We took a look at the recent article in the New York Times “Fitness Playgrounds Grow as Machines Go.” For many of us we have participated in one of the popular obstacle course races that have sprung up over the last five years. From crawling in mud to running through color, we sometimes forget we are actually exercising, but if we have so much fun doing that, why do we spend hours doing leg presses and squats? If you haven’t noticed, your gym has now made room for 25lb ropes, box jumps, and sandbags. Ditching some of the more costly gym equipment, gym owners are profiting, but are you profiting from your workout?
The “Recess” style workout will not make you a body builder, but the days of looking like Hulk Hogan are long gone. People want to be fit and sculpted. Pushing your body through an intense obstacle course will help produce those results, but we are not completely sold on this one dimension style workout. If you continue to go through these courses everyday which feature for example, box jumps and squats, you are overtraining your legs. Even if you are not using weight, you are putting emphasis on the same muscles consecutive days.
We are huge fans of functional fitness, but don’t neglect a good day on the weights. There are a lot of great benefits from strength training with free weights. The functional fitness training has helped changed the world of fitness. It takes us back to our days on the playground. Monkey bars, crawling through tubes and playing on rock climbing walls are excellent ways to achieve your fitness goals. Just like anything in life, moderation is key. Find the balance between functional fitness and strength training. Most important aspect is to NOT GET BORED. Your gym has a lot to offer, but if you are tired of going, jog to your local park and enjoy a quality day of grown-up recess!