Opinions are like armpits, everybody’s got them, and they all stink. Fitness advice is no exception and neither are my own efforts to enlighten (and entertain!) What works great for one person can totally fall flat when attempted by another. Our diverse backgrounds, experiences, and family/social heritage color our worlds with palettes that may overlap, but are ultimately unique.

A particular problem with fitness advice is that it is usually dispensed by people who are fanatics (like me!) The average person is probably not passionate about killing themselves with a brutal conditioning routine, pounding the pavement for hours on end, or subjecting themselves to any other the various other masochistic training techniques out there. One solution is to cater to the fringe. The small percentages of people who dream of ways that they can turn everyday objects into exercise equipment provide a willing audience, but ultimately, engaging the masses is the goal.

The fitness industry as a whole tends fails in this regard by providing the equivalent of fitness fast food. Cheap, gimmicky “As seen on T.V.” equipment and workout routines dominate the late night airwaves. Slick marketing insinuates that a spuriously "researched" pill, potion, or powder will deliver amazing results, with no effort! None of this works of course, and cultivates a “crying wolf” effect. Each failed start makes the subsequent effort more difficult and less likely to succeed. Finally, people give up and dive into heaping piles of sugar, salt, and fat, since they, at least, deliver.

There is hope, however, P-90X is a genuinely well thought out exercise program and it has found widespread popularity (granted it has also spawned several lesser quality follow-ups). There are also lots of great personal trainers out there (I have had the opportunity to meet many recently through writing Examiner.com profiles) especially the ones who are operating independently and outside of the "big box" gym model. Even the current economic climate may help stimulate more conscious consumerism which will result in purchases being made with greater discernment.

My personal thought on all of this is that fitness will go the way of music. Rather than purchasing contrived packages and products, fitness offerings will become more personalized, a-la-carte, affordable, and on-demand. This will likely happen through the application of technologies like social networking and i-phone apps will redefine how fitness services/products are purchased and delivered. With this in mind, I am re-evaluating my own professional endeavors. One idea that I am in the process of developing is a Transformation Tool Kit™ that will utilize a focused series of sessions and strategies that are individual and economical that I will be promoting through sites like Craigslist, Youtube, and Facebook.

Society as a whole seems positioned for sweeping change, and as citizens wake-up from the collective coma, they may recall the famous line from the movie Network, which is simply, “I’m sick and tired and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. I agree w/the 'collective coma' - apt comparison to music. Very interested in the Tool Kit concept. Well stated criticism of gym industry and reasons for fitness-failure.