We have come a long way in the health and fitness industry. If you look back only a few years ago you would have noticed that the fitness world was dominated by bodybuilding with a focus purely on physique. Times are changing however, people in the health and fitness industry arestill focused on improving physique, but there has been a new addition to the game and this is astrong focus on athletic performance.
In 2007 the very first CrossFit games was held at Aromas ranch in California, basically a farm covered in dirt and hay. A small number of people crowded around and watched athletes perform Olympic lifting, power lifting and gymnastics used in combination for time, reps androunds. This event was a game changer to the fitness world and from this point onwards people began to take notice of the effect functional training can have on fitness and physique. People who once would only use dumbbells and machines in the gym began to step on an Olympic lifting platform and begin practicing the clean and jerk as well as using Olympic rings instead of dip bars.
There has been a lot of slack thrown towards the CrossFit scene from athletes competing in sports and specified athletics as well as the general public at large. Whatever the view may be, you cannot deny the fact that this style of training birthed a new era of fitness where more and more people are now interested in improving athletic performance as well as physique. This is undeniably a positive point.
From the functional fitness scene birthed a new perspective on nutrition also. Diets such as Paleo (Paleolithic) began to gain traction with this new fitness movement. People were taking their diets ‘back to basics’ by eliminating agricultural products such as grains, legumes, processed dairy (instead of raw) refined salt, refined sugar and processed oils. This nutritional perspective gained much controversy especially among modern dieticians and nutritionists because Paleo goes against the ‘healthy food pyramid’. The question has then be asked to modern dieticians/nutritionists, if the healthy food pyramid states that the majority of our energy intake should come from grain based products such as; breads, pastas and cereals; why is the world’s health at the most serious critical point in history?
Perhaps this new age of nutrition, which brings us back to basics and encouraging us to move away from processed foods, is the way forward. Whatever your belief, the proof will be in the pudding, eliminate refined sugar and grain based products from your diet for 14 days and see how you look and feel.
The third addition to the fitness world has been the additional focus on self healing practices brought about by athletes and the general public training this functional way. People are beginning to understand how muscle and joints affect each other and self healing practices such as Trigger Point Therapy and Active Release Technique (ART) are becoming huge on the scene.
Many gyms you walk into (including commercial gyms) will have foam rollers stacked against the wall and a select few will sport lacrosse balls in order to release muscles, joints and muscle fascia to enhance performance, heal minor injuries and ensure the prevention of injuries.
I believe that going back to basics is the way forward along with the addition of some excellent 21st century supplements and training techniques. We are at an exciting time in history and the health and fitness world is reflecting this change where there is an integration of ancient knowledge combined with new age knowledge which will enable us to reveal the athlete within every person.
By Ryan McTeigue, Owner of Primal FHN