Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
April 16, 2018
Let me know if this sounds familiar to you. So you start the year with the typical maneuver of “getting healthy” and trying to change your food regimen. You join a gym in hopes of getting rid of the flab and getting that cardio up. You do all of these things and then you run into that wall, fall of the wagon for a month and then go about the same planning and preparation. You want to get that summer bod and you try again. There are two scenarios that will happen. You fail again and start eating that pizza, or you enlist the aide of technology to assist you. Now, a lot of people will try to get a personal trainer and up their game to instill a full health and fitness regime into their hearts and minds, but much of the time they will try to take the more impersonal route. They will use online life coaches that will give them workouts or suggestions on what to eat and such. This is an okay method but you are most likely setting yourself up for a fall because there is one caveat to this condition….the said “coach” might be in another city or state and therefore has no personal connection to you. You don’t have to take their advice because there is no interaction. So a lot of times, this will fail and you are back to square one. Then you got the other side of the coin, where you reset your fitness regimen and get a phone application! There are a ton of them out there, and the biggest selling point for online fitness models and such is to develop their own app and give you insight to the kind of workouts they are doing. It’s part of the new model of fitness, which I kind eluded to last week via a satirical fitness Youtube channel. Part of the new personal business model is to set yourself up as a fitness model, monetize the likes and such and/or develop a subscription app that allows people to follow you. See! It makes you a personal trainer without having to be an actual personal trainer! Truthfully, some of this can be good advice, but like I said, without the personal instruction and commitment, you are basically giving someone free money.
Now before you accuse me of jealousy and what not, you have to fully look at the real world on this one. Technology and malaise has made fitness a pretty massive industry, so you have the tools and the technology to get the most out of what you are doing. Just be sure to use it properly. Now I am not putting apps down at all, they are quite useful. I am just making a cogent argument about a type of app that I think is predatory and basically the Candy Crush of fitness apps. Pay to get workouts that might not apply to you! Pay for workouts that you are not ready for! That is the danger my friends. Full disclosure, I don’t use too many apps at my disposal. First of all, I really don’t have the arsenal of technology to really utilize them. I have a Fitbit but it’s use is rather intermittent at best. So much of the time it is guess work for me. But, if you have the disposable income and are an Apple user such as myself, then you have a pretty good starting point to work with. While Apple is something of a dictatorial machine when it comes to their apps, they do give you a huge variety of free stuff. Just to give you an example, they have apps that can give you ideas about weight liftings and running, they have apps that can monitor your food intake and also have apps that monitor your daily fitness (through a standard wearable item that will connect to your device). One of the funnier apps I see is “7-Min Workouts,” so yeah, you have no excuse for not being able to put any time into this venture. I will say this about some other apps that may help you. They do have apps like the “30-Day Challenge” that can be really useful, for these types of apps can really be helpful in giving you preloaded workouts. I myself got a recent app called “Strong Workout,” an app that I will utilize to help with my weightlifting numbers. The good thing is it has ideas on what types of workouts you should try. And here is the kicker for all of these apps….most of them have “Pro” features. What this basically means is the more analytical stuff you would need to monitor your success and your movement….you got to pay for. So at least you have the ability to use the app you like, and then maybe pay a little for some extra benefits. I might do this for the weightlifting app and keep track of some analytics in regards to what kind of weight I should be throwing around, but we shall see.
And here is the big question? Can an app really get you into good shape? Well, just Google the results and you can see there are plenty of apps out there that have some good feedback and good ratings to help you accomplish your goals. Calorie counting apps can also help as you learn to manage your intake while also balancing the working out part. So yes, if you use them as a supplement to your fitness regime, they can really give you some insight into what you need calorically and fitness wise. This comes in handy when you work a physically draining job and wonder why you binge eat at the end of the day. Well, if you figured out how many calories you burned on average, you can come up with a better meal plan that will give you more energy while also maintaining good health. Here is the downside of the app world…you may become addicted to them. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-04-im-app-addict-sabotage-workouts.html
This has been a common problem with the idea of fitness since the first fitness apps started showing up on the scene, where people become more obsessed with their apps then their actual fitness. But the new problem is community based apps that pit you against the entire community. Now a little competition cannot hurt anyone, but a lot of times the quest to be better at one thing could derail the overall aspect of an individual’s fitness. Think about a major community running app. If your goal is to be a top performer in the app, that is fine. But if you have other goals besides running more miles than someone else, how will your personality handle the fact you are merely average? In a world that is constantly changing lives due to the viral nature of the internet, some sense of individuality can become addictive. So be careful in regards to these type of community share apps unless your goal is to specifically dominate the said app (which is really tough in itself).
Truthfully, I only use a couple apps for my weekly regimen, and I probably need to utilize more as I seek to get better physically. Either way, choose wisely!
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.