Updated: May 23, 2022
Thirty years ago, I was a freshly certified strength and conditioning coach. Pumped and primed, I landed my first job in the fitness industry. The weight room at the YMCA in Montreal was mine. Studying exercise science at Concordia University by day, I coached wanna-be body builders in a testosterone-filled gym in the evening.
Fitness for every body
In the 1990s, the weight room was a male-dominated environment. Women were shunted toward Step Aerobics and other cardio exercise. “8 Minute” toning videos and fitness gimmicks like the Abdominizer and the ThighMaster were foisted on woman wanting to be fit.
Times have changed since my days at the YMCA. We are now just as apt to see a women in the weight room as a man. And with good reason. Being strong and fit is the key to a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your gender.
We have science to thank for the evolution in exercise techniques. For instance, take the sit-up. It once ruled as the way to achieve tighter abs and a slimmer waistline. However, because of science, we now we know that plank exercises, in which you assume a position and hold it, are the gold standard for working your core.
Developing a stronger body has been the mainstay of the fitness industry. However, as we learn more, the way we stay fit and strong has evolved.
Evolution in exercise
From the Shake Weight to the Ab Roller, fads have come and gone. There will invariably be new trends that promise to magically make you fit, with the six-pack abs you always wanted.
Although evolution is constant, what is true now is what has always been. Long-lasting results are achieved through quality movement, consistent effort, and training backed by science.