Over the years there have been an abundance of fitness ‘crazes’, going all the way back to aerobics in the 80’s, to stair masters and the like, then spinning, and Tae-Bo just to name a few. And like fanatics in other areas of life where beauty/results are subjective, opinions of effectiveness will vary. Unfortunately the major difference with health and fitness eccentrics is that it’s your physical well being that can be damaged. Now this is usually not irreparable but in some cases it can cause negative long-lasting effects. Issues range from minor physical problems like chronic pain, but also psychological problems including phobias of pushing and exerting your body.
So a good idea if you see a new workout fad or craze that seems interesting or fun, is to start slow. I understand that some new ideas are viable but the key is to know your levels of ability and self monitor your training. For example a current craze is CrossFit. In itself Crossfit is a good workout but a concept that does not have a lot of merit. One of the pre-requisites for success is knowing your own capabilities prior to beginning the program and knowing your limitations. Don’t get caught up in the hype or energy at the detriment of your health or level of condition. If done correctly and smartly you can improvement your level of conditioning and endurance.
The premise of CrossFit is that almost all exercise is a team sport and to push it to the max all the time. Now in theory this might seem to maximize your gym time but it is not for everyone, and its been noted that people are experiencing injuries such as back, knee, and shoulder injuries in the course of the rigorous program. Now training is like crossing the street, sure the cars should look out for you also have to assume that they don’t where you’re going so you have to make some decisions on your own. The verdict is that if you go into this type of training with a bit of self monitoring and listening to your body you can get a great deal of benefit and you may find this type of training is motivating for you, thus yielding the desired results and that’s the name of the game. If not there are other types of programs that might not be as ‘high intensity’ but effective just the same. Try different things and find what works for you, in the end that will be the most productive regiment of all.