I wrote an article on Wednesday answering a reader’s questions involving the Tracy Anderson Method and her aversion to bulk. (Click here for a refresher.) Since that article I have had a lot of other readers ask me to share my opinions on other exercise trends, like Crossfit, HIIT (high intensity interval training), and P90X, just to name a few.
In my opinion any form of exercise, whether it is considered a trend or not, is good exercise. You are moving, you are challenging yourself and you are creating a healthy way of living that works for you. However, there a few things to consider when choosing what works for you.
Take the promises that these programs make to you with a grain of salt. Where I get upset in the world of fitness is when someone says their way of training is the best and everyone else out there is wrong. Health and wellness is such a huge industry and the beauty of it is there is so much variety to choose from.
Here on the West Coast I have an outdoor playground and on any given day I can hike or trail run, snowboard or ride my bike, go play beach volleyball or a game of tennis. I can join a recreational team, I can go to an outdoor boot camp, I can hit the gym, I can do a spin class, I can go to yoga, I can swim in an outdoor pool or I can paddle board. One activity is not better than another as I benefit differently from each form of exercise.
When you are trying to find what works for you, do your research and understand what each form of exercise does for your body and find what works best for you.
A Bar class, Pilates class or yoga class is great if you are someone who likes training in a group atmosphere and do types of exercises for improved posture, flexibility and core strength but understand that your muscular strength will not improve.
Crossfit is great if you are someone who thrives on competition and likes to lift really heavy but understand that this form of training may not help you run faster and you will build muscle. Also, due to the highly competitive atmosphere there is a greater chance you will push yourself too far, resulting in possible injury.
Following the P90X exercise and diet routine will definitely improve your overall fitness but if you are looking for specificity you will not find it here.
Spinning classes promise loud music, high energy and mega calorie burning but it does nothing for your upper body strength.
All forms of fitness bring something positive to the table but one way is not any better than another. Finding what you enjoy and what works for you is most important, ensuring that the workout routine you choose is bringing you closer to what you want to achieve.
Do not let anyone tell you that you should be doing this or that, such as never lifting more than 3 pounds. Try new things and embrace new experiences because you will be shocked at what you might enjoy. If you are consistent in whatever you choose (even if it is a little bit of everything) you are going to see results.
Attached -- Jessica Biel walking her dogs in New York.