There are so many different programs online and in the media today than ever before. Before there was the internet, exercise programs and information was limited to books or guru’s. I remember as a kid I didn’t see many fitness magazines on the shelf, only two magazines were displayed; Muscle and Fitness and Flex Magazine. These were the two bodybuilding/fitness magazines that were popular. Bodybuilding was fading out among the population around the early 1990’s. Those that still follow the basic principles of bodybuilding and continue to train with isolated and controlled movements are a rarity these days.
Boy! Have things changed. Now the magazine stands and internet is infiltrated with thousands of articles and thousands of “experts” sharing their knowledge among the masses. The exclusive, almost secret, lifestyle of the bodybuilder has been exploited and exposed a million times over. I used to like the idea of having to search out the Guru for help. Vince Gironda was the Iron Guru and when he would write an article guys would put their total focus on what Vince wrote. Vince would divulge a scrap of information that was so profound it left men and women craving for more. These little teases would force men to search out Vince to get more information. Those that had the information were part of an exclusive bodybuilding club. Only those that had contact with the “real secrets” of bodybuilding saw results. All the others were all searching for the answers and following the next great gimmick or trend.
Over the years I have seen all the gimmicks and trends. It always amazes me how people go from one trend to the next and never stick with anything– P90X anyone? The one thing that is fact is that all the great physiques of the past (steve reeves, don howorth, vince gironda, reg park, charles atlas, frank zane, lou denghi, larry scott) looked great all through their life because they stuck to their philosophy and methodology. These guys never changed what worked. They were considered the masters of bodybuilding and taught millions. Yet, today bodybuilding has taken a backseat to the gimmicks and trends of a fitness industry constantly trying to come up with new ways to make money.
In order for the fitness industry to make money new ideas must be developed. It isn’t easy to persuade a mass of people. However, people are like sheep. They follow whatever the current trend is. They have to have a feeling that they belong to something. They are not motivated or self directing unless there is a hype factor involved. The sheep mentality is believing in whatever everyone else does. In a way it is a way of achieving social approval or acceptance. When a new program is developed through good marketing, people are easily lured into believing that they will achieve magical results. They are taught that this new program will transform them in ways that they never have been before. The seller makes it seem like the consumer can’t live without this new system. So naturally people buy into it and are sold. They will follow this “end all be all” program until the next great program comes along.
As a gym owner it has always been hard for me not to sell hype. When I opened my gym I had one goal in mind: to help people achieve their goals. I have a simple philosophy: DO WHAT WORKS… My methods and exercises work, bottom line. I remember when I was training and I would get these little nuggets of information from the greats of the muscle beach era, I would hold onto the information and never tell anyone. When I would go to the gym I would make incredible progress in a very short time. I broke away from the trendy exercise programs and used the new techniques that I learned. It was great because I would see my friends and other members in the gym doing all the trendy stuff and never seeing results. I loved knowing that I had these secrets to success.
Over the years I have never changed my philosophy or conformed to the sheeplike mentality. When I see a silly trend in fitness I try to run the other direction. I have always stuck to my training beliefs and teach them everyday. I realize that I could have made a lot more money if I sold out to the silly gimmicks and trends, but I would only be compromising my integrity. I believe in an honest workout. What worked for the greatest physiques in history 60 years ago still works today. Vince Gironda didn’t do PX90 or Zumba to look the way he did.
Unfortunately, many people don’t have the same passion I have when it comes to weight training. Most folks hate to weight train. This is too bad because the results a person can achieve through basic weight training techniques is unparalleled to any other training program. I can’t sell discipline, it must come from within the individual.
People today seem to be in a rush and crave instant gratification. The idea of working for something or building up to new levels is unheard of. When a person doesn’t see immediate results from weight training they quit or go to something else. These are the folks that don’t make progress. They end up riding the perpetual gerbil wheel of trend fitness. Constantly spinning their wheels.
Why change what works!
Coca cola had a great formula in the 70’s and 80’s that made their drink taste so good for the masses. Then one day they took away the original formula and came up with some other formula. The population hated the new formula. So Coca Cola ended up going back to the original. No matter how many different gimmicks or trends come around the bottom line is, nothing beats the original. Weight training will always be the staple for body composition manipulation. Through all the gimmicks that I have witnessed over the years from,Jane Fonda’s aerobics in the 70’s, Step aerobics in the 80’s, Tae Bo in the 90’s, and in present day– PX90, nothing will outlast or bypass true bodybuilding techniques for getting the best looking physique. I have always remained true to my philosophy and have stuck with it. When I write my blog entry 40 years from now I will still be writing about the techniques I use today– because they work.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
tags: Daryl conant, Vince Gironda, ron kosloff, diet earth, buff daddy