Over the last few years the fitness industry has become one of the fastest growing industries around. Seems like theres a gym on every corner and everyone knows at least 1 personal trainer, Right? Whilst it is amazing that there are more and more people talking about the importance of good nutrition and exercise for our health, Unfortunately the market is getting saturated and this is not a good thing.
Now the automatic response to that opening paragraph is that I’m worried by the threat of competition and should embrace the growth. In all honesty this isn’t my issue with the saturation of the market, my issue comes down to the fast growth has lead to a form of fitness pendulum.
What do I mean by fitness pendulum?
With the saturation of the market, it is important for trainers and gyms try and generate income by standing out from the crowd. They, like myself, take to various forms of social media and blast out content upon content to try and get a little awareness in what they’re doing to generate sales, but thats business. It’s simply just what we have to do to be known, liked and trusted to build our audience.
The problem is, as the content is spewed out daily it becomes more and more extreme until you suddenly get this good/ bad pendulum. Everything is good or bad, right or wrong, black or white theres no in-between, no grey matter, no common ground in which trainers can see the benefits of (even if it doesn’t follow their ethos). This leads to fitness professionals arguing with each other because seeing the benefit in someones methods is seen to be a weakness, so it becomes vitally important to shun the things that might damage your method and make them ‘bad’ whilst overly promoting you ‘good’ methods.
I’ve lost count of the times I watched live streams, read articles or listened to trainers spout on about how their way is so much better than old methods and the old methods (things that have stood the test of time) should be ignored because they are bad for us (or some form of expletive).
A real life example
Now this pendulum is applicable is loads of different areas of the industry, but the one that I’ve seen more often recently is cardio! Steady State Cardio for years and years has been the mainstay of a healthy lifestyle, being active and moving your body continuously and raising your heart rate cannot in anyway be diminished for its importance. But just recently trainers have tried, the growth in popularity HIIT has meant the the pendulum has swung from steady state cardio being good for you to now suddenly being detrimental to your results. When the fact of the matter is, if you enjoy steady state cardio then DO steady state cardio, get on the treadmill, the bike, the cross trainer or whatever you like to use and workout to your hearts content because the health benefits or doing that will far out weigh the benefits of doing nothing!
Now as a gym owner I promote HIIT training classes, why do I do this? Simply because a lot of the people that are members down here want shorter workouts to fit in their day, I am in no way selling HIIT because it is better that steady state cardio but because it fits into my clients lives easier and they seem to enjoy it more. Would I turn away someone that wants to come to the gym and jump on a treadmill for an hour? No way, if thats where they feel the most benefits then I will happily encourage them to do what they enjoy doing and maybe try and encourage them to do some resistance work because having the addition of the resistance will benefit them further!
There are 100’s more of these pendulum instances which will discuss on our Facebook page over the coming weeks, but if you can think of any please feel free to comment on our page 🙂
Don’t believe the hype!
The last thing I want to talk about today is hype… The fitness industry will try and inflate what is the popular trend of the day to gain more leverage in the business, but this means a lot of false statements are made, ‘scientific’ statements that is based on observations rather than solid scientific testing. It is really easy to get people to believe you when you say it’s ‘scientific’ when really it’s just opinion based on very little fact. All of this builds the hype around a type of training and it suddenly becomes popular, but the real FACT is that the more you move the better chance of you being healthier. To most of the population it doesn’t matter whether it’s HIIT or Steady State Cardio just move more!
I’m aware that this blog is a lot longer than most of mine, so splitting it into a few parts so I can best discuss the issue of the fitness pendulum. Next week will look into the extremes of fitness marketing and talking about do we really need to TRANSFORM our lives?