3 Steps To Notice Fads

Circa 1960. America is blossoming into a force that is becoming recognized by the rest of the world. The average family has a car, a white picket fence, and 2.5 kids. Most women are stay at home moms, but this doesn’t stop them from being a driving force in a brand new market; the fitness industry. Since the world of fitness is just an infant at this point there are few experts to contest or support wild claims. Unlike modern society, the women of the day want to be as curveless as possible. Cue the VBM (Vibrating Belt Machine). Why sweat when you can walk into a gym full of women, hop on a machine, tether a belt to your waist and let it vibrate the fat away from you. Even though this trend couldn’t even grasp the nation’s interest for a decade we still remember and joke about it to this very day.

“Pssh, can you believe how silly those women must have felt”

“Cha bro, who falls for stuff like that”

“Totes. Btw I think my super fat shredder plus pills are working. If you squint hard enough you see my 2 pac.”

“Righteous bro.”

Of course, what is American known for other than its ridiculously high obesity rates and awesome comebacks? VBM’s are becoming increasingly popular once again, but with a new look. Power plates are vibrating platforms that you can exercise on. They’re extremely expensive and becoming extremely popular. This is literally a fad that people are “hopping onto.”

As a strength and conditioning coach, I am immersed in the secular world of fitness. Even though there are now a plethora of experts in my field, the same plight from the 60’s continues to wreak havoc on our progress as a profession; FADS.

Fad: an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze. (Also see shakeweight)

There is one sure fire way to be skeptical towards any upcoming fad; spend 6 years at a university with a good professorial staff who beat facts into your head day in and out. If for some reason you’re not excited about taking the same path as me you could also follow a few of these steps.

Trust no-one right off of the back:
When a fad is birthed from the womb of trendiness, carsalesmenesk people will immediately adopt it as their own baby and try and sell it to you. Don’t listen to them. They will say that their fitness craze will change your life, fatten up your bank account, and it might even help you find the love of your life. You both know it’s a lie, but everyone from Drew Brees to your best friend’s cousin say it works, so you decide that it sounds interesting. At this point you’ve become victim to the plight of peer pressure. Instead of hanging on to every pre-rehearsed word they say, remain skeptical until you hear something grounded.

If it claims to:
·         Increase something by over 100%
·         Have a money back guarantee
·         Be the only one to provide a certain product/system
·         Do something that no one has ever done before
Ignore it because that’s all marketing hogwash and you’re better than that.

Recognize Marketing Hoopla
The effectiveness of a fitness gimmick is inversely proportionate towards its marketing budget. In other words, the more money a company spends on selling something rather than improving it the more “FADdish” it probably is. There is nothing wrong with a company pouring some money into getting a program going, but if a brand new fitness trend has the marketing budget of a campaigning politician you shouldn’t trust it; or the politician.

Don’t Trust Biased Data
If a supplement or a piece of fitness equipment claims to make some ridiculous results, don’t trust it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can increase your strength 300%; especially if it’s just some powder you take before exercising. I like to wait for true empirical data. If something claims to make people shredded, wait until they show you a lot of people who look shredded.

“But, then like, how do they get this research?”

Welcome back Mr. Broscience. The acclaimed research in these fit-fads comes from something called biased interpretation. For example, an exercise machine may claim to decrease body fat 300% greater than running. That sounds pretty cool right? Until you look into their “study.” The “researchers” will take the “subjects” and break them into two categories “randomly.” However, one category has a bunch of lean people, and the other has a bunch of morbidly obese individuals. They then begin an exercise intervention on both groups using the different training methods. However, in the ridiculously fat person group, they also include a diet intervention. Low and behold, 6 weeks later the heavy set group has lost an average of 6 pounds while the runners only lost 2. Now you answer me, does that seem unbiased?

Sure, fitness fads can snake their way through these 3 simply steps, but at least you have 3 more chances to keep yourself from falling victim to their devilish ways. I’m not saying that trying new things is bad. If you want to crossfit, then crossfit. If you want to try P90x, then do it. But we need to evaluate things a little deeper than, “Patricia said she lost 20 pounds” as research. You read ENDU, which means you’re smarter than the average bear; don’t fall for any traps.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.