What are the Top 5 Advancements in Fitness History?

I had a conversation recently with someone in the fitness world and we had a good laugh about how many fads we could name that had come and gone. It was a great trip down infomercial memory lane. The fitness industry to me has become just like anything else, dependent on the latest and greatest trend to stay alive. Each new fad that comes along is guaranteed to be the next thing your body needs to reach a totally new level of fitness and health. 

Many of these products work initially but do not last. They work simply because they do represent a new stimulus to your muscular system that will cause some form of change. Luckily for these gadgets and gizmos we are a living adaptive organism that constantly responds to the stimulus we give it. This also means once we have used the machine for awhile our bodies adapt to it and it simply does not impact us like it did right out of the box.

Here is a picture of a gadget from acquiremad.com

trxtrainIf you built a piece of exercise equipment that was unlike any other you could temporarily give tremendous results. Lets say a machine that allows you to do weighted arm circles. Place your arms in the machine and then you can make large circles forward and backwards, adjust the resistance to make it easier or harder.If you told everyone your product was guaranteed to give them more strength in their shoulders and increase their ability to swing their arms, you would be telling them the truth.

You could then sell it to every gym in the world since no gym wants to loose out on the newest trend and loose members. I think we might have just given someone the million dollar idea of next year. Get great muscle definition in your shoulders with only minutes a day! All I ask for is 5% of your total profit. Perhaps a machine like this already exists. If so check for a patent first.

Going back through the world of fitness, what are 5 things you can think of that were not a fad but something that has truly changed the fitness industry (for the better). Keep in mind that the list from us will of course revolve around things that enabled us to improve our overall muscular efficiency, or at least make the best out of a bad situation. Here is our list in no particular order;

1. Treadmill – this invention enabled people to be able to run anytime, anywhere. I live in the Pacific Northwest state where the weather can be extremely problematic when trying to workout. The treadmill solved this problem for millions. 

2. Dumbbells – I am sure our ancestors think its funny we need fancy handled pieces of metal to lift in an air conditioned facility when they through rocks and bail of hay all day long. They can laugh all they want, ill take my air conditioning and indoor plumbing thank you very much.

3. Public workout Facilities – For all their flaws your local gym is the backbone of fitness for thousands in your community. It provides a gathering place for those that do better in social venues. Trainers and millions of dollars in equipment give poeple motivation they need to make their bodies move. 

4. Apparel – thank you Nike and Adidas for all the work you have put into making my shoes into little mini trampolines and shirts that pull my gallons of sweat off my body to keep me cooler. I do miss the leg warmers of the 70’s and 80’s but the apparel today can actually impact your workout for the better and still be fashionable. 

5. Playgrounds – still the best workouts we ever did. The playground provides the best stimulus our muscular systems have ever had, well in my opinion. 

So what are your thoughts on what helped change the fitness industry?

2 Comments on this post


  1. How do you stretch? wrote:

    […] of stretching? Right now everyone in Yoga is laughing to themselves and I agree with them. In the last post we talked about the different items that have really helped the fitness industry over the years. […]

    May 5th, 2009 at 5:31 am
  1. Mr. E FISH ENT said:

    I agree with all 5 here are some I thought of:

    Stop watches- we are a result based society and this helped put results in numbers

    Fitness Videos- I am not saying they are a good thing but they have advanced the way people think about the industry

    I also think cable machines have advanced the fitness industry greatly

    May 5th, 2009 at 12:56 pm


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