When you think about a gym, what comes to mind? If you asked someone that question 10 years ago, they probably would have said treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and maybe a few weight machines.
My how things have changed!
Now, when you ask that same question, you are likely to hear free weights, dumbbells and open space.
That’s because over the last few years, there has been a monumental shift in the way Americans and gyms around the country are viewing working out. Instead of a heavy focus on cardio, more people are looking for strength training programs. To accommodate this, Freehold NJ gyms and fitness centers are clearing out most of the cardio equipment to make room for weights and open space for people to work out.
Let’s take a closer look at how this shift has come about.
How Have Americans Exercised In The Past?
The concept of working out and exercising is fairly new, starting in the early 20th century. And at that time, strength training was almost exclusive to men and most people thought of those who did life weights as unintelligent or effete.
For women, in the earliest days of exercise, there were concerns over fertility, which led to the creation of reducing salons, where machines were used that required minimal movement to lose weight.
Modern exercise really came about in the late 1960’s, when Dr. Kenneth Cooper published “Aerobics”. This led to most people focusing on running, jogging and swimming, which was further popularized by Jane Fonda throughout the 70s and 80s with VHS workout videos.
Aerobic exercise has continued to be the focus for the majority of people working out up until now. While Nautilus and Universal strength training equipment were introduced into most gyms in the 1980s, most gyms opted to feature way more treadmills and aerobic machines.
Why Have Americans Focused on Aerobic Exercise?
There are a few reasons why most Americans chose to focus more on aerobic exercise over strength training.
Physical health: Evidence has shown that aerobic exercise has numerous physical benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, regulating blood sugar and strengthening the immune system.
Fear of injury: Aerobic exercise has always been seen as a safe form of exercise that anyone can participate in. There has also been an unsubstantiated fear that strength training causes injuries.
Affordable and accessible: For many people looking to exercise, they want to have options to exercise on their own. With strength training, a lot of equipment is required, whereas with aerobic exercise, you can do it at your home or just about anywhere.
Why Have Americans Changed Their Minds?
So, if Americans have focused more on aerobic exercise for most of the last 100 years, what is causing people and gyms to shift to a focus on strength training?
Some of the shift has to do with COVID. There is also more data available showing the benefits and low risk of strength training. Lastly, the advent of popular strength training programs like CrossFit have shown the benefits to more people.
All of this has caused Americans to look for strength training classes and become more interested in personal training programs in Freehold NJ.
What Does This Shift Mean For Gyms?
When it comes to the actual gyms around the country that are catering to the needs of exercisers, you can expect to see more space and less cardio equipment. While you may be used to 20-30 large treadmills and ellipticals taking up most of the room in a gym, you can expect to see less machines and more floor space.
You can also expect more free weights, kettlebells and racks for squats. With all of that open space, people are going to have the room they need to do more strength training.
The other change for gyms is going to be focusing more on having people on the floor to provide assistance. Whereas treadmills and ellipticals were generally user-operated, strength training is more of a social activity. This means gyms are now going to be employing more expert strength trainers to help clients with form, advice and programs.
So, whether you are just starting to think about getting into exercising or you’ve been working out for years, you should be ready for some changes at your local Freehold NJ gym. And, you should look into a strength training program!