May 24, 2016

Technology: Back to the Future or Back to the Basics

Advances in Fitness Technology from Box Pro Magazine

We are living in an incredible time when it comes to advances in technology, and this holds especially true for fitness technology as well. From the simple wearables to incredibly “smart” clothing, WiFi scales and a seemingly infinite number of exercise-related apps, the worlds of fitness and technology are colliding unlike ever before.

But as exciting as new gadgets and technology may be, they have their own major limitations. It doesn’t matter what exercise metrics we monitor and how much data we gather; at the end of the day you still need to work out consistently, intelligently and at the right intensities. No piece of fitness tech can – or will – do all of these things for you.

Smartphone Fitness Apps

Many people have smartphones filled with countless fitness apps, ones that they used for a short period of time and then never opened again. They also have bands, watches and other exercise gadgets that motivated them for a few weeks only to be shelved and forgotten forever as well. Fitness tech is indeed exciting but it is not the panacea for our ever-growing exercise and obesity issues. Tech simply cannot do the work for you.

So, while fitness technology will indeed be a part of the equation when it comes to the future of exercise, what will always remain are the basics. The exercises and movements that have been around since the beginning of time and will continue to be performed far into the future. They don’t require any complicated equipment or technology and, while simple, are extremely effective.

We will always need to do two simple things to be healthy, elevate our heart rates and challenge our muscles, and it’s the basic movements that will continue to be the backbone of our workout routines. These exercises and exercise modalities strengthen our hearts and our musculoskeletal systems in natural, functional ways.

Working out With a Sledgehammer

One example of an incredibly powerful “back-to-the-basics” exercise modality is working out with a sledgehammer. It is the perfect trifecta: cardiovascular exercise, full-body strengthening and multi-planar core work. The sledgehammer can be utilized in an almost infinite number of ways to provide a complete, challenging workout. And, like the squat and the push-up, two other simple-yet-powerful exercises, a sledgehammer workout can be modified to work for the beginner through advanced exerciser. The sledgehammer is even great to incorporate into exercises like the squat and push up and make them even more challenging and effective.

Sure, fitness technology is incredibly innovative and exciting and will be an integral part of the future of exercise. Much of it will come and go over the next few decades. However, what will always remain are those basic exercises, movements and modalities that have always and will always work – like the sledgehammer.


By Tom Holland MS, CSCS, CISSN fo