A healthy approach to fitness training

Fitness training – trends, distance and sense of humor

Word for today:
Keep calm .. and keep the distance to all new training trends.

There is a rule: first new trend comes (no matter in what field), then most of people (mostly amateurs) get in love with it and you will find online (and on everyone’s lips) blessing information only about this new trend (and in contrary massive destructive criticism from the opposition which is afraid of new) and then, usually not less than in few years constructive criticism comes – the healthiest stage in my opinion. Everything needs time to settle.

With constructive criticism a healthy balance comes because there are usually pros and cons in everything and it is just healthy and reasonable to keep the distance, use your brain, individualize to your needs and possibilities, and finally take what is good and reject what is mismatched.

… but no worries the cyclical scheme above (it is not scientific it is just my opinion) is so natural to us because we are human beings and it is a part of our passionate nature. What is most important – be in charge and understand the process.

Examples about this scheme:


CrossFit box jump boxes

In my opinion CrossFit represents efficient, reasonable and well-built training method. Still, I did not like the wooden boxes from the beginning because the shin injury risk for general population was high.
This kind of injury can be a pain in the ass for a next couple of weeks and exclude you from training routine.

It is not aesthetic as well. Imagine a lady in a sexy dress and high heels going to her date on Friday night with this huge bruised wound on her shin, and what’s crucial these bruises are not necessary in the training process.


By the way the photo below goes along with interesting article about women and bruises. Here I need to underline I am not against bruises and sport activity in women. If you enjoy your sport and bruises are part of it go for it. I am against unnecessary additional bruises which you do not need for anything. I am for contusion free training process (as much as possible).

Check the link: when-women-wear-bruises-to-work/


Source: www.adventure-journal.com/2013/03/when-women-wear-bruises-to-work/

If you got these box jumps wounds it is not a warrior sacrifice as well. You are not more brave because you took the challenge, that as a beginner you will try to jump on 50/60/70 cm wooden box and you have never tried it before, and you were chained to the desk job for the last 10 years as well. If you jump obviously it will be beneficial for your physical and mental progress but what if you fail? The chance is 50/50 among the beginners. Would you risk your own or your adepts’ health and self-esteem?
It is just wasting your time and impacting your (your adepts’) health.
You know what is wise? Getting as much progress and goals with the least number of injuries and health problems possible. Why not to use gymnastics boxes, filled with sponge,  instead of wooden? This is a simple resolution. When you feel comfortable with it and improve your legs strength you can try it with wooden box (or not). Probably the risk of injury will go lower. So simple so efficient, and you probably already know that I like to keep things simple.

P.S. I am not saint with this bruise issue having a lot of them thanks to bjj training 😉


I suppose that next constructive criticism which will come in CF field will be about the phrase: “Strong is new skinny”. Obviously strength and muscle mass are good to our health and performance but you would be surprised how many messages from women I get who say that they like CF and appreciate what CF did to them but they still want to fit their slim jeans and “quadzilla” quads it is not something what they are happy about. They just want to stick to CF and take what is beneficial to them and then stop at some level with their muscle/strength progress because it is their set point where all the needs meet, where health and look needs meet. And it is totally fine. We have different needs in life and all of them are important. Most important is to find your golden mean.

I am not saying that skinny is healthy because it is not. Muscle mass and stamina are healthy but when you stick to any health training routine you should decide (not any fitness trend) how you want your body to look like. Especially that fitness marketing  (not CrossFit marketing) already overuses this phrase and shows images with bodybuilding/bikini models in their competition phase (low fat tissue percentage, visible lean muscle  mass accompanied by body dehydration). These models do not look like this naturally through the whole year. Actually I have found the similar opinion to mine with this issue while googling for some photos for you about this strong-skinny phrase. Just take a look:



As you can see one issue (fitness trends approach) and so many points of view, aspects and discussion topics 🙂

Perhaps you have different opinion about this issue and would like to share it? If any other fitness trend rings a bell in your head regarding discussed issue feel free to comment as well – zumba, running, triathlon? Share your experience. Feel free to put any opinion or constructive criticism in the comments.


Let’s remit CrossFit now. The other example can be about waist trainers. I do not have an experience in this field but crushing and compressing your internal organs can not be healthy and I am not sure if any goal is worth it.
…but again – everything is created for the people and used in reasonable and moderate way perhaps can work for your goals. Remember – the golden mean..

Some reasonable article by Christian Thibaudeau about waist trainers:



Another example is about training masks. They have some pros like breathing muscles activation while used during a warm-up, mental game training (thanks to Dawid Białowąs from BarbellKitchen for sharing this topic with me) and some risk of using if anyone have some health issues. However they do not copy high mountain training environment as it could be found online some time age.

Read some facts from medical base about training mask benefits:

Article 1:

Effect of Wearing the Elevation Training Mask on Aerobic Capacity, Lung Function, and Hematological Variables.

“Wearing the ETM (red. elevation training mask) may improve specific markers of endurance performance beyond the improvements seen with interval training alone. Key pointsWearing the ETM during a 6-week high-intensity cycle ergometer training program may improve performance variables, such as VO2max, PPO, VT, PO at VT, RCT and PO at RCT. Wearing the ETM did not improve lung function, inspiratory muscle strength, or stimulate changes in hemoglobin or hematocrit levels. The ETM does not simulate altitude, but works more like an respiratory training device.”

Article 2:

“Functional” Respiratory Muscle Training During Endurance Exercise Causes Modest Hypoxemia but Overall is Well Tolerated.

“The training mask caused inadequate hyperventilation that led to arterial hypoxemia and psychological discomfort, but the magnitude of these responses were small and they did not vary across mask configurations.”

There is a nice article about elevation training mask and other gym gadgets by dr. John Rusin on T-nation.com:




OK. Let’s finish with boxes, marketing phrases and training masks examples (waiting for your examples by the way..). Coming back to trends. In my opinion, the most friendly and valuable moment in each trend is when it gets its balance.

First it hits with huge strength, then constructive criticism comes and at the end people can take what is the best from this trend without being ashamed that they do not worship it blindly or fully.

It means that if you are strong and have impressive healthy functional muscle mass and athletic performance that’s great and if you do your health training but still take care about your jeans size, that’s fine as well.

Let’s just be healthy, happy, tolerant and wear the jeans style we like 😉

Finally, talking about the distance let’s do not forget about the sense of humor. It is necessary if you want to deal with all these modern trends in all fields you can meet nowadays everywhere and it shows us that we are allowed to keep the distance or be mistaken or fall in love with something. That’s all in our nature. Let’s do not be judgmental. Let’s just learn, be smart, take what is the best from each trend and respect our/other people goals.

I dedicate the clip below to the sense of humor! 😀

Enjoy your day!

Please keep in mind I am waiting for your experience and comments with other fitness/training trends.

Coach Lucy, PhD

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