30 years ago or maybe a few more, one of my brothers would be on leave from the army and would get, sorry make me do, a workout with him. Sit ups, push ups and squats, all body weight and no frills or gimmicks. Now jump back to the present day and guess what I just did for a work out? Yep, the same bloody thing!
Have we come full circle?? A quote from the actor Stephen Amell that plays Oliver Queen in the TV show Arrow, ”there’s a lot of guys that can bench 300 lbs but not many that can do 30 pull ups”. And he is right. When bodybuilding really hit the big time with pumping iron starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late 70s the gymlife was born. Since then we have had loads of films, tv shows and documentaries on how to get fitter and live longer with a beautiful body. Lets take a moment and remember Baywatch…
Back to the point, people started lifting weights and doing classes. Spin, Pump and Boxercise to name a few, and the equipment changed too… money went in to development of resistance machines. From the humble dumbbell and bench we now have computerised seated press machines that can have the resistance changed at the tip of your finger and then record your effort and email it to your smart phone. I’m not saying these are a bad thing, in some cases like rehab from an injury or if you never picked up a weight before then these are great and really help but how many jokes have there been about people running on treadmills and being like hamsters?? Or spending half an hour on a rowing machine and not moving?
About 10 years ago some one came up with functional training, which is more important well I think so, for the average person. Injuries from picking up your children, putting the shopping away or getting something out of the car boot are far to common. So training the body in ways that it moves is brilliant. Kettlebells, TRX and slam balls can make all the difference to our lives and our workouts. Sitting down and standing up again is something we all do at some point but add a small jump at the end of the movement and you have a squat jump.
Today we have free runners and they are amazing, using their own body weight and the concrete jungle around them they have turned going to the shops into an art form. Seriously, watch some clips on YouTube, more and more people are training and exercising and getting fitter. We are living longer and want to be able to move in our old age but now we are doing more bodyweight work and training smarter. So have we come full circle? Sorry to say, but HITT has been around for thousands of years it just now it has a trendy name.
There will always be bodybuilders, meat heads, gym bunnies fitness freaks and thank the Gods for them. The more the merrier!! if you are waiting for a rpm class or pushing a PB on the bench you ARE the effing nuts! And keep dong it! If you are doing a circuit, or intervals on a rowing machine, swinging a kettlebell or punching a heavy bag, you are making a difference and your body will change its shape and its weight, up or down, it’s your goals that you are achieving so don’t stop!