Being sedentary isn’t good, but the extreme opposite can be really dangerous, too.
Extreme workouts and diets are some of the most insidious trends to come out of the fitness world in the last 10 or 15 years. These fads suggest that if some exercise is good (and it is!), then the hardest, most grueling exercise is the best (spoiler: it’s not!).
These extremes are not good for your body, and they can do lasting damage to your mind, too.
The most obvious and immediate issues with extreme workouts are injuries. Extreme fitness glorifies speed—so much so that there are whole competitions where people race through various exercises—including weightlifting!—just to see who can complete them faster.
Instead of slow, controlled, properly performed movements, they emphasize frantic, reckless flailing. When you’re out of control like that, there’s no telling which joint or muscle is going to get caught in the wrong spot or moving in the wrong direction. When you’re trying to corral an out-of-control weight, your muscles, tendons and ligaments will lose out every time.
On top of that, there’s the cumulative effect of performing exercises over and over again without much regard for form. Your whole muscular system will get out of whack, which can lead to chronic issues that require years of physical therapy—or even surgery—to correct.
I’ll say it: If you can’t do an exercise in a controlled movement, then you’ve got no business lifting that weight or performing that motion.
This is where attentive personal trainers come in. Not only does a personal trainer design a well-rounded program for you that addresses and balances every major muscle group; a professional personal trainer supervises form—and, if necessary, corrects it—to ensure that exercises are performed for maximum effectiveness and minimum risk of injury.
Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid injury, extreme workouts are impossible to sustain in the long-term. Your body is simply not meant to go full-out all the time.
Eventually you will bump up against the law of diminishing returns. At best, you’ll keep working yourself to exhaustion for less results. More likely, you’ll quickly get to a point when your body’s fatigue will affect not only your workout, but the rest of your day, too.
Instead, small, steady changes in diet and gradual progressions in your workouts are what will create a permanent lifestyle transformation rather than a grueling temporary one.
But arguably the worst part of extreme fitness fads is the way they change your feelings about actual healthy fitness habits. Pushing yourself can be good, but if someone is telling you that you’re never pushing hard enough, the mental damage is real.
And if you start to buy into these extreme ideas, then you may lose the ability to enjoy actual healthy exercise. And that can be a serious detriment to your overall lifestyle.
We want you to feel your workout, but we do not want you to dread it. After all, the whole point is that exercise is a maintainable part of a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Control is Key
Getting your body in peak condition isn’t about “extreme” anything. It’s about taking control. And that’s where a personal trainer makes all the difference in progressing your routine so you continue to see results and stay on track for the long-term.