Secret solutions and snake oil: the state of the fitness industry

One of the biggest criticisms often leveled at the fitness industry is that it’s an industry based on “fads.” This means it is often plagued by the marketing of “new and superior” forms of training or supplements.

All of these new training or diet methods are introduced with claims of improved performance for athletes, a greater effectiveness for burning fat, and better health benefits than other methods.

As you might guess, many of these new methods fail to live up to the hype. They do provide a new tool to be used in the training and diet programs of health and fitness enthusiasts. But, they often fail to provide a standalone “superior” method that replaces all other training methods or diets.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to boost your workouts and get better results from your training though. Over the last two decades, research has shown a few training methods and diet supplements to stand out as effective training aids. These have been shown to boost everything from health, too fat loss, to fitness for performance.

Including these methods into your program can help you perform better in your workouts and improve your results, regardless of your goals. So, here are 6 science-backed ways to improve your workouts and your results from training.

6 science-backed Ways to boost your workout performance (and results)

1. Warm up

This workout-boosting method follows the Occam’s Razor principle, in that the simplest and most obvious solution is usually the correct one.

Warming up is nothing new. But research indicates that it may have its merit in a workout. Increasing body temperature before working out can improve flexibility, decrease injury risk, and improve performance.

The how of warming up is where the research earns its stripes. In summary, using a general exercise like jogging or cycling can be followed by foam rolling or massage. This should then be followed by workout-specific movements at a reduced intensity, like bodyweight squats or push-ups.

These will not only help improve workout performance but also may help speed up recovery for better results down the long-term.

2. Drink coffee

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you may already be aware of some of its benefits. Coffee helps improve focus and mood. But, it can also help improve endurance and strength or power performance.

For those who are struggling with early morning workouts or sleep deprivation, it can also improve workout performance here too.

The caffeine in coffee also helps raise your fat metabolism and reduces hunger for weight loss. The drink also has a number of protective effects on mental health. This is often what gives some pre-workouts like Sparta Nutritions formulas so effective.

So, no matter what you’re training for, adding coffee to your diet can help you get better results.


3. Lift weights

Out of all the different training methods to be introduced to the fitness world over the last century, this one has withstood the test of time.

Strength training not only helps boost speed and power but also endurance too. Even using weightlifting at the beginning of a workout can help your performance throughout the session.

Lifting weights can also boost muscle mass and raise your metabolism. As you age, it will also help you maintain function and prevent nasty falls. So, whether you want a better quality of life, and, or a better performance, lift heavy.


4. Have a plan

This might seem like another obvious thing to do when you’re training. But, you’d be surprised how many people have no structured training or diet plan.

Having a structured plan not only helps you keep your training and diet consistent, it also gets you better results.

So, before your next workout, make sure you have a structured and comprehensive plan to help you achieve your goals.


5. Supplement with creatine

The vast majority of supplements that come out don’t live up to their claims. But, creatine is a big exception.

Supplementing with creatine not only improves strength and power, but it may also help your health.

It can also be beneficial in speeding up recovery so you can get in more training or boost your performance in competition.

Just make sure that, when supplementing with creatine, you take the creatine monohydrate form. This is the one that has been proven to be most effective in research.


6. Take multivitamins and fish oil supplements

Many people have shunned multivitamins and fish oil tablets. They claim that they’re unnecessary as long as you follow a balanced diet.

But, research suggests that following a “balanced “ or varied diet often leaves you deficient in nutrients. Research also indicates that many athletes who don’t live in sunny countries are also deficient in Vitamin D. Taking multivitamins help get rid of nutrient deficiencies which can negatively impact health and performance.

Meanwhile, fish oil tablets have been shown to help everything from muscle growth to recovery, to mental and physical health.

Adding both of these to your diet can maximize health and performance to help you reach and maintain your goals.

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Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at
Neha Kava is a National Certified Registered Dietitian in India. She likes to share her knowledge about daily health, nutritition and diet tips. You can contact her on [email protected]

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