We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Modern corporate health clubs are designed exclusively for Exercising, Training being far less profitable. The standard industry model is 55 percent of the floor space devoted to "cardio" equipment, on which repetitive motions of various types can be performed while watching television. The remaining 45 percent of the floor space is dominated by exercise machines designed primarily for the convenience of the gym staff -- they are easy to use, easy to teach the use of, and easy to vacuum around.
Programs like P90X, CrossFit, or anything available on DVD that promises to keep your muscles "confused" are also Exercise. Any program that features random exposure to various types of physical stress cannot produce a specific physical adaptation, past a certain point that occurs relatively quickly. Their function is to burn calories, get your heart rate up, and make you sweaty and tired. They may do their job of providing Exercise quite well, and again, this may be all you need from a fitness program.
But certain people rapidly outgrow Exercise, and for them Training is the logical next step...
If only indigenous people and natives knew this. But they didn't but yet were somehow able to perform physically better than we mere humans today. How did they do that without expensive trainers???
The exercise/training industry is only slightly less phony than the diet/food industry. You have people in their 20's, with ALL their life experience telling people in their 50's and 60's how to exercise/train. People who couldn't qualify for real college but took a few exercise classes at the local junior college and now they are experts. IMHO they do not yet know of what they speak. Give them 20-30 years and THEN ask them what they regret doing in their 20's. After their knee or hip replacement lets ask them what exercises are "good" and which are dangerous. After they have a ruptured disk ask them about there record breaking dead lifts. After hernia surgery lets talk about the weight and reps for heavy squats. They do not know, yet, what they do not know.
Signed: A 76 YO guy who exercised and played sports his entire life.
Crossfit gyms very in difficulty. If you can find a good one that is challenging i'm not sure there is a better program out there. Yea Mark we know what training is but most of us just want functional endurance and strength. I'm surprised he grouped crossfit with 24 hour fitness or sweating to the oldies. That's where he lost me.
Most people don't want to exercise, or train. They just want to lose weight. Sadly, the gym doesn't help them to accomplish that goal. I'm no expert on weight loss, but people used to take cold water therapy baths to lose weight. So you could have a small place, which only offers cold water therapy. I think half an hour in cool water (around 50 degrees) removes about two thousand heat calories from your body. And the nice thing is that you can just sit in the tub, and watch T.V. Athletes do this all the time.
I think you can make a case that any specific training regimen can actually take away from some aspects of being "physically fit", especially if the person has a limited time to train. Marathon runners probably can't deadlift what Rip would say they "should", just as his power lifters probably would have trouble really running a 5k race.
But both are MCUH better off than being couch potatoes.
If you want to compete at something, then train for it (and throw in a bit of different exercise on the side); if you just want to be active and functional, exercise in a wide variety of activities.
All fitness clubs rely on members not showing up at all or rarely. I listened to a Freakonomics podcast a while ago in which they discussed the fact that the clubs make their money on members who stay away from the club. If every member showed up there wouldn't be enough room. The fitness industry relies on no shows. I asked the trainer at the corporate gym that I go to and he said that about 30% of members attend regularly. After New Years I saw quite a few more people in the gym, that lasted a couple of weeks, it is settling down to the regulars again
"Modern corporate health clubs are designed exclusively for Exercising..."
Pardon the pun, but I don't give a rip what they were "designed" for. In practice, we find that even though engineers (like Rippetoe) design things to be used a certain way, it is Teddy Roosevelt's man in the arena who decides how the thing is actually used.
Frankly, I'm glad that most people in the gym gravitate to the treadmills - or better yet, to the recumbent bikes - when doing cardio and the machines when doing resistance training. That free up the StairMaster Step Mill for my cardio and the free weights for my strength training. And it let's me get in and out of the gym quicker so that I can get in some real training (best definition of fitness I have heard is "being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it").
Not sure if I'm misinterpreting your comment. Any gym that Rippetoe is affiliated with will not have rows of cardio equipment, just C2 rowers, Prowler sleds and Aerodyne bikes. No machines other than maybe a lat pulldown and 45-degree leg press, and those are there just to help people get strong enough to do chin ups and squats. Other than that, just squat racks, benches and deadlift platforms and the associated barbells, dumbbells and plates.
Another way at looking at your training is that you should actually train (i.e., get stronger) in the gym and then go to the track/court/field/trail/road/course to practice using that improved strength in your chosen endeavor. You don't exercise with a weighted golf club or baseball bat, because that slows down your swing and messes with your mechanics. You get stronger, then you go out to the practice tee or batting cage and your greater strength to swing harder and with more control. You do this until the work required to get even stronger interferes with your activity outside the gym.