Toxic fitness not two words that are often associated with each other, however a very real thing. Its often passed around as regular gym culture and cliches, which often lead to catastrophic outcomes. Lets look the softer side of X toxic fitness first. How many times have you heard it said "No pain, No gain", "Pain is weakness leaving the body", or "One more rep". On the surface they seem benign, but look at what it normalizes as part of getting in shape PAIN. Pain isn't part or shouldn't be part of the fitness process. Pain is a signal from your body that something is going wrong that needs your attention. Let's look at "One more Rep" which is more or less encouraging working until failure. Let me be clear I have no problem with working until failure periodically. First lets look at the purpose of going to failure, its to gain muscular endurance. Some how people have come to believe that its how you gain strength and size. Its been shown that gaining size and strength its been shown its better to not go to failure.Which makes sense typically when you are traditionally trying to gain muscle you lift heavy and do low reps. Next failure causes not only muscle fatigue but your form breaks down and form is there for your protection. When you over work a muscle that's when you see injuries happen, so going to failure too often only encourages injury.
This isn't the only case of people pushing to fatigue that is risky to say the least. Cardio vascular training has turned into getting your heart rate as high as you can, for as long as you can. The heart is a muscle, except this muscle works all the time. Just like any muscle it can be over worked, except when its being over worked you tend to feel like your dying. Before we get to that let's talk about the why people will do it, EPOC. Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption that is known as the after burn effect where you burn more calories the next 24 hours after a workout. With out getting too much into the science and history, its been proven to be a misrepresentation at best. Where it was originally thought epoc was responsible for burning hundreds of calories after, its been proven to burn a hundred or so at best. Because of this misconstruing of facts you got the marriage of high heart rate and muscle fatigue becoming the most popular forms of exercise in America. Yes I am talking about bootcamps, hiit, crossfit, etc. Training your heart is important but you should work the lower 3 zones (50%-80%) more than the top 2 zones(80%-100%). Getting a good workout is important, but if you are hurting and your muscles are failing well that's not necessary. Until next time keep it RAW