9 Top Coaches Share the Fitness Trends They Hope Would Go Away

These top personal trainers want to cut through the misinformation echo chamber and put a stop to these silly fitness trends once and for all.

Imagine you had a magic wand, and you had the power to make one thing disappear from the face of the earth. What would it be? Your in-laws or your small calves? You better choose wisely on that one.

In workout speak, there are some fitness fads that never go out of style — like barbells and biceps curls. But there are other trends some coaches wish would — boof! — like magic, disappear for good.

Here, nine well-known and experienced coaches got the chance to pick up their strength-training scepter and wave it at the one trend they hope they could make go magically away.

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A post shared by Lee Boyce (@coachleeboyce)


Lee Boyce, strength coach, writer, and educator who teaches tall guys the best way to put on muscle and get strong: @coachleeboyce

“People already make these kinds of content in order to attract shares and likes and follows, but especially when they posture it as a “challenge” it makes other people feel obligated to go do it too – rather than just congratulate or like the individual who made the post.

That may not be a big deal if it’s something like running a few sprints or doing something smart – but when it comes to very dangerous acts like heavy weight mixed with instability (as an example), things go in a bad direction. This is not something I want to see going forward in social media in 2022.

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Andrew Coates, personal trainer, fitness writer, mentor, and host of the “Lift Free Diet Hard” podcast: @andrewcoatesfitness

I would banish one of the most insidious trends: nutritional extremism and tribalism, now both prevalent in influencer media and rampant in the general population.

We all know born-again keto evangelists. People so insecure in their belief in the superiority of keto they aggressively seek to convert friends, family, and co-workers to their tribe. All so they can all eat keto for five days until binging carbs on the weekend. Only to restart keto on Monday because it worked the last time.

We have entire tribes built around dietary ideology. People have their #diet in their social media bio, or worse, Keto Kevin or Carnivore Christine have their diet so forefront in their sense of identity, they introduce themselves to the world this way.

Devolving into battling tribes does nothing to help the person struggling to be healthier and lose fat. They’re confused by conflicting and often false claims and intimidated by seemingly intense and restrictive approaches to nutrition.

In the hands of most people struggling to lose weight, these diets function as little more than fads to jump between, continuing life of yo-yo dieting, the gradual decline of muscle mass and metabolic rate, and inevitable regain of fat beyond the last starting point. If someone asks you, “Are these cookies Paleo?” turn and run.

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Mike T. Nelson Ph.D., metabolism fitness professional, strength coach, and educator who specializes in tailoring nutrition to the individual: @drmiketnelson

Bench Press Billy shows up to train chest only every Monday trying to raise Mike Mentzer’s ghost with his last set of beyond failure training where his buddy is doing bentover rows while yelling, “It’s all, you bro!”

Kudos to Billy for showing up and the effort. However, he has not made any progress the entire year other than creaky mad shoulders and looking more like a human cashew every day. Instead, show up with violent consistency and apply effort (aka, do the work).

But for the love of Joe Weider, have a solid training plan! Stop with the flying by your glute max checking your IG between every set.

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Travis Pollen, Ph.D., exercise science professor, personal trainer, co-creator of Strength for Yoga program, and cofounder 3M Athletic Performance gym: @fitness_pollenator

My wish for 2022 is that one-size-fits-all approaches to a range of motion would go away. On one ridiculous extreme, you have social media influencers claiming a partial range of motion training is optimal for everyone. Think quarter squats and chinups where your forehead barely gets to bar level.

On the opposite extreme, you have other self-proclaimed experts insisting that everyone and their grandmother should train through ultra-deep ranges. Think sissy squats and split squats with a forward thrust of the knee.

Meanwhile, both sides blabber on and on about how their methods eliminate all your pain and basically turn you into a pro athlete. They like to use big words and tell sentimental stories to convince you of these supposedly self-evident truths.

Both approaches to a range of motion can work, but no single approach works for everyone. And dare I say it, a combination of full and partial range likely works best of all.

Frankly, the folks who claim 100 percent success with their pet-extremist approach are just out to steal your money. Heck, I’d be surprised if they even believe all the nonsense they spew. This year, I wish they would just disappear into the social media ether.

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Chris Cooper, strength and nutrition coach at Nerd fitness specializing in turning everyday folk into superheroes: @chris_coopercpt

Complicating exercises by combining a bunch of different moves into one, with the thinking that if you do more, it’ll be harder and therefore more effective needs to go.

