When you have been in gyms as long as I have (and it has been a long time now), you notice a lot of new trends that come and go. Tae-bo, step aerobics, hot yoga, Pilates, spinning, CrossFit… the list goes on. Kettle bells seem to re-emerge after a 20-year hiatus. And most of these trends are dead in the water now, mainly because they simply didn’t produce results but injuries. They make for great sales pitches though!

A recent one that I have heard is “functional training”. What does that even mean? Nobody seems to really know but it’s supposed to recreate proper structural alignment. That doesn’t seem like a bad idea until we take a look at how this ideal is being chased. Stability balls, TRX bands, kettle bells, standing on one leg, wobble boards… STOP!

I have worked with top athletes at Olympic level, and nobody was following any sort of esoteric workout program. They stuck to the basics! What’s tried and true has stood the test of time: squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, and some light aerobic work. Simply do them very well, very often, and eat very clean.

Superficial fitness trends don’t work and will only injure the average trainee. In addition, the regular gym goer has no interest in improving their single-leg bench jump. They want to look and feel better. That’s it.

An intelligent training program will build itself around the basic exercises and a decent nutritional program. This will help you achieve the same goals in less time and without a blown out rotator cuff.

So squat, deadlift, pull and push! Grill some animals, steam some veggies and get in shape!

Until next time,
Maik Wiedenbach