In one of the Facebook groups I participate in we’ve been discussing some different body weight exercises and different types of exercise equipment over the years and it occurs to me that we, as humans, are always looking for that “quick fix” to get healthy. We are always searching for the magic exercise or that one piece of equipment that will do the trick and finally let us reach our goals.
Don’t believe me? Just turn on the television early any given morning and you’ll find ads for “Total Gym” this, “Body Blast” that, “PX-99” or whatever number they are up to now. In the past i remember ab rollers, rockers, and slides. Thigh masters and belly busters, and more gimmicks and gadgets than I can remember!
And even for the more serious lifters there have been “gimmicks” and fads too. Remember the first Universal machine? Nautilus equipment (state of the art in the eighties)? What about Soloflex, Bowflex, and I don’t know what other flex? Bullworker? These were (and are) all variations of the same principle. Lift heavier weights (aka increase resistance) and you will get stronger. Whether it’s from lifting iron and lead or carbon rods and rubber bands resistance is the key.
Even with plain old body weight exercises we have fads: crossfit (which does include weights I believe), planking, aerobics, Zumba, dance aerobics, “yoba” (yoga and Zumba combined), etc.
Now, to be fair, I think that all these things probably did work to one degree or another. If the person who bought or tried them actually used them more than a few days. That’s the trick. It doesn’t matter so much what you do as long as you do it. The truth is that there is only one way to build a bigger (or smaller), better, and healthier you – you have to exercise more and eat less (or eat more if you’re bulking – but most of us don’t have a problem getting enough calories. Nutrients are another matter).
I’m actually a fan of a few of the items and workouts I’ve listed above (I enjoyed working out with Nautilus equipment and still use a variety of machines – especially when I don’t have a spotter). There’s nothing wrong in using something as long as you use it. But you need one other thing along with the device/gadget/gimmick/fad…patience.
And don’t get me started on supplements…
PS – I’ve posted a few pictures of my favorite workout fads below. I haven’t used them all, but know people who have!
3 thoughts on “No Short Cuts”
Have you ever tried micro-loading? I found this very useful at times I was making little or no progress. However, I didn’t buy micro-loading plates, not sure they had been invented then. I instead used ferrite magnets. At the end of each workout, in readiness for my next workout, I stuck one 50gram magnet at each end of a pair of iron dumbbells. After 19 workouts, I could replace all the magnets with 1kg plates, then start again. Does not sound much, but this was a pair of dumbells I used for alternate curling. Over the course of a few months, I made great strides. I made some heavier sheet steel plates for the barbells. I recommend micro-loading especially for anyone reading this who’s just begun weight training. Sometimes, adding a pair of the smallest conventional plates to a dumbbell can be too great a leap.
I have not tried micro-loading. But I’m going to look into it now. Might help me push past a current sticking point with my bicep training! Thanks.
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My love of weightlifting began with a Soloflex. And when on vacation, I am happy to see a hotel gym with a Nautilus/Universal. But, I agree, the trick is finding the “thing” that keeps you coming back week after week, month after month, and year after year.