2/29/12 - Celebrity fitness and its affects on public opinion

*The Route 56 Challenge: Day 45*

Months ago I started writing a blog post about celebrity trainer, Tracey Anderson, and I decided against posting it. The post had insightful points and would do some good to read, but it was, in general, very negative. I don’t like negativity and the spirit of Functional Fitness on the Bluffs is all but negative.

I came across another feature on Miss Anderson, who’s gained recognition training the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. Take a look:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyvbm6qpQw4]

Now, the purpose of this post is a bit more mature than a rant against a trainer that has more recognition than I. My purpose is to raise a question. What is the net result of an ideology like this (that was featured on Oprah, by the way) gaining support from influential folks like Gwyneth Paltrow? How many women who are ignorant to health and fitness, let alone performance, will listen to someone of fame and fortune say “you either starve yourself or you eat and you do serious cardio” and believe it?

Really? Two options? Starve yourself or serious cardio? Sounds pretty bleak to me..

Let’s continue the thought experiment…

“Women should never lift more than three pounds.” What does this statement really say? For starters it’s offensive to women, in my opinion. It seems pretty corrosive to the empowerment of women in general. What is more, does it hold any weight, other than being convenient to women that don’t want to lift weights? Is this statement true for women that are the cornerstone of their families in cultures all over the world as they carry food and water? Should they carry their own child? Is the ideal woman a feeble one (as long as she is skinny)? It seems that the 3 pounds or less rule can only be true for women who are able to live a life of luxury, where the ability to thrive does not require strength (SEE: Gwyneth).

“I work freakin’ hard.” A huge trap folks fall into with regards to training, is validating it’s quality with how difficult it is. Sure our training is hard on the bluff. It may be more difficult than anything you’ve ever done. But, your coach won’t justify our programming simply because it’s difficult. Holding two books with straight arms out to your sides for an hour is difficult, too. Does that make it a valid training tool?

“It’s much easier to change your body and change your muscular structure if you train (and get used to training) in heat.” Nonsense. Again, fatigue or training difficulty, doesn’t necessarily yield a positive adaptation.

There’s a reason new movements often don’t stand the test of time. The basics of gymnastics, powerlifting (squat, deadlift, press), Olympic weightlifting (Clean & Jerk, Snatch), and mono-structural activities like jumping rope, swimming, biking, running, and rowing aren’t broken training tools. They’ve been essential training tools for thousands of years. Let’s put the swinging-a-3-pound-weight-overhead-like-a-lasso move to the same test. Let’s make a bet and check back in 100 years. I’ll buy you a futuristic soda pop if it is.

ACTION!

Simply put, where’s the logic? Where’s the performance? And, why is this paraded around as a respectable training element? Women all over the country will watch this and unfortunatly take a step back with regards to their education about excercise and the human body. In my opinion, this ideology digs a deeper hole into the pandemic issues of aesthetically driven fitness and misguided body image.

Empower yourself (men and) women. The moment you turn your fitness into a process of growth and betterment of your abilities, and steer away from a result oriented “look,” is the moment you will be set free. If you’re able to do more, you’ll look the part, too. I promise.

Logan Gelbrich

——————–

Wednesday’s Workout:

Route 56 Challenge Training

Buy In: 200M Run

3 Rounds:

20 Deadlifts 155/115
25M Lunge
20 HRPU
25M Bear Crawl

Cash out: 200M Run

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