10 Fitness Predictions for 2014


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People Will Train More For Performance

If you have good genetics, eat and sleep properly you can probably gain about twenty pounds of muscle your first year of training. The next year you can gain about half that and half that again the third year.

That’s best-case scenario. After that it’s peanuts. For some people it will take 5-8 years to build impressive muscle mass.

That’s not to say you don’t make gains but it will be more of a slow thickening up process and the scale won’t change much from year to year. Huge weight increases will only be body fat.

So why waste your time focusing on that extra ¼ inch pump on your biceps when your training time could be better spent elsewhere?

Train to improve your performance and your physique will improve simultaneously.

Movement Ability Will Become More Important

The majority of people who train to get bigger and stronger make themselves worse athletically. After a few years of going too heavy, too often with less than perfect form they run slower, jump lower and can hardly get out of the way of a 95 year old lady in a wheel chair.

People will start to realize that all that size and strength is useless if you can’t actually apply it to any real world situation.

Training is supposed to make you better, not worse.

People Will Learn to Train Smarter, Not Harder

We live in a culture that breeds that “train-to-death” mentality. Crossfit, the “one more” and “hard work” commercials, and Rocky training montages all show us how cool it is to train as hard as humanly possible. If we do that we get rewarded.

The rewards are a compromised immune system, systemic fatigue, lower testosterone, higher cortisol, digestive stress and slower gains.

Continually training like a lunatic and routinely maxing out in any way does not build strength, it only tests it. Submaximal training that minimizes CNS and joint stress, along with overall systemic fatigue as much as possible is what builds strength.

If all it took to excel was hard work we’d all be pro athletes. Most people need to dial it back a notch if they actually want to see some serious results.

Health & Longevity Supplements Will Replace Bodybuilding Supplements

By now most people should be aware of the fact that there are pretty much no “muscle building” supplements that work. So let’s forget about that and focus on supplements that can actually make a difference.

Any supplement that can improve your overall health, reduce inflammation, correct any deficiencies or heal your gut if far more valuable than one that is purported to help you gain ten pounds in ten days.

I’m talking about things like probiotics, digestive enzymes, systemic enzymes, krill oil, Vitamin D and Omega 3’s, along with things like NAC, ALA and COQ10 when needed in specific situations.

People Will Realize That Only Newbies Can Eat Their Way Bigger

If you’ve been training properly for five years and are still force feeding yourself all day you’re wasting your time. You’re also causing all kinds of unnecessary digestive stress, which leads to a whole host of other problems. All that eating makes you tired and ages you prematurely.

You can only force feed your way to muscle growth as a newbie. After that gains will come at a snails pace.

The most effective diet is the one that causes the least gut stress and the one that reduces inflammation or produces the least amount of it. That’s it.

Crossfit Will Continue to Adapt

People love to bash Cross Fit. But they’ve done a better job of creating a culture around fitness than anyone ever. And they actually got regular people to want to lift barbells.

They got average females to want to lift barbells.

That’s something you’ve gotta tip your hat to. (Of course, I’m partial to another training program for females, cough, cough)

People are predicting their downfall soon because of poor programming and the overabundance of injuries.

I don’t see it happening. They’ve adapted over the last couple years by switching things up and bringing in smart coaches like Mark Bell. They will continue to do so and will answer their critics.

People Will Stop Arguing Over Paleo

The basic premise is to eat animals, plants and some starchy tubers. Those sick bastards! How could anyone recommend something so unhealthy!? As far as I can tell the big hang up is the anti-grain recommendation. So what? Robb Wolf and other Paleo authorities have completely ok’d organic white rice for healthy, hard training athletes.

So what could possibly be wrong with this diet now that would force you to sit up late night writing a five thousand word rebuttal to?

Oh, it’s too high in fat. Then lower the fat and bump up the yams and white rice. If you’re arguing about that you’re generalizing and arguing just to argue.

I think Chris Kresser’s new book will help put an end to the confusion and pointless arguments.

Supplement Companies Will Step Up & Do Their Part

In 2014 we’ll see supplement companies make the eco-conscