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
August 20, 2018
When I first started working out at Parsons Training way back in May of 2012, they had a pretty simple mantra for each and every customer they had back in those days. Build up the body and then steadily push the envelope to progressively create change. Promote functionality as opposed to aesthetic. Eat well to keep the machine working properly. This is all standard fare when you go to any respectable gym, and much of the time the philosophy of the gym in question plays a role in you buying personal training packages. Parsons Training still instills these attitudes and helps people reach this potential, but over the years, the way this has been done has changed. People fall into routines, and the ever changing vibe that is the fitness industry makes it easy to adjust your technique and try other methods. For example, Parsons Training used to be pretty big with machines. They had a standard leg press and a Smith Press along with your standard pull-down machines and standing cable pulling machines (I hope I am getting the terminology right, hehe). All that is really left of those days is the cable puller, and that is off to the corner of the gym at the Northwest Location. The Eastside location doesn’t even have a weightlifting machine!! Now why is this the case? Well, the philosophy has not changed but the methodology has. While machines can be great for building up certain areas and even creating confidence for certain lifts, they often times fall short in the stability department, which happens to be a core ideal of the company.
So Parsons Training made the move to include more Olympic style lifting into the mix. And if you were not ready for that type of lifting, then you learned some of the basic form building exercises in the process. Heck, before I even did a single snatch, Jon had me do overhead squats for six months! All the while, doing this stuff can help strengthen your balance and force you to use your entire body. Rather than have you do three exercises with three machines, you get the job done in one complete set of movements. This creates a little more efficiency in space in the gym mainly because the gym made another adjustment in doing paid memberships and doing dreaded “Workouts of the Day.” (though to be fair, these are much more attainable and actually safe as opposed to doing 100 deadlifts in five minutes or something nuts like that). So why does a gym go through these changes? Is it just because they are slaves to trends? The answer is not that simple.
When you think about it, 20 to 25 years ago the fitness landscape was really different. No TRX Suspension Training. No Spin Classes. No Advanced Calisthenics. No Keto Diet. You basically went to a gym, did standard exercises, and did some cardio. You probably watched what you ate and did some cardio when you could. When you think about it, people were actually healthier back then! Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and other physical ailments were really unheard of during the 90s. Now some people will blame the external factors like the Baby Boomer Generation getting old, the rise of junk food culture and the hyper science of junk food addiction creation, the increased subsidation of the meat and dairy industry by the government which made it easier to have bigger and more substantive portions, the removal of physical education in schools, the increase of video game culture, the overuse of high fructose corn syrup and even something like “too many television stations” are to blame for the staunch increases. I found a good indication of how bad it has gotten with the obesity rate in the US.
https://obesity.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006026According to this source, a great many states have almost tripled their obesity rates!! The usual whipping child that is the Body Mass Index (BMI) will be called out on this chart due to the fact many will say that “muscle mass” is different than unhealthy fat mass (which it is), but unless the entire state of New Mexico hit the gym really hard and became “The Land of Superfreak Muscle Beasts” instead of “The Land of Enchantment,” their jump from 8.1% of the population being obese in 1990 to 28.3% in 2016 is most likely from the fact people are living unhealthy lives. Heck, during that time frame the supposed land of health that is Colorado jumped from 6.9% to 22.3% (though the massive population growth probably plays a role in that as well). Anyway, with all of this happening, you think having a grounded approach to fitness would be an easy sell, but it is not all that it is cracked up to be.
Now this is my opinion, not Jon’s, but I have to believe the biggest issue to the current trend of people getting unhealthier has to be the fact that there are too many fitness ideas, trends and supplements. Say what!? I’ll take this one guy I constantly see on Youtube. Don’t even know his name cuz he is a pretentious ass and in my weaker moments, I wanted to click on his link and start throwing money at him. He is lean, ripped, and says the old way of fitness is wrong and that his method of intermittent fasting and working out will get you the body you need. Cuz look at him! He guarantees you will get the girls and he hangs by the pool at his huge house and all that usual tripe. This means he is successful and his system works! He also barely mentions he has been fit his entire life, and this method he “created” merely aided in his cuts and look. He wasn’t some 300-pound guy that was ordered by his doctor to lose weight. But you believe the method will work, because you know, look at him!! Same with your favorite superheroes. Just do the workouts they did and voila!…you look like Captain America. You look at the multitude of supplements that are out there and whey powders and all that stuff, and you believe this junk has to work. Even a dope like Brad Castleberry has a whey blend (though the results have been questionable at best since he is not a nutritionist). Blame it on Utah Senator Orrin Hatch I guess, who helped deregulate the entire supplement industry to help his state corner the market. No FDA regulation is needed for supplements unless the under funded and staffed regulatory team is willing to put the work into proving your product is bad, so keep that in mind when you read the promises on these things. Plus watch “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” and get a glimpse into how supplements make certain promises. https://youtu.be/MSIHmdFbtDwAll you have to do is think for a second and instead of a supplement, think of a “body transformation” system and you pretty much have the same thing. So many people have easy sells and all it takes is a quick transfer of your hard earned money. If that one didn’t work, try finding something that someone says is even easier to do. Click the “transfer” money and if you fail at that, try that supplement that guarantees fat burn. You get the picture.
Now there is plenty of legitimate people out there that do have systems that work, so I cannot say this entire mass of fitness humanity is bad, but this leads back to the original argument. Why does a gym change its approach? Well, you have to keep pace with those trends, because no matter what someone says or implies, we are all slaves to trends and definitely want to try them. Even the most reasonable people will think CrossFit is a good idea—and then promptly injure themselves. So in reality, Parsons has changed its methods to try and keep pace with these ideas that are flooding the markets, and keeping familiar with these changes. So while the methods have changed over the past six years I have been here, this is where the difference comes into play. The same mantras are in place. The only difference is the types of workouts. So while Jon has added a Vlog to his social media platform and turned his Northwest side gym into a CrossFit style “Box” gym, he still adheres to the same messages he had me start with when I first joined. Change is a good thing, but also make sure that the underlying message remains true to what you want. Even though Parsons has added some other ideas to the mix, that is not a bad thing in the long run. Keep this in mind folks…the final method of fitness is still up to you. Just make sure the path you take is not filled with minefields.
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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.
Meet the Author
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.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.