Some Ranting and Thoughts on Fitness in Mainstream TV…

Posted: July 28, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Articles

I’ll be the first to admit, Im very opinionated when it comes to the fitness profession.

Me?! Shocking, shocking, I know. But it is true.

I am this way because it is important to me in what it is and what it can do and I hold it to a higher standard than most. I think it should be done professionally, safely, effectively and in a timely manner. I think we as true fitness professionals are the true healthcare system in this generation. The current medical field is sick care. You go there when something is wrong, but what about being preventative before something becomes a need? That is what we do and in the process we truly change lives and I don’t take that lightly.

The issue comes because there isn’t a higher standard that personal trainers and fitness professionals are held to. A lot of the time, a personal trainer will take a weekend cert or even worse an internet test and become a “certified personal trainer” and boom, they are free to do whatever and make the true fitness professionals not look too great. I hold fitness to a higher standard than that and wish that standard was more commonplace.

This is why I don’t do “bootcamps in the park.” I am a professional who invested in a facility and adequate equipment to get people to their goals.

This is why I don’t recommend in home workouts done on paper plates. Because that isn’t what a professional does and isn’t what will get you to your goals.

This is why I am constantly learning, getting better and evolving, because I want to constantly bring the best possible product and value I can to everyone I can.

This is why I put all clients through a thorough and detailed movement and ability assessment in order to build as individualized program as I possibly can.

This is why I don’t believe in training that runs people into the ground with random workouts meant to make you tired. I want to make people better. Leave them better in every way walking out of the gym than when they walked in.

I also think that responsible, no fluff, no bullshit, efficient, effective, individualized training built on the foundational and functional movement and no jogging is what everyone should be striving for, what everyone should be interested in and should be what is talked about in the mainstream media/magazines… and what would make good television – getting the correct message to the masses.

This brings me to the fitness industries portrayal on television. I cant watch most of the garbage that is out there like biggest loser and extreme weight loss because it just makes me angry but I can watch American Muscle, (no, not my nickname in High School), the new show on the Discovery Channel showcasing Mike Barwis of Barwis Methods, a small chain of strength and conditioning facilities in Michigan. Im actually more familiar with Mike Barwis than the average TV-goer, as my business partner, Geoff worked under Barwis at WVU. Im familiar with him and Im familiar with how he does things. He has a great training system, trains everyone from elite professional athletes to the very physically disabled, gets amazing results and does great things for the strength and conditioning field, fitness profession and follows everything I talked about striving for earlier in this post.

But you wouldn’t necessarily know any of that from watching the first two episodes. This is obviously no fault of Mike Barwis or Barwis Methods. But it does speak to a bigger point that, at least in Discovery Channel’s opinion and I’d say the general overall opinion is that what is effective, responsible, results achieving training isn’t what people are interested in or want to see.

Take the very first episode for example, it was centered around strength and conditioning’s “hypertrophy” program. This is an advanced program in athletic development and sports performance training that encompasses a whopping 2 weeks of the athletes 52 week year and some great coaches don’t even include it at all. It is a high intensity, very short duration program in which sometimes form is not 100% ideal, failure in training is reached and limits are tested. Three things that rarely happen in the other 50 weeks of the year. So why was this the emphasis of the FIRST episode?

Apparently because that is what people want to see and is the “sexy” training. Why? I have no idea.

Why didn’t the first episode focus around Mike, his methods and a couple of clients/athletes who were going through the extensive technique, form or exercise practice that all clients/athletes go through prior to any program, let alone a hypertrophy program?

Why didn’t it go over the extensive “warm up”/movement preparation and patterning, mobility drills and activation drills athletes go through prior to working out?

Rather, it chose to showcase an extremely small subset of an athletes yearly training, that depending on how long their training time is doesn’t even happen and feature an athlete (Richard Sherman) who doesn’t even train at the facility? Ratings is why it was the case. But why that is what gets ratings, I don’t know. I obviously know why the best cornerback (Sherman) in the NFL gets ratings and that doesn’t bother me at all but I don’t know why a looser form, overly high intensity program that no general population client, no beginner or even intermediate athlete would go through would be the emphasis of the first episode.

I like the show and I like quality strength and conditioning and fitness professionals becoming more mainstream, unlike the Jillian Michaels of the world who should in no way be and I intend in no way to talk ill of American Muscle or Mike Barwis at all. But it is a good example of a bigger issue in the fitness industry which is extremely rampant and more prevalent in things like the biggest loser and extreme weight loss, which I would have used as better examples but I cant stomach watching such crap.

I don’t like at all however how the mainstream has shifted from endless low intensity long duration cardio, machines and zumba and things that dont work to the complete opposite end of the spectrum in high intensity, make you vomit, make you tired for no reason, would injure the average person nonsense and things that work until they hurt you or burn you out, it has become.

Know what I think should be in the mainstream? Things like this…

April B+A 1

Suzanne B&A 1

Steve B&A 1

Mary C B&A 1

And not necessarily their pictures but rather their stories about how they trained responsibly “only” 3-4 hours a week, with no machines or treadmills, on individualized programs specific to their exact needs and abilities, with an intensity that was neither too low nor excessively high, never puked, never snatched a barbell as many times as they could in 5 minutes or swung a kettlebell over their head, never starved, never did any jogging or low intensity long duration “cardio”, never got injured or ran into the ground and got amazing, sustainable, life changing results built into their lifestyle in the process.

That is what gets people to their goals, keeps them safe and makes them better in every way and should be what we see everywhere. That’s my rant for the day, as always feel free to leave a comment over on the Danny Twoguns facebook with any and all feedback you may have.

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