Fitness training has always had its extremes. In fact, the fitness industry as we now know it has strong roots in bodybuilding and the physical culture movement of the 1950s. Just when we thought we had seen it all, extreme fitness appears to be gaining momentum, often borrowing pages from battle training playbooks of yesteryear. As we approach the 20 percent marker of the 21st Century, athletes and fitness competitors continue to break records and exceed the boundaries of human performance.
Trends in Extreme Fitness Training
One of the latest trends getting traction in the industry is battle training, as featured at Joe Rogan’s Onnit Academy. Rogan, a former UFC commentator, and former host of TV’s Fear Factor, challenges fans to get battle ready by training with steel clubs, steel maces, quad maces and Indian paddles.
Extreme fitness competitions are also cropping up everywhere. American Ninja Warrior is a popular TV series where men and women compete for the title. Battle of the Bars is an extreme fitness calisthenics challenge that is gaining traction globally. Ultramarathons are becoming ultra challenging, with more grueling courses cropping up each year that top the last in difficulty and discomfort. And of course the CrossFit games are a prime example of how ordinary gym rats can morph into fierce fitness competitors.
So is extreme training the new face of fitness?
The Future of Fitness
There is no doubt that extreme training will be around for a while. A big part of the appeal is the sense of fellowship and camaraderie that is shared within extreme training communities. In a very real sense, extreme training communities provide a social platform that is inclusive, supportive and encouraging. Competitors enjoy the bragging rights that come with the territory, not to mention sculpted physiques to be envied.
For Personal Trainers, extreme fitness competitors provide a niche that may become increasingly lucrative and in demand in the years to come. To measure up to the task, you will need a solid understanding of biomechanics and cardiac physiology, along with knowledge of programming and recovery for training at ultra-high intensities.
Fitness Bread and Butter
As exciting as the extreme training trend may be, the vast majority of fitness enthusiasts will never compete. They are interested in health, fitness and weight management, and if they seek social interaction, they gravitate to group exercise.
Average people who want better health, a more attractive body and improved self esteem will continue to be the bread and butter of the fitness industry. As fitness practitioners and gym owners, we need to take care that extreme fitness training in our gyms and studios does not push those clients out the door.
Whether you are training the next American Ninja Warrior or doing balance training with older adults, the fundamental principle of fitness are foundational to safety and results. Staying abreast of trends and new research in sports and exercise is your responsibility as a fitness professional. Get certified with Personal Fitness Trainer, Older Adult Fitness Specialist, Lifestyle Fitness Coach, or Youth Fitness. Then back up your knowledge with continuing education with course like Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Running Well, and more! Extreme training calls for extreme knowledge, and W.I.T.S. has the courses you need to stay informed.