Boutique Fitness Crazed!

New York City has become the mecca of boutique fitness. Every open property fills up with a Barry’s Boot Camp, Pure Barre, Fly Wheel, Soul Cycle,  and whatever next facility is about to pop up. Some are corporate, some individually owned….eventually selling out to corporate. Whatever the business structure may be the basic concept is this- run on a treadmill for an hour at a speed completely inefficient for body composition or cardiovascular benefit, ride a bike at right below your anaerobic threshold for 45 mins, then eat bananas and drink 800 calories juice drinks at the juice bar. Lift 5lb weights every single day never progressing onward or upward on programming that has no periodization, progressive overload or scientific rational at all. BUT IT WILL MAKE YOU SWEAT AND BURN. So it must be good. ** side note- I’ve taken some of these classes w/ a heart rate monitor, my heart rate stays at 90% or above with no warm up, and no cool down. That’s a formula for disaster.

How many people in those classes have a body that you can look at and say “I’m going to push harder today so I can look like her” Or ” I wonder how many classes I have to take to be in that type of shape” ? Maybe 2 people every 10 classes. Unless your idea of an ideal body is very little muscle, no booty, body fat of 24% or more, and no ability to actually be functionally fit. Cause that’s the results you can get from taking these classes.

Do these classes prepare you for real world functions? Can you carry groceries farther? Walk up more flights of stairs, Can you pick up heavy bags?  Can you carry your kids longer? Do you think  you are getting stronger bones, more cardiovascular strength and lower body fat from them? Probably not. But you will sweat.

Do you think a majority of the people who take these classes properly hydrate?  From my experience as a nutritional coach I can tell you that they don’t eat properly and they don’t want to eat properly. I constantly hear “I can’t eat carbs they will make me fat” but they can have a 800 calorie fruit juice shake post work, because that has no carbs. They eat Quest bars like the are going out of style and quinoa b/c its “protein”. Granola & gluten-free muffins because they are sold at the juice bar.

Let’s get back to the $40 a class paying ……OH WAIT Classpass lets discuss how counter productive Classpass is for anybody with fitness goals. Paying $99 a month to jump around from class to class is the biggest waste of money and time for anybody who wants to see changes in their body. If you can’t even stick with the same class how are you going to see any benefit? Meeting your BFF at a class to sweat and then go eat isn’t going to get you the results you want. Unless once again that result is to be skinny fat, just fat or just skinny.

What happened to good old weight training, going to a gym hiring a personal trainer who is educated in exercise science and athletic progression and working hard on a set plan to obtain your goals? Was that too simple? We had to complicate it and make sure the only outcome from training is sweat and maybe a few injuries b/c even the BEST instructor can’t over see 15+ people doing advanced (or even basic) movements all at once.

Everyday a new boutique fitness facility opens on my street and every day I wonder how long will this fitness craze last? Will people eventually realize they are beating a dead horse and can not get any progress from doing these classes or does sweat make them happy enough to do it forever?

*disclaimer to any of my Fitpro friends who are excellent coaches and group fitness instructors at any of these facilities, this is not directed at you rather the fact that there is no athletic progression in doing cardio 5x week with no periodization, progressive overload or science behind the madness.