Where is the fitness industry heading?
Without a crystal ball, it’s pretty hard to predict accurately (and yes, crystal balls are about as accurate as social media “bro science” or a unilateral confirmation bias one has adopted from a clever marketing guru who happens to have chosen the fitness industry as their “vertical”).
What we can state fairly factually is that we are seeing more and more options for people to choose from. By process of deduction, the fitness industry is therefore becoming more diversified, more technologically advanced (and we can also philosophically debate what that means), in order to provide us more paths to our desired results.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK BACK IN TIME
“Let’s get physical, physical” :)
- For decades (and this is taught and mentioned in education handbooks for training certifications), we have had a bodybuilding oriented approach with essentially only sets, reps, load and intensity as variables. Moves were all isolation based, done with freeweights and machines, or some sort of step aerobics classes where the goal was to put “asses in classes” with minimal gear and maximum exertion because, well, if you feel it it must be working, and sweat is/was a measure of effectiveness, as is one’s rate of perceived exertion.
- For a conservative period of say, 10+ years, Crossfit has risen through the ranks as a “disruptor”; indeed, it has disrupted the fitness industry by providing a fresh new element, a fresh new take on fitness, bringing a sense of tribe and community to the fitness industry along with a slew of exercises reserved to professionals, Olympians or simply niche interests of Powerlifting or Olympic lifting. Along with that, we saw Crossfit be instilled into the world of “tactical athletes” and that also saw the emergence of a sort of reciprocity where military and law enforcement personnel (LEO) brought a more gritty and intense form of training, making it their own, and that in turn spawned a rather large interest for the general population (Gen Pop) to feel like they’re LEO with a “Spec Ops” feel to it.
- With the advent of superhero movies in our culture, social media (especially Youtube videos spread through Facebook and later Instagram), people started to push the limits of using their environment, especially in an urban setting, Parkour, which at first sort of came and went a decade ago, now resurfaced with a vengeance (thanks a lot to programs like American Ninja Warrior and foreign equivalents).
- History taught us to dig deeper into our roots, both from a physical education development through the works of folks like Georges Hébert, and many others before and after him, as well as contemporaries of his. We also have been going back in time to look at training methods (Indian clubs, minimalism in gymnasiums where wands, medicine balls, kettlebells and off-ground training has seen a newfound surge in popularity, but not yet mainstream -aside from kettlebells-).
- As a result of the above, we also seek a deeper connection to our roots to Nature, using it as our playground. We can speculate that this is spawned by our increasing dependence on technology and we want a “break” once in a while.
- And speaking of technological dependance, we have more tools at our disposal, for tracking and measuring our individual data, for delivering content ad education. This causes a paradox because on one hand, we can dial into the data with surgical precision, while on the other, we can become lost without it, which is funny because we have existed and produced results for millennia without an iWatch or a Fitbit! We still haven’t solved the problems we have been complaining about a century ago, because we replace them with others that lead to the same outcome.
What makes some of our modern technology stand out is not always its effectiveness, is its ability to disrupt the establishment. “Disruptive technology” is almost the new “core training” or “functional fitness” when it comes to buzzwords. It’s even more powerful because these words are prominent in the Silicon Vally/Silicon Beach worlds. And, we are not questioning wether it is effective or not, if you read carefully. We’re focusing on what makes it stand out. Like discussing one’s fitness results: results happen regardless. Even lack of results results from something, albeit improperly executed for any given group of individual.
How does this “editorial” relate even closely to the ProBar and what is its relevance?
We talked earlier about confirmation bias and no blog can be truly objective when it is written on a product page. The irony is palpable and acknowledged :)
But if we can move on past that and recognize the observations above and redirect to our initial points, we are benefitting from an increased amount of options to choose from.
WE MUST NOT JUDGE A FISH BY ITS ABILITY TO CLIMB A TREE
Crossfit, which I like to translate as “cross-referencing various fitness modalities”, can have a powerlifting emphasis, or a calisthenics emphasis, depending on the ‘box’s” leadership. It’ what the lead instructor puts into it and the crowd takes away.
A recreational powerlifter can argue fat loss, strength benefits over another modality. An Olympic lifter as well. Or a Parkour “traceur” (practitioner). Everyone markets similar fitness results with different approaches (fat loss, muscle gain, increased athleticism and better health).
If you think about it, what we are doing when it comes to fitness “as we know it” is the equivalent of saying boxing is better than jujitsu or that greco-roman wrestling is better than karate.
Still with us? Hang in there a little longer, we’re getting to the point!
The ProBar has no affiliation. It is not a golf tool. It is not a mobility tool. It is not a rehab tool. It is not a weight training/resistance tool. We don’t even truly market it as such.
Yes, we do bring it to physical therapists to rehab injuries, we use it for increasing one’s mobility and range of motion. We use it for working out or getting a more efficient warm-up.
It’s because the ProBar “just does things”. Its features make it adaptable to your needs, your knowlegde, your wants. We provide education and foundations but just like your smartphone, you run the show.
On your smartphone, you decide which apps to download, which features to use. Design and creativity has been increased with the use of camera features with filters, zooms, editing software to share our experiences. Workflow allows us to transition from our laptop to our phone without interruption or loss of continuity. We listen to a song in our car, keep hearing it as we exit the car, and connect to our next environment’s speakers. We connect with loved ones via video conferencing, read books, engage our professional network.
The ProBar does that for your body. You want a better, smoother stretch. You can. You want to warm-up and get dialed in for that heavy lift. You can. Pick your modality. You can. There is no single tool that can recreate the feeling and sensation as well as results at the same rate as the ProBar.
We get that some people don’t get it. That’s because we know, with full confidence, that when you get your hands on it, you instantly get it.
Where fitness is heading is more towards evidence-based training. Where science is both data and philosophy or artistic individual interpretation. It’s a paradox and we welcome it. While we learn and test, we find that people respond better to external cues: people do better if you tell them to perform a task like “reach for the object and lift it close to your body” rather than “squeeze your X and relax your Y and then repeat”. No two reps are alike, just like you can’t write your name exaclty the same twice or more times in a row, ever.
We also know that we don’t always need to load the body externally, if we can create tension internally. Yes, it has its limitations. Just like you use a desktop computer or laptop where your smartphone is not enough. But you use it all.
So, we don’t always know where fitness will be, as it is a moving target. But we know the ProBar will be there to meet your needs, whatever they are :)