Fitness the Old Fashioned Way
By Admin | Monday, September 21, 2009 6:54:41 AM America/New_York
For regular readers of mine it is a much belabored point that the exercise industry is often far removed from health and fitness. That might seem like an odd comment but with the general levels of health so low and health spending so exorbitantly high, it is time to face up and realize things are headed in the wrong direction. While I have told people on many occasions, "the direction you are going, is the direction you are looking," it appears that much of the public is headed towards an extremely unhealthy life. Oddly enough for those of us within the health and fitness profession, this sad fact is both a call to arms and realization, albeit a grim one, that our services will always be in demand. Top quality training professionals who help their clients improve the quality of lives might be the ultimate "health care" plan that everyone can agree upon. In the simplest terms, it's time to shape up and take control of our own destiny!
The question of improving the overall health of the public is so far reaching because not only are we discussing the lack of active participation in healthy activities versus the proliferation of passive activities, but we're also facing the deadly problem of poor diet and quality-of-food sources. Incorporate busy work schedules and trying to juggle family life with your favorite exercise regimen, and the solutions aren't very easy. Those concerns aside, given the enormous cost that failing health and rising rates of obesity is waging on both the public and private sector, it is time for a new look at the problem. This is of paramount importance for the overall health of the broad population and, yes, lowering the tremendous economic cost that this problem creates for nations and businesses. Stripped away from pandering, hidden agenda or politics, it's time for an honest plan to restore health across the globe that is based upon personal accountability. This is the plan you really can believe in: the Renegade Health Care Plan.
Call it a "revolution" if you will, but in my opinion the solution starts with a bit of old fashioned accountability and, in a more tangible expression, generalized fitness work. While I'll save the topic on "accountability" for another time lest the editor become quite annoyed at the length of this article, generalized fitness work in the form of "simple" bodyweight callisthenics has not only survived every fad the industry has presented during my lifetime but still surpasses them in results.
Callisthenics work has many positives. Firstly, the easiest way to get past the hurdle of difficult fitness work is to perform within a group. It is the last card that every good coach knows they can count on. When things are tough, the motivation of others will drive the lower members to great heights. Once your group comes together as a "team," your work will be complete as the "fun factor" in exercise takes over and people learn that working hard is rewarding.
Secondly, generalized fitness work will increase work threshold, reduce body fat, assist in muscular recovery and joint mobility, and will provide a unique variation to training that may have become monotonous or routine.
Within Renegade Training we will make use of equal parts non-weighted (bodyweight callisthenics) and weighted movements. Though in the past I have made use of implements and non-conforming objects in the weighted section, a dedicated individual could make use of the "In Search of Power" series (parts 1-7) and derive similar benefits.
Prior to going through a typical session, let me also state that this in no way replaces "fun" sporting / recreational activities, but merely adds to the them as a form of "active recovery." Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that few people take part in such activities, so it is a moot point. Additionally for the young dedicated bodybuilder / exercise enthusiast, this is an important addition to your workout as it enhances recovery and allow you to train harder and more frequently.
The most basic variation circuit of simple bodyweight calisthenics is broken down into active recovery (i.e. jumping jacks, shuffle splits) along with semi-explosive work (i.e. burpees/ squat thrusts and mountain climbers). Each section of "active recovery" and "semi-explosive" work consists of two consecutive sections of thirty seconds each for a total circuit of two minutes of constant movement.
To add to this simple, at-home training session, add thirty seconds of fisted push-ups, a "round" (three minutes) of rope skip and a further thirty seconds of fisted push-ups for a nice compact six-minute circuit. Repeat two to three sets each day at the break of dawn and along with a balanced diet and solid nutritional plan, fitness levels will soar with your Renegade Health Care Plan.
I will expand upon this greatly in the future but in the meantime it's time to turn back the clock, and revive fitness the old-fashioned way.