Extreme Fitness Trends


Many of you know that The Fast Metabolism Diet is about food, but it isn’t only about food. Exercise, according to the phases is almost as important. I recommend in Phase 1 doing at least one day of cardio, like running, the elliptical trainer, or an upbeat aerobic-based exercise class. So many fitness centers have such great, fun, and creative classes that exercising in Phase 1 doesn’t feel like work at all. In Phase 2, I encourage my clients to do at least one day of strength training with weights – not everyone’s favorite, but I promise you, it’s necessary and worth it. Why is it worth it? Because Phase 2 gets you to Phase 3, here I encourage doing at least one day of a stress-reducing activity like yoga, deep breathing, or massage. Deep breathing and massage as exercise? Um, yes please!

Too many clients have walked into my office with stories all too similar. The details are different, but the themes the same: Deprivation diets and extreme exercise programs. I want to cry, “No, no, no, it doesn’t have to be that hard!” Those same clients come back one month later, feeling 110% better, and a 180-degree shift in their lifestyle with simple adjustments using The Fast Metabolism Diet. I love this plan because it works, but also because of the transformative power it has over people’s thinking about food and exercise.

I don’t want to take anything away from those who complete a marathon. It’s an accomplishment worthy of praise, but it’s not for everyone. The number of people completing marathons increases yearly. 2015 is projected to be a record year. Marathon training puts an immense amount of repeated pounding on your body, compromising your hips, knees and feet. It’s also not the healthiest way to lose weight. Think of each step you take running as hopping on one leg. Hopping is a plyometric activity you should only do after you’ve built up a good base of strength. People have successfully used marathon-training to drop weight. But more people have suffered ankle, knee and hip injuries because they weren’t prepared for the stress training had on their bodies. Listening to your body comes first and foremost. Push yourself, but know when to cut back. How effective will you be laid up on the couch? Keep that in mind.

Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? I think so. The popularity of CrossFit and other “push-yourself-to-the-limit workouts has caused a rise in a rare condition known as “rhabdomyolysis,” in which muscles become so overworked that cells begin to die off, causing a toxic buildup of myoglobin, overloading the kidneys leading to renal failure, sustained muscle loss and even death. CrossFit isn’t the only rhabdo-causing sport, either. Be wary of too much of a good thing.

Surely, you know someone who’s completed a Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash or another extreme obstacle course where participants jump over fire, run through mud and endure long swims. These type of extreme fitness events have left athletes paralyzed, suffering from electric shock and hypothermia. Many events go off without a hitch as planned, but the rate of injury remains high.

What all these trends have in common is their extreme nature. When new clients walk through my door, what they leave behind is the extreme. Exercise, always in moderation, accompanied by a diet specific to your needs, and I guarantee you that you won’t need to push yourself to the brink to accomplish your goals.