February 01, 2007
Much of the conventional wisdom about the fitness industry is just plain wrong, according to Mark Rippetoe of Wichita Falls Athletic Club/CrossFit Wichita
Closing the sale is the only valued expertise in the big box health club industry. Deadlifts and chalk are prohibited, sweating is discouraged, and noise is considered offensive.
Doctors and other health care professionals have no specific training in sports performance or strength and conditioning, yet they frequently practice in this field as the patient is on the way out the door: “You don’t need to lift heavy weights for what you want to do anyway. Just do lighter weights for higher reps.”
The academic exercise science community is also in the business of conventional wisdom. Biomechanics/ kinesiology/exercise physiology/physical education has contented itself for many years with creatine studies and peer review of each other’s work. The NSCA’s peer-reviewed publication, the Strength and Conditioning Journal, ran an amazing article a few years ago by one of their state chairmen that advocated a program for—I am not making this up—periodized abdominal training.
So how do you inform an uninformed public? Through endless repetition, that’s how. Through the conversion of one person at a time. First, we continue to get superior results for our trainees. Working with high-profile trainees is quite helpful, since they are the focus of media attention. But word-of-mouth is even more necessary; people are influenced by what they see and read, but their personal acquaintances and friends make a greater difference in their perceptions of things like this. The more people learn from us and grow stronger, healthier, and more capable—and easier on the eye—the less difficult our job will be.