What’s with all the strange exercise equipment at the gym these days?
Whether you’re a gym rat or an occasional exercise experimentalist, you’ve probably seen an odd array of new workout equipment at your local fitness center. While still largely peculiar to the mainstream, equipment such as kettlebells and Bulgarian bags are developing a core group of avid enthusiasts who swear by the equipment’s effectiveness at helping them achieve and maintain peak physical conditioning. But something so effective can’t stay Genesee County’s best kept exercise secret for long, as evidenced by the number of area gyms and fitness centers that are incorporating these workout tools.
Remember the phrase “functional fitness” because it’s becoming more and more popular. This discipline stresses strength, endurance, conditioning and core stability, making it perfect for extreme athletes – military personnel and cage fighters – as well as anyone looking to improve their workouts and/or physical wellbeing. Through his conditioning program at Fenton Fitness Center, Fenton resident and personal trainer Ken Blackburn has been on the forefront of the functional fitness movement. As such, he’s personally introduced kettlebells, Bulgarian bags and other exotic exercise equipment – and the fitness routines that utilize them – to a number of area residents from all walks of life.
“Nearly anyone can benefit from this type of exercise,” Blackburn commented. “The key is the full-body movements that this conditioning offers; by focusing on exercises that present different planes of motion and whole-body movements, functional fitness offers a wide range of benefits including strength, conditioning and core stability.” An ideal way of programming/configuring workouts with these tools is to ensure the loading, volume and intensity are always varied, which Blackburn says ensures progress and helps avoid over-training and injury. This encourages the body to produce more repetitions over time exercised, leading to increased physical results.