The Degradation of Fitness Science: One Example

Written by Brian D. Johnston

Continued from page 1

2. Functional exercise is always a means to an end (with examples of gathering wood to stay warm, lifting stones, and doing calisthenics inrepparttar army to stay "strong enough" to fulfill duties). In other words, perform movement patterns that are essential to your work or sports environment. I work at a computer forrepparttar 137418 most part, and so perhaps I should perform some keyboard typing overload exercises. Sarcasm aside, most of us have enough strength to complete daily activities, and to mimic those activities with resistance often does us worse than good. An example in sports would be sprinting with heavy weights attached torepparttar 137419 body withrepparttar 137420 notion that our sprinting will improve, although sprinting mechanics obviously would alter under such circumstances. Moreover, consider elbow flexion that occurs when we lift an object, andrepparttar 137421 elbow flexion that occurs during dumbbell or machine arm curls. Wouldrepparttar 137422 latter not have a positive bearing onrepparttar 137423 former? Certainly it would, but since it is not "exact" to everyday movements,repparttar 137424 author condemns such actions, and without realizing that any "functional exercise" also is not exact to daily activities (unlessrepparttar 137425 same resistance and movement patterns exist, and if so, it no longer would be exercise but activities of daily living).

The author talks aroundrepparttar 137426 issue of isolation training to improve function by statingrepparttar 137427 following: "Training muscles with isolation methods to achieve increased mass in specific muscle is only functional if your goal is to compete in bodybuilding competitions, or specific rehabilitation procedures or as part of a well-designed isolation-to-integration program." Certainly "isolation to integration" could mean performing daily tasks and activities better as a result of larger and stronger muscles that were produced as a result of using machines or free-weights, as has been done for several decades.

He continues: "There must be a goal motivatingrepparttar 137428 selection of exercises or one cannot ascertain whetherrepparttar 137429 outcome is functional or dysfunctional." Inrepparttar 137430 previous paragraph he clearly acknowledges that a weak chain can be made stronger by (greater) isolation, yet ignores its value unless it can be proven thatrepparttar 137431 outcome improves function (inrepparttar 137432 individualís best interests to achieve another goal). If that goal is to feel better, look better, and function better, then any exercise in any medium (free weight, machine, rubber band, calisthenics, etc.) has that potential. The extent to which that happens varies, thus depending onrepparttar 137433 quality of movement and effort far more than how dynamic (the use of several muscles in an unfixed environment) or unstable an exercise happens to be.

Moreover, a few things are wrong withrepparttar 137434 authorís statement above. One,repparttar 137435 ultimate goal may be aesthetics, and there is nothing wrong with that, but pointless according torepparttar 137436 author since that aspect of a fitness program means nothing to him. Two, injuries arerepparttar 137437 result of weak links, and there is no better way of addressing this issue than through means of specific exercise that is as isolated as possible, whether through single-joint movements or not. It is like working on an entire house when you knowrepparttar 137438 problem to berepparttar 137439 support beams. If you need to strengthenrepparttar 137440 support beams, then forget aboutrepparttar 137441 shingles or windows. Three, function required in specific activity requires practice ofrepparttar 137442 specific activity to improve that ability, whereas exercise provides general conditioning and strength improvements that then supportrepparttar 137443 specific sporting movements. Hence, truly functional training involvesrepparttar 137444 specific motor skills of a particular activity, and not movement patterns that "sort of" resemble an activity but which uses different loads, different velocities, different movement patterns, different balancing requirements, etc.

3. Selection of an exercise or exercise regimen must considerrepparttar 137445 desired outcome on all primary physiological systems ofrepparttar 137446 body (including hormonal, musculoskeletal, circulatory, immune, thermoregulatory, visceral and neurological). And "every intent and attempt should be to improverepparttar 137447 exerciserís physiology through exercise, orrepparttar 137448 exercise regimen canít be considered functional." Please explain how stabilizing on a Swiss ball while performing dumbbell presses can account for allrepparttar 137449 primary physiological systems, whereas workingrepparttar 137450 muscles with heavier resistance and with greater physical/mental effort in a stable environment cannot.

Moreover, it takes little effort to improve all these systems even onrepparttar 137451 worst program (whether stable or unstable), and so it goes without saying that improvement will occur in all aspects to some extent. To what extent improvement will occur depends on many factors more important than trying to maintain balance while moving weights inrepparttar 137452 hopes that you will not fall off a ball or wobble board as opposed to using a machine, factors such asrepparttar 137453 quality and effort ofrepparttar 137454 program overall. Differences in results become obvious if one were to compare a person who (purposely) puts forth little effort while followingrepparttar 137455 authorís "functional" workout with rubber cables and Swiss balls as opposed to a person who tries very hard with an Author Jones intense workout on Nautilus or MedX machines. In this example it should be obvious who will makerepparttar 137456 best changes, andrepparttar 137457 opposite also would be true of a person who tries very hard on any so-called "functional" program as opposed to a person whose performance is lackluster while using exercise machines.

4. Selection of an exercise or exercise regimen must take into account a personís emotional, mental and spiritual components. This statement is obvious, in that a properly prescribed program takes into accountrepparttar 137458 individual, butrepparttar 137459 author suggests that "the expenditure ofrepparttar 137460 life-force energy on a leg press is not bringing exercisers closer to complete well-being!" (exclamation his). Why should this berepparttar 137461 case withrepparttar 137462 leg press, or why should it not berepparttar 137463 case? There is no explanation behind his statement, but he does discloserepparttar 137464 following: "when an exercise program is functional, it supportsrepparttar 137465 collective needs ofrepparttar 137466 living organism andrepparttar 137467 body becomes progressively healthier, which positively influencesrepparttar 137468 emotions andrepparttar 137469 mind and affordingrepparttar 137470 spirit greater freedom of expression." What a load! (exclamation mine). How is it that a person can become one withrepparttar 137471 Universe by balancing on a ball or wobble board, or by moving about while yanking on some rubber bands or cable system, yet this cannot be achieved on a leg press? What isrepparttar 137472 scientific evidence?

Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification institute at He has written over 12 books and is a contributor author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries, and can be reached at

5 Questions You Need To Answer Before Purchasing a Treadmill

Written by Aaron Co

Continued from page 1

3) Where willrepparttar treadmill be used?

The size and weight ofrepparttar 137375 treadmill you will buy is another factor to be considered. If you have limited space at home, then buying a huge treadmill would not be a smart move. Also, an extremely heavy treadmill is recommended to be only onrepparttar 137376 ground floor of an old house.

For those with limited spaces at home, you might want to choose a treadmill with foldable feature. This allows you to foldrepparttar 137377 treadmill after use to save space.

4) What features do you need?

You need to determinerepparttar 137378 features that would be useful to you and be sure thatrepparttar 137379 treadmill you will buy has those features. If you want to workout in your target heart rate then make sure thatrepparttar 137380 machine you will be buying has a heart rate monitor.

5) How much can you afford?

Finally, know how much you can really spend for a treadmill then, considering numbers 1-4, chooserepparttar 137381 treadmill in that price range that suits you best. If you canít find your perfect treadmill in that price range, then you might have to look for one with a higher price tag.

If you need a webpage which categorizesrepparttar 137382 best treadmills by price, visit

Well, there you have it. Hopefully these treadmill buying guide questions was able to enlighten you onrepparttar 137383 kind of treadmill that you really need.

Aaron Co is the founder of A website that provides unbiased treadmill reviews so shoppers can choose the fitness equipment that suits them best. For more treadmill and treadmill related articles, visit

This article may be reprinted in its entirety only if unaltered and the resource box is included, with live and spiderable links.

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