Phoenix Ignition Fitness Company

Fitness Science: The False Security of Home Exercise Programs

by Ron Kennedy • November 17, 2016
Home fitness programs. The concept was innovated moments after primitive man begin lifting heavier objects to improve their strength and stamina levels for their survival needs. It has been marketed to the point of obscurity, catch phrases, trendy videos, and can we even count the amount of useless gimmicky exercise equipment sold in infomercials (I’m looking at you Butt Blaster). Consumers have been offered everything from TaeBo, P90X, “Insanity” to old school offerings like abs and buns of steel. I hate to admit it, but even this veteran personal trainer’s first experience with concentrated exercise was waking up before school and doing and Abs of steel tape in the wee hours of the morning. The trend for home fitness programs has been steadily increasing from a marketing stand point, with sales going well into the billions. But before we you invest in the latest update to a series of DVD’s; I would like to share some considerations you should make about the cons of home fitness programs.

The flexibility of time does seem like the greatest benefit of these fitness programs. No rushing to the gym before or after work, scheduling sessions with a fitness trainer and arranging your day around it, no crowded gym. The concept of doing your workout when you want to is one of the biggest selling points… but it is also one of the biggest setbacks as well. Your training sessions do depend on your own timetable and personal commitments, but one of the most common pot holes for success in the world of fitness is lack of accountability. If you have a hard time getting to gym or your training session, how much harder will it be to change into workout clothes when you arrive home and throw on that exercise video when you just want to unwind from a long day of work and catch up on some binge watching through Netflix? Just because you have the flexibility of doing your workout whenever you like doesn’t mean you have it any easier to follow through with that commitment.

The primary reason people go to a gym is equipment. A vast selection of free weights, resistance machines, cardiovascular areas, all the bells and whistles you could ask for and the environment to be creative and challenged. For most of us, whatever we could assemble at home doesn’t hold a flame to even a modest fitness center. Our team works with clients in their homes. Most of the time the assortment of equipment consists of a few dumbbells, a set of resistance bands, and a stability ball. Granted, we do provide additional equipment to enhance the training sessions, but those sessions are typically prescribed for beginner fitness enthusiasts, those recovering from injury, or the older demographic who do not require more advanced fitness equipment to reach peak levels for their age. Even the most effective home exercise programs that provide equipment in those packages have a very difficult task of appealing to more advanced prospects. Take a standard leg press for example. A very cumbersome piece of equipment, heavy weights to accompany it, bulky, load, and ugly as sin. Why anyone would want such a thing in their home of garage is beyond me. Yet no one can deny the effectiveness of it. The isolation it provides for the leg muscles, the muscle it can produce, the lack of pressure it puts on the joints but does apply to the muscles. Its results can’t be argued with, and for those of us that wish to maintain a muscular physique, some quality time with the leg press is a weekly event. No program I have seen or gimmicky home exercise tool can produce the same result. Yes, you can do squats/jumps/lunges etc. for 2 minutes straight to achieve the burn, but sometimes you just need the proper tools to get the job done. Home training programs that don’t come along with a fully equipped gym is liking asking a 5-star chef to make a gourmet dinner with just a spoon and a can of chili.

Static training over dynamic training. I don’t care how many updates, versions 2.0, 3.0, EXTREME addition, “power pump”, “Super Advanced”, or whatever the marketing team wants to call the recycled product, once you complete the workout video... your body begins to adapt. We discuss the concept of static training over dynamic training with every prospect and client we work with. Static training is like watching your favorite movie repeatedly and expecting a different ending. No matter if you start the movie “Titanic” (Spoiler Alert) at the beginning, the middle, or the end, Leo is always going to freeze to death and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Doing the same exercises over and over, even if you change the order and or intensity, will not produce dynamic results. No matter what… Leo is going down. No matter how many updates your home fitness program gives you, once you go through the video for the first time, your body begins to adapt. By the 4th or 5th time, your muscles push themselves just hard to get through the intensity they know is coming, but rarely go beyond. A major setback for home exercise programs. Dynamic training on the other hand changes every element weekly or even daily to maximize the effectiveness of the fitness training. We use a science called “Meta-Endurance” which was purposely designed to force the muscles to adapt to different angles of focus, speeds of contractions, volume of blood, and a great many more aspects that we customize for our clients. With dynamic training, muscles are forced to produce higher levels of stamina, faster twitch contractions, massive dilation, whatever the focus for the client might be. A very difficult task to accomplish with simply replaying the video you have already completed 5+ times.

The level of results and dedication to fitness certainly is in the eye of the beholder. I put myself through routines and disciplines that I wouldn’t ask of from most people I know. Yet, if you do have serious approach to success in the fitness realm, please don’t be fooled by the fast-talking sales pitches of late night infomercials or fitness models making outrageous claims of how they achieved their results from following a 4 week home exercise program… with diet included. There is no substitute for hard work, and though home training program do have their benefits, most of the time they over promise and under deliver.