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Is your program giving you what you need?

Each year since opening Champions Sports Performance in the Mooresville NC area, I wait for one particular highly credible annual study to come out on what is happening in fitness around the world. This annual anticipation is what caused me to create the 2016 fitness checklist!

This year’s ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends leaves me feeling very good about what we do here at Champions in our Parisi Speed School and Training for Warriors programs.

The study is widely respected, and goes to great levels to differentiate between fads and trends. Trends are lasting protocols that tend to stay in the survey’s Top Twenty for multiple years.

Sadly, absent from this year’s Top Twenty, is “Specialized Exercise Programs for Children”, coming in at #24. We of course, run the nation’s top youth fitness training program and train hundreds of kids a month, but outside of the Parisi Network, the fitness industry is making little effort to solve the staggering epidemics of obesity and diabetes that are affecting tens of millions of American kids today.

We fight the fight every day, but society is always pressing against us!

First I will comment on each of the survey’s top 5 trends. We will then take a journey through a Fitness Checklist to evaluate how our fitness training programs stand in their ability to deliver what is really needed by Americans of all ages today.

As I was studying this, I found that each Top 5 Trend could easily relate to both kids and adults. As the only true Family Training Center in Lake Norman and Charlotte, we believe this fact supports the Champions model even more. Parents and kids all training together!

#1 Wearable Technology

After slowly moving up the rankings, Wearable Technology jumped to the top spot this year.

There was no bigger skeptic than me on this early, but I was not focused on the right issue.

I actually shot a video of myself running sprints in the snow Thanksgiving 2014, then dissing “counting steps” as a weak way to avoid intensity. But then I started to research further, and I realized I had missed the point. Having a constant reminder on your wrist of “how little” you actually move during the day is big motivation to get out of your chair and do something.

The key is to combine documented movement (A goal of say 10,000 steps a day) with Training each day.

Our students who combine Training for Warriors sessions with steps-per-day goals really feel and look great. The point is, our lifestyles generally “chain us to our chairs” and we need to fight for balance. Fitness Wearable Technology is daily motivation on your wrist!

Checklist – YES! While we don’t wear these on our wrists, All of our students track their progress on Warrior Tracker for our TFW members and The Parisi App for all our Speed School members.

#2 Body Weight Training

Only in the survey since 2013, Body Weight Training hit #1 last year. Body Weight Training

is the foundation of both Training for Warriors and Parisi.

Sprinting is the #1 body weight exercise, generating the most powerful output, using the most muscles, and inducing the most metabolic benefit.

Training for Warriors is the only adult training program where true sprinting is at the heart of the curriculum.

In our Parisi Speed School, on top of sprinting, every Speed School Athlete learns to decelerate in every drill. Deceleration eccentrically loads the legs, teaching each athlete to  control his or her body weight to stop, change direction, and re-accelerate if necessary. Do a few thousand full speed deceleration landings and you are going to have very strong legs, all by using your own body weight!

Both Systems test regularly for relative body weight strength as well.

Checklist – YES! Not a Trend for us, a LIFESTYLE for us!

#3 H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training)

Out of nowhere, H.I.I.T claimed the #1 spot in 2014, then #2 in 2015. We know all about this, as TFW Founder Martin Rooney has been using H.I.I.T. safely and effectively, in its true form, for years.

Evidence that H.I.I.T could drop down in future years is mounting. The perception is

building that H.I.I.T means you are going to get hurt, so people are backing away.

One of the drivers of H.I.I.T. popularity is Crossfit. Crossfit exploded on the scene over ten years ago, but the growth got out of control and there is no quality control of any kind. Crossfit locations open up across the street from each other, and each owner makes up his or her own program everyday. Today there is no conversation about Crossfit that does not immediately turn to the discussion of someone who got hurt.

To run a H.I.I.T. program properly is difficult. You must have a high level of intensity, an interval, and there must be a dedication and structure to the warm-up prior to the program to prevent injury. Every Training for Warriors session includes an intense and detailed warm-up of at least twenty minutes if not more. This is why it is a safe program and people don’t get hurt with training with maximum intensity.

While there are certainly some well-run Crossfit businesses out there, overall, the crucial warm-up component is minimal.

100+ Crossfits are now closing monthly around the world.

TFW provides for all the letters in the acronym, with much emphasis on the second “I” for interval. I had an amusing conversation with a member of a local boot camp program about how they run “H.I.I.T” sessions, even though it is widely known that the trainers there are strictly instructed to provide “45 minutes of non-stop exercise”…No interval!

Checklist YES! TFW provides for – Detailed Warm-ups Check – Intensity Check – Actual Intervals – check.

#4 Strength Training

A stable Top 5 Trend for many years is Strength Training. Noted this year is that the age spectrum for strength training continues to widen on both ends.

Senior citizens are realizing they can maintain more mobility, and function physically at a higher level, by lifting weights.

On the other end, less people are stuck on the fictitious notion that kids should not lift weights until they are through puberty. That assertion is 100% the reverse of science and reality! Start em’ young, but in the right program! At Champions, we start strength training at seven years old, and then really ramp it up for our kids twelve and older.

For adults, one additional fact that is widely unknown is that you must lift real weight to have a real impact. In one study, there is picture of a class of middle aged folks working with what looks like 8 lb dumbbells.

Sorry guys, but that is not strength training. Students must develop proper technique and then, over time, learn to add proper load.

In Training for Warriors and in our Parisi Speed School, we are either lifting weights or running sprints. The focus is on core lifts that develop the body’s large muscle groups and enhance force production.

Adding strength and muscle is crucial to any adult, as past the age of 27, science has proven that we all are rapidly losing Type II muscle fiber, especially in our legs. We have to train hard and lift heavy just to stay even!

Checklist YES! In TFW we don t just lift weights, we lift heavy weights safely, unlike any other program in the world.

#5 Educated – Certified – Experienced Professionals

The explosion of available fitness related certifications continues all over the world, with the majority of new certifications coming via on-line programs.

In the U.S., there is especially fast growth at the junior college and college levels. This growth is expected to continue for at least seven more years. That being said, with so many programs out there, it is a tall task to oversee the accreditation of all the programs, or judge the effectiveness of them as well.

There is an alphabet soup of overseeing bodies, but little is offered in regard to what the overall principles and values someone in the field should have.

In our two programs, both Founders, Bill Parisi of the Parisi Speed Schools, and Martin Rooney of Training for Warriors, personally oversee the certification of all the coaches that represent their brands.

This is an AMAZING thing in comparison to any other certification out there. Martin Rooney runs sold out certifications all over the world each year, and Bill has a close knit group of career Parisi disciples that cover the country to certify all new coaches.

Both Founders lead their programs from the front, focusing on “Mission and Values” first. Both Systems are systems of empowerment, that change their student’s lives forever.

Checklist – All Champions coaches are certified and re-certified personally by the Founders of The Parisi Speed Schools and Training for Warriors. All Coaches goals are the same from top to bottom, to empower each student and change lives.

We would love to hear from you about the 2016 Fitness Checklist! Please share if you find the article valuable! Thanks for reading…

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