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Friday, March 26, 2010

There is truth in the old saying “what goes around comes around” and recent trends in the fitness world have borne it out. While kettlebells were reestablished as a fitness tool about ten or fifteen years ago they date back to the 19thCentury as a gym standard. Now almost every sporting goods store and department carries some version of them. The vaudeville strong men of the late 19th Century and early 20th trained with them along with cable pullers which were a form of resistance bands. Actually resistance bands were one of the first uses of India rubber to make useful objects and they date back to the mid 19th Century as a rehabilitation modality. Now we can buy entire “home gyms” based on resistance bands and both Bowflex and Soloflex home gym machines are based on the same principle.

Bodyweight training is being “rediscovered” with programmes such as Tacit and Cross Fit based on bodyweight exercise. We have assisted bodyweight exercise systems such as TRX and Total Gym and Total Trainer. The latter two “machines” are in fact recycled versions of a Pilates reformer dating back to the early 20th Century. Now the makers of Total Gyms are touting “gravity training” which is just another way to do assisted bodyweight work.

The latest rebirth in the fitness industry is Indian Clubs with multiple websites and blogs devoted to them is a fitness programme devoted to them as the “ultimate” fitness breakthrough. If you search online you can find multiple sources from which to buy them complete with workout DVDs. In searching the web for workout programmes with them I found a downloadable copy of a book published in 1866 and another published in 1910. Yes I took the bait and purchased some and am incorporating them into my workouts. I have a set of one pound and another of two pound and trust me they will kick your ass.

When I see people posting about spending $XXXX.XX for a treadmill or elliptical or an infomercial touting an over priced tread climber from Bowflex or the latest magic “secret weapon against fat” from Nautilus I find myself wondering why people think working out is some sort of high tech arms race against body fat.

We are now “rediscovering” barefoot running. Seems to me hominids were sorta kinda maybe doing that way back when?

Spring is here get outside and get sweaty, it is good for your soul as well as your body

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Does anybody know how to get on their knees and scrub anymore? Because sometimes (manual) heavy cleaning is as good for the abs as one of those ab roller apparatuses ...
    And, moreover, it teaches you a sense of responsibility ... (you're doing your own cleaning) !

    Maybe I'm showing my age, too ...
    3251 days ago
    Thanks for the chuckle.
    corollary: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it..."
    3293 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Thanks for this blog and the info about Indian clubs. I know so little about past and present exercise equipment that it is alway interesting to read about how the various cycles/interests repeat.
    3310 days ago
    Very interesting blog post - thanks for all the info! And what Archimedes/Karen was saying about Sauna Suits - too true. I see one at the gym every time I go. (shake my head)
    3310 days ago
    The sun has been shining and teasing me out without extra besides my sweatshirt. It is true that there isn't a lot of actual "new" things to find.
    3310 days ago
    Hey, Rich ! How are you doing ? You've posted some really good points. I had no idea that Indian Clubs had made a come back, but I'm not surprized. Of course, there is one major draw back to "everything old is new again", it's not all the good stuff that seeing a resurgence.

    Unfortunately, modified sauna suits are making a comeback. I saw a neoprene waist trimmer as well as a girdle like lower body garment in the new Avon catalog. They are being marketed by Curves. They promise that wearing these garments will help whittle inches off your waist !!

    I still see people wearing sauna suits while running at the gym. They don't want to seem to listen to reason. They've convinced themselves that the more they sweat, the more weight, they'll take off.

    So, for all the good exercise ideas that are coming back, a few bad ones are joining them for the ride. ugh....

    see ya

    3310 days ago
    Wow, I totally agree, we don't have to spend fortunes to stay fit!!!! here it's still rainy and we won't see the sun for quite a while...gotta get ready though emoticon emoticon
    3310 days ago
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