Hey, we've decided to do something different this week.
As the title suggests, below, you’ll find 3 different fitness trends/things/persons of interest we’d text you if we were friends.
(Psst: if you make it down the bottom, consider our friendship cemented! 🪢 — you go ahead; we'll be right back after crafting our friendship bracelets. *rubs hands together in glee*)
#1: David Goggins
First up on our list of noteworthy fitness trends: David Goggins.
If you haven’t heard of him (*dramatic gasp*), just know that he’s something like a real-life Marvel superhero.
Except, the Bad Dudes he defeats aren’t characters like Thanos or Kang the Conqueror (sidenote: Ant-Man 3 left us seriously disappointed, but that’s probably a story for another time), but the demons in his mind.
Things like flimsy excuses. Laziness. And limiting beliefs.
Just look at everything he’s achieved despite his ultra-rocky (which, TBH, is an understatement) start in life, from an emotionally and physically abusive father to undiagnosed learning disabilities to getting belittled in school:
1️⃣ The only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training
2️⃣ Participated in > 70 ultra-distance races (that’s anything longer than a marathon , which is 42.195 km or 26.2 miles, by the way), often placing in the top 5
3️⃣ Former Guinness World Record holder for completing 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours
From all this, you’d never have guessed that David used to be obese. But he was.
It was only through sheer grit, a propensity for discomfort, and a good load of perseverance that he managed to achieve everything he did.
“The pain that you are willing to endure is measured by how bad you want it.” — David Goggins.
Of course, in sharing this, we’re not trying to pooh-pooh or underplay the emotional and physiological challenges associated with losing weight (even doctors are espousing the benefits of weight loss drugs, like Ozempic, after all) or improving your fitness levels.
Instead, it's meant to inspire you; show you what could be possible if you take steps (no matter how small) to improve your life. Admittedly, we're not exactly … professional or qualified inspirational speakers.
But do you know who is? Yeah, David Goggins.
And he shares the blueprint — his philosophy, psychology, and exact strategies — he used to maximize his potential and break all limits in his new, unflinching memoir: Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within.
Will reading the book be worth your time?
We'll let this Amazon review speak for itself (and, FYI, there are a thousand others just like this):
“The author’s guidance on breaking free from limiting beliefs and embracing a growth mindset is both practical and inspiring. Each chapter is filled with actionable steps that allow readers to apply the book’s principles in their daily lives, propelling them towards success and fulfillment.”
Speaking of mindset:
#2: Just take the stairs
Spending > 5 hours trying to add ultra-distance races to your "Things I've Done" list might not be high on your priority list — if it makes an appearance at all.
And, chances are, neither are you interested in holding a world record for the most pull-ups/push-ups/deadlifts (???) or enlisting in a military training program. What you’re more interested in is probably just getting a little fitter and, in turn, healthier.
So … yes, David Goggins will show you what’s possible. But you still wouldn’t want to carry an oak on your back and run about.
Thankfully, though, you don’t have to.
A 2017 study published in Applied Sciences suggests that you don’t have to get all gung-ho with your fitness routine or need access to fancy equipment to reap the health benefits.
More specifically, the researchers recruited 31 sedentary women (≤1 hour of structured physical activity weekly) and had them complete a stair-climbing protocol* 3 x weekly for 6 weeks.
*The exact protocol involves a 2-min warm-up, 3 x 20 seconds of "all-out" stair-climbing efforts interspersed with 2 minutes of recovery, and a 3-minute cooldown. Total time: 10 minutes.
What did they find?
Compared to baseline levels, a 12% increase in cardiorespiratory fitness — as determined by peak oxygen uptake.
That's quite impressive, given that the participants only "exercised" for 10 minutes (or less than that, after accounting for the recovery periods) 3 x weekly.
Of course, stating stair-climbing as a part of “New Fitness Trends 2023” is a little … contrived, given it’s been around for as long as stairs have (2,000 BC? Possibly earlier?), but we hope you wouldn’t hold it against us, seeing as to how we’re so close to cementing our friendship 🤞.
Takeaway? Improving your fitness levels and/or health doesn't take much.
You can start by walking more and swapping out the elevator for the stairs in your everyday life, then gradually ramp things up once you're ready.
#3: Back thrusts vs back squats: fight!
But here’s one of those undeniable fitness trends you’ve noticed: big, strong glutes.
Interestingly, while we all know that a combination of hip thrusts and barbell back squats would work best to build that juicy, smack-worthy derrière, have you ever wondered which would win when pitted against the other?
Or, in other words, if you could only pick 1 exercise to bulk up your glutes, which should it be?
Think that's a silly question? The researchers in this 2023 paper (a preprint) would obviously disagree — having conducted a whole study pitting the back squats against the hip thrusts. Here’s what they did and found:
- What: The researchers randomly assigned 34 participants to either hip thrust (n = 18) or back squat training (n = 16) for 9 weeks.
- Findings: Hip thrusts and squats produced similar hypertrophy in all 4 glute regions assessed (1: upper, 2: middle, 3: lower, 4: medius and minimus). Interestingly, both exercises also led to comparable strength transfer to the deadlift.
So … what does this mean?
Well, probably this: if you only could choose 1 exercise to do to grow your glutes, it probably doesn’t matter which you pick — as long as you enjoy it and can perform it without aggravating any existing injuries (if you do have them).
And if you need help with your squats:
That said, if you have the bandwidth for both exercises, do both. Remember what David Goggins said.
Let’s make things official?
Alright, there you have it: the 3 fitness trends/things/persons of interest we’d gab about to you if we were friends.
Oh, but wait, aren’t we already? *presents virtual friendship bracelet*
Want something more tangible? Well, OK, if you want to be friends for real for real, why not download GymStreak? We’ll tailor your workout routines to your fitness goals and needs, plus be able to hang out all day long on your phone.
What say you? (We’re in if you’re in! 😉)
*sigh of relief* We'll guide you through it all — step-by-step. Just download the app, and you'll be making progress toward your dream body like never before.
ABOUT | David Goggins. https://davidgoggins.com/about/. Accessed 11 Aug. 2023.
Allison, Mary K., et al. “Brief Intense Stair Climbing Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness.”
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, vol. 49, no. 2, Feb. 2017, p. 298. journals.lww.com, https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001188.
Book | David Goggins. https://davidgoggins.com/book/. Accessed 11 Aug. 2023.
“David Goggins - Age, Bio, Birthday, Family, Net Worth.” National Today, https://nationaltoday.com/birthday/david-goggins/. Accessed 11 Aug. 2023.
Plotkin, Daniel L., et al. Hip Thrust and Back Squat Training Elicit Similar Gluteus Muscle Hypertrophy and Transfer Similarly to the Deadlift. bioRxiv, 5 July 2023, p. 2023.06.21.545949. bioRxiv, https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.06.21.545949.
The History of the Staircase - Reader’s Digest. https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/lifestyle/home-garden/the-history-of-the-staircase. Accessed 11 Aug. 2023.
Theisen, Tiffini. “Special Operations Profile: David Goggins Navy SEAL.” Military.Com, 20 June 2023, https://www.military.com/special-operations/navy-seal-david-goggins.