solution to a fitness problem.

Hoka - It's the French word for Flubber

No. 7: Sit-Up And Crunch Comeback.

Unless you work in a commercial gym, in which case, you just stopped doing them because you read the research from 2002.

The tricky thing about those researchers is they keep saying it depends, it depends on the client, it depends on their goals, it depends on their spine morphology. Well that's no good, you want a six pack and so do your clients. And all this 'it depends' is no good for debating on the internet, there can be no grey area.

Abs are not made in the kitchen, they are made on the sit up bench.

Plus, your favourite MMA/ Boxing fighter does 1000's of sit ups so they must be okay. And whats more Crossfitters do those sit ups on the Glute Ham Raise and none of them are injured. And you're bored and your clients are bored of planks. Crunch ahoy! Much like bicep curls there is always time for some isolated core work.

No.8: Special Selfie/ Instagram Zones At The Gym.

You're at the gym and you need to take a picture to prove you're at the gym and so everyone knows what a rich and fulfilling life you lead; and to motivate all your followers on Instagram. Except the lighting's no good and you left your phone in the car. No problem, this is an idea I stole when visiting Guinness Storehouse in Dublin - they take a picture of you pouring a pint and then you can go to one of their ipads and share the picture on facebook. Genius!

This is exactly what the gym needs! The special selfie zone will have the right amount of lighting to make you look thin/ pumped/ ripped and you can share the picture instantly on social media. No need to take pictures of yourself surreptitiously in the changing rooms or look like a dick while your friend videos you on the calf raise machine. You can focus on what the gym is really about, telling other people you are there, so you can feel smug.

No.9: Weightlifting Shoes As Fashion Accessory.

Your Mum has bought you some new weightlifting shoes. The only problem is only the Bros you lift with are going to see them. Or if you bought them yourself, you spent a fair amount of cash on them - but you only get to wear them at the gym a few hours a week.

Solution: Start to wear them out and about. You will look taller, in the event of a fight you basically have two lumps of wood strapped to your feet, plus in the club on the dancefloor while making some shapes you can easily hit a deep squat/ cossack move and impress all the chicks (at least one of who is bound to be a bikini competitor - result!)

Do you know how much these cost? Damn right I'm wearing them to the pub

No.10: Some New Social Media Network You Haven't Heard Of Yet.

Facebook will be dead by the end of the year or maybe tTwitter will be or MySpace will make a comeback, I dunno. Or someone will invent a new social network. We all need more outlets to tell people what we are doing. Picture of your paleo dinner on Instagram? Check. Motivational quote on Twitter? Check. Awesome Bicep curl video uploaded on Facebook? Check. But its not enough. We need more.

No.11: Les Mills - times they are a changin. (A serious one).

Les Mills have been using the same payment model forever. The likes of bodybalance, pump, combat etc are massive in health clubs. If you have never heard of them you probably don't go to a health club. I guess way more people do Les Mills than do Crossfit. But Crossfit has appeared in The Huffington Post, The New Yorker and the British Press. It really is in the zeitgeist. Les Mills hasn't - epic fail. If you run 3 or 4 Les Mills programs it costs the same as having a Crossfit affiliation for the year. Crossfit is also sponsored by Reebok and has created a tribe effect. Food for thought there.

Camille Leblanc - apparently she does Crossfit, which unlike Les Mills you've probably heard of.

I thought Zumba or Bokwa or Bootcamps would kill Les Mills, as they are either licence free or make the instructor pay the licence. With the new music licencing laws in the UK - health clubs have to pay the money themselves and can't make the self employed instructor pay for it. And then there is all the quarterly workshops. In the end Les Mills will euthanize itself unless it catches up to way things work and gives you a bit more for your money than a few posters and leaflets. They need to use the same tactics as Crossfit or your class studio will be or already is a Crossfit box.

No.12:  People On Blogs Writing Lists Of Fitness Trends.

Yep, we all love a top ten list and predictions about fitness trends. Look on the bright side, unlike a newspaper you didn't have to pay to read this and unlike something written by some weary Journo, it's not some regurgitated list from 2008. Some newspapers and magazines seem to think their readers have never seen the internet or used Google and are already behind the zeitgeist by the time they get round to reporting stuff. Rant over. Do what you enjoy.

"Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters."  Bob Dylan

Happy New Year Fitness World, make 2014 a healthy one. Another year lost in fitness.

Of course

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