I’m in a ranting mood so thought I’d write about the things annoy me in fitness. Before I get into it, understand that any movement is better than nothing, so everything below is still better than not doing anything as you are moving, but despite that, the following things annoy me!
Couch To 5km – I love running, I have written so many times that I think everyone should be able to jog 10 minutes gently. However, I really do not like the couch to 5km programme. There are different versions of the plan if you go searching for it but they all seem to have you committing to long sessions early on and then every programme seems to have a massive jump in difficulty at a random point between two weeks. It seems to be designed without logic. There are much easier ways to learn to run, I would start with building up to being able to do an easy 10 minutes.  
Tennis – I have seen so many people’s step data from tennis over the years that despite however many arguments I hear about how fit and dynamic Djokovic is, I have yet to see this in normal people’s fitness data. 
Top level singles tennis is athletic, but you need to be very good for it to be dynamic. If you view tennis for the activity it is and have fun doing it then great, but of all the sports I have seen where people think they are moving loads and getting really fit, tennis seems to be top of the list of deceiving people. If you are athletic during tennis (as shown by heart rate/movement data) then tennis is also sneaky high impact. I have seen a few people say they can’t jog yet play tennis. There are way more lower body forces produced in tennis so it is important you prepare for this.
Yoga – I have had issues with standard commercial yoga classes for a while. I have done one on one yoga previously and I saw the most magnificent poster in my teachers house which had hundreds of yoga poses on it. Looking through the different movements you could see how well balanced it was and how every movement had a counter movement and so forth. This alerted me to how most yoga classes you go to use just a few exercises within the vast repertoire of movements available. There is also a huge focus on back of the body stretching over front of the body. This is in contradiction to the main problems we face in life, which is excessive sitting. Just by living your life you are partially curled up in a ball all day, therefore you need movements that stretch against that curled up position. The average yoga class does not choose enough of these.  
Hamstring Stretching – This is linked into the previous point, the fitness industry is obsessed with hamstring stretching, yet almost everyone has an anterior pelvic tilt (bum sticks out) caused primarily by excessive sitting. This means your thighs and lower back will be way more in need of stretching than your hamstrings. There is a place for a hamstring stretch, it can relieve knee pain by rotating the knee back into position and can realign the pelvis but it would not be one of the first few things I’d have someone look at.  
Top Down Advice – The majority of fitness advice is trickled down from the people who are elite in that endeavour. This makes sense as why would you not copy people who are very good at something, but this forgets the process and journey that happens within fitness. Running advice comes from good marathoners, muscle gain and body transformations come from bodybuilding but sadly this advice ends up putting more people off than it helps. You start running but feel you need to do it 4 or 5 times a week as seen in all good marathoners, or you feel you must prepare your meals 3 days ahead like a devoted bodybuilder. This inevitably leads to failure and perpetrates the belief that it is impossible to achieve your goals.
What Does This Mean For You?
There are numerous simple solutions to my above moans, If you don’t like couch to 5km then just do another plan, alternatively, if you did do it then you are now a runner, so just understand you can literally do a fast 1km as a workout, you do not have to run for any minimum amount of time. 
With Tennis, you simply have to evaluate it correctly and then add to what you are missing. If it is not getting your heart rate up (measure to find out) then just add in a quick run before a game, e.g. the 1km I just said above. In general, singles practice /drills is better for fitness than a singles match (the serve takes a lot of fitness out of tennis) and doubles is much less demanding than singles. 
For Yoga it is easy, just add in to the time before / after a class when you are hanging around to do some of the stretches to counter sitting all day. You can add these same stretches to any other workout you do or while watching TV etc. This counters my criticisms of hamstring stretching too. 


Photo –  One of my fave flexibility photos and me running on the track! See here>>



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