What does end up happening is that you do something so complicated that the weight you’re using doesn’t sufficiently challenge you. It’s solely hard because of the complexity. The other thought process behind these complex exercises is the addition of bands or chains.

Again, the thinking is that you’re adding additional resistance to the exercise and therefore making it harder. But adding a band just for the sake of adding a band does nothing more than complicate the exercise.  Again, you are likely short-changing one exercise at the expense of making it look harder.

These complicated movements are great for Instagram likes, but not much for changing and challenging your muscles. Rule of thumb: Keep it simple.

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Kevin Mullins, personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Anatomy and author of “Day by Day: The Trainer’s Blueprint to Achieving Ultimate Success”: @kevinmullinsfitness

HIIT cardio isn’t the only “shock” to your metabolism worthy of burning fat. A simple lesson in bioenergetics demonstrates that we burn the most fat when the demand is on the lower end of the spectrum, and yet, people around the country are determined to lose fat “faster” by jumping over barbells and doing burpees or supersetting rowers and treadmill sprints in every workout.

While these peak metabolic performances can be beneficial in small doses (think 45 to 60 minutes a week for most people) — it doesn’t benefit us to only train for fatigue — a negative feedback loop that often influences poor food choices and the use of caffeine to stay awake in other hours of the day. It’s cortisol hell.

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A post shared by Detric Smith- Personal Trainer (@detric_smith)


Detric Smith, owner/personal trainer at Results Performance Training who spends his time developing youth athletes and training busy professionals: @detric_smith

The start of every year people are rushing to the gym to lose fat fast, and in the attempt to do that, they turn to social media. They go to see what the rich, famous, and good-looking people are doing to stay sexy. What usually happens is their workouts are extreme and far too difficult for the beginner but perfect for them.

But this doesn’t stop the beginner who throws themselves into it to speed up the process. Because if they can do it…

This is not the fault of celebrities. They are just doing what they do, promoting themselves. But my wish for 2022 is for those beginning their journey to just slow it down and think about how to maintain the fat loss in the long run. And to stop doing those crazy workouts that work for the genetically gifted or for those who have got nothing but time.

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A post shared by Daniel John (@coachdanjohn)


Dan John, world-renowned strength coach, author, and athlete who simplifies the complexity of health and fitness: @coachdanjohn

People worry too much about “core training” — a term that’s abused and overused. The word had trickled down into public consciousness. Moms quickly added it to their list of things they should be concerned about in their children’s development.

There’s a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes the core. Champion Olympic lifter Tommy Kono once said that the hips are the real core, and I can’t disagree. In fact, outside of the arms and the legs, I think all of the rest of the body is the “core.”

In watching people just get up off the ground (a major key for indicating overall body strength), I noticed that most people think the front of their neck is the core. It’s always the first to move.

All those years of crunches had taught them to first move the head. The human head weighs eight pounds as we learned in the movies, and it’s often used as a cheat in many exercise programs.

I teach, first and foremost, that the body is one piece. That’s my knock on the term “core.” The currently accepted definition relegates it to the Frankenstein’s Monster approach to lifting: arm day, leg day, rhomboid day — and, alas, core day.

You can train the core with farmer’s walks, Olympic lifts, even deadlifts, to name a few. Training the full-body always trumps this notion of pieces. But whatever you do in 2022, just stop saying “core.” I just hate it.

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A post shared by Joel Seedman (@dr.joelseedman_ahp)


Joel Seedman Ph.D., strength coach and owner at Advanced Human Performance who transforms athletes and general population bodies using specialized strength training techniques: @drjoelseedman_ahp

If there’s one fitness trend I’d like to see disappear in 2022 it’s the mobility trend of coaches and trainers emphasizing that folks need to constantly push your mobility, flexibility, and range-of-motion boundaries.

Folks need to realize that optimal ROM and maximal ROM are often too different things and trying to force more and more mobility can actually lead to injuries and compromise muscle function. In reality, your best option is to optimize mobility and stability by gaining motor control by learning how to control one’s movement through a natural range of motion.

This often ends up being a smaller range of motion than what we’re used to seeing. Typically, 90-degree joint angles are the optimal positions not just for maximizing strength and hypertrophy but also for optimizing joint health and muscle function.

Once we start pushing past those optimal boundaries in training, we start running into issues that actually compromise our mobility and flexibility.

This story originally appeared on: Muscle & Fitness - Author:vkim

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