The State of the Fitness Industry: Why it’s Never Been Better

In under 120 seconds you can find a deadlift workout, step-by-step instructions on how to execute it safely and what to eat afterwards for optimal results.  At the cost of zero dollars.

Suffice it to say we live in an awesome time, friends.

As I was sitting down making a list of topics to write about I started realizing all the great things going on in the fitness industry today and trying to prioritize the order of separate entries.

The awesome blogs and easy access to great information out there?

The nationwide access to great gyms and workouts?

More and more people doing awesome shit and using their bodies over machines?

Then it hit me.  Write about all of them as a comprehensive state of the fitness industry and all of the collective kick assery that is happening around the country.  I cannot recall a time where there this many people have been, well, collectively getting after it on a more efficient, smarter level for lack of a better term.

The Good

Information Superhighway 

We owe Al Gore a big one.  If he did not invent the internets then we’d still be searching around antiquated textbooks and doing this in our home living rooms and calling it fitness.

I cannot recall an era, grant it this is the only era I’ve lived it, but I cannot recall an era where there has been this much free, quality information.  I don’t mean free awareness information that ends up bumming you out like those Sara McLachlan commercials, I’m talking free info that actually improves and strengthens your life.

A lot.

Starting out as a greenhorn trainer I’d constantly read up on the likes of Nia Shanks, Tony Gentilcore, Eric Cressey, Ben Bruno, John Romaniello, Robb Wolf, John Berardi and more.  And I didn’t pay a friggin’ dime for it.  I mean seriously, how cool is that?  Just by reading that sentence right there you instantly gained 100 pounds on your squat.

That.  Just.  Happened.

And Al Gore did it.

Further, I’ve come into contact with other great websites from smaller, lesser known guys like Clifton Harski.  Came across his blog the other day and am a fan.  Would have no clue who he is if not for the advent of fitness websites like this and many other people doing good things.

The ability to get information and learn new things has never been easier.

The Dawn of the She-Ninja

Perhaps I am wrong.  I am usually not.  When was the last Halley’s comet?  That’s when I was last wrong about something. Is it just me or in the last decade have women upped their game substantially?  Not only do we see women around the country doing heavy deadlifts, presses, squats, cleans, pull-ups, sprints and carrying things that are heavier than the collective weight of all four appendages but….

…they LIKE it?

And further, they’re lean??

….and hot??

We have women at Performance360 who can run circles around men, pick up heavier things and assume control of lunch money whenever they please.

It goes without say as an appreciator of hot, physically and mentally strong women that I am a fan of this movement.

Nutritional Awareness

I think we are witnessing a major paradigm shift on how the public not only views nutrition in America, but how they act on it.  This is the first time you have a large group of people bypassing the food warehouse, electing not to load up on seven thousand grams of whole grain and sixty three million cups of Yoplait, instead opting for local stores to seek out strange concepts known as grass-fed beef, locally grown produce and whole food not made in a laboratory.

Books like “Ominore’s Dilemma”, “In Defense of Food”, “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, “Paleo Solution”, etc. are all simultaneously raising real health awareness and doing it with a great message.

You can make fun of the Paleo crowd all you want but the reality is they ultimately promote health, regardless of how much they might let you know about it.  Eat real food that’s high in protein, healthy fats and low in sugar.  Can’t hate on that message.

More Specialized Gyms

It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the access to more information, but a lot of the reason for the improvement in training is the massive influx of locally, intelligently owned gyms that have popped up around the country.

Gyms like P360, local strength and conditioning facilities, kettlebell studios, CrossFit, etc. are all getting people out of the leg press and underneath a barbell, creating individual kinetic awareness on a widespread level.

I’ve made the change from chain to local and seen probably two dozen of my friends follow suit all in the last year.  Compound that across an entire nation and you get a large group of people training a heck of a lot better than a few years ago.

Less Collective Dumb Assery

I’m not picking favorites on where you train.  While I poke fun I fully realize you are capable of getting a great workout at globo gyms if you go against the grain a bit.  Even in the larger, machine-oriented gyms you see folks breaking away and doing their own things, writing their own smarter programming, including easy, yet important modalities like single work and taking cues from some of the experts to take control of their own health.

We’re witnessing larger gyms adding more barbells, plyometric boxes and implements that actually allow you to use your body and dictate the range of motion, not following the path of a machine.  It takes lots of people to create that demand and the fact corporate gyms are noticing and catching on is pretty cool.

Might be bad for business.  I wish they’d stay retro and just add more and more Pec Decks, but it rocks for America’s fitness.

Now, all of that said we are not quite there yet.

The Bad

Too Much Hate

Type in an address into Google maps and you’ll likely get three different routes on how to get there.  Training and diet can be very similar.  I certainly have my set principles on what I know to work for the results I want, but I also recognize that it’s not inherently “right” and probably flawed on some levels.   Show me a program that claims uniform perfection and I’ll show you a dirty, filthy hobo liar.

If I had a nickel for every time a member of mine told me a gym across town made disparaging remarks towards our gym and myself personally I’d have probably, like fifty cents. I get it.  They hate my stupid face, our stupid gym and this stupid blog.  Thing is, I don’t care that they seem obsessed with us but it brings up a great point on a much wider scale.

There is far too much insecurity in the fitness industry.  Too much chest puffing bullshit that’s the fitness equivalent of little you-know-what syndrome.

I’m never the type to want to get along with everyone I meet so this isn’t a “can’t we all just get along moment”.  It’s more of a “just shut the fuck up and train” moment.

You see, I know my gym kicks ass and pumps out superheroes.  But, I also know that other gyms are doing some great things as well and can recognize that, absorbing the positives they offer instead of publicly promoting their negatives.

Too many people in this industry still validate their own existence by spotlighting other’s negatives which is why I snapped and wrote this.

It serves one good purpose, however.  It separates the true ballers from those who are insecure about their knowledge and bash others because they can’t confidently articulate their own positives. When you promote yourself this way you reveal a lack of knowledge in the area you’re claiming expertise.

…Write that down.

The Ugly

Things like this still exist and despite all of the quality, free, easily accessible information above, people still buy it.  I was in a fitness store the other day and these were stocked directly next to the weight belts.

I died a little bit inside.

“I can feel the definition already!”

No, you can’t.  That’s just called using your arm for something other than DVR’ing Gossip Girl.

(Oh, yeah.  Don’t hate.  Don’t hate.  Don’t hate…)

The bottom line is that it’s definitely a great time to be into training, nutrition and fitness, guys and gals.  We have unparalleled access to great gyms, great information and great coaches.  Hell one can find a free meal plan completely specific for their goal at the snap of the fingers with a twenty minute internet search.  There is absolutely no excuse to sit idle and not take advantage of all of those leading the way to positively impact people.

Unless you have a shake weight, of course.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s