Workout Schizophrenia Runs Rampant in the Fitness Industry
There seems to be elements of mass delusion in the world of fitness training these days. What do I mean by that? Well, before I explain, let’s gain an understanding of the word schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a psychology term and when used in general conversation refers to “a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.”¹
Indeed, there is a problem in the fitness industry with respect to training consistency.
Contradictory elements and inconsistency are rampant within the personal training industry today. This problem has manifested itself in the popular idea that clients should use a different flow in yoga, or a complete change-up to every workout, no matter what type, every time they come to the gym or studio. Trainers have morphed and twisted workout types and disciplines into an asymmetrical blob of gobbled-goop, and pop culture has swallowed it hook, line, sinker and cork! This is workout schizophrenia.
Without a doubt workout innovation is necessary to improve the way that we train so that we can get better and faster results. But innovation should come with discipline and product integrity. In fitness, this means that as trainers experiment with new ways to workout, they should not lose sight of one of the most important and fundamental training principles of all…CONSISTENCY. Specifically, I am talking about consistency within a workout type. One of the big problems is that trainers forget to codify their innovations into a discipline, and, therefore, it is never presented as such to their clients. In other words, many trainers are effectively saying to their clients that schizophrenia is good for their fitness program. There is an epidemic of this psychotic practice in the fitness industry and it needs to be called out. Customers deserve better.
It should stand to reason that fitness requires discipline through consistency!
Trainers must first understand that a good workout should either fall into a workout “type”, or should be codified through proper experimentation and testing into a new workout type. What is a workout type? A workout type is a single session workout that falls into the scope of a discipline such as yoga, or weight training, or Pilates.
Sometimes, a workout type can stand alone as an invention, possibly giving way to a new discipline. For example, HOTWORX created the first ever fusion of (1)infrared energy, (2)heat, and (3)isometrics/HIIT, and with that combination, has incorporated multiple workout types into an entirely new discipline, or workout method. This new method is called 3D Training.
One of the most effective workout types ever created is Bikram yoga. Fifty years ago Bikram was a new yoga workout. It was introduced and presented clearly as new workout type within the discipline of yoga, but with absolute control through consistency. The incredible effectiveness of the Bikram workout as a type cannot be denied. The results are world renowned and well documented. Bikram practices the same 26 postures in the same sequence for every workout.
Today, people new to fitness are rarely taught the importance of consistency and sameness by their trainers and instructors. In fact, most of the time they are coached the opposite way, the way of inconsistency, or as described by this blog post, the way of workout schizophrenia. Beware of the trainer who coaches you to do an entirely different set of exercises every time you show up for weight training or yoga. Run for the hills. Find a trainer who values consistency and workout integrity, or one who at least understands the importance of what that means!
Progress can only be observed by improvements that can be measured!
It is nearly impossible to measure inconsistent activities. If there is no clear system, then there is nothing to measure, no standard as a guide. A consistent workout method brings definition and clarity to the fitness table.
The first step back to workout regime saneness is to understand exactly what a workout “type” is. A type of anything, when it is created, has unique character and needs a name. For example, when I created the very first HOTWORX workout, I gave it an appropriate name, Hot ISO, as a relevant label for a new type of isometrics that borrowed from yoga and athletic isometrics. Since its inception, Hot ISO has evolved slowly as a 30 minute hot exercise type of workout. The exercise flow remains familiar and consistent for clients with a logical flow of warm-up, upper body, lower body, core, cool down and self-myofascial release leading to the finishing salutation. It is done this way EVERY time, and yields incredibly positive fitness results for our customers.
Avoid the pop culture workout schizophrenia. Find workout types that adhere to a discipline and workout methods that value integrity of flow and regime.
Remain disciplined and consistent my friends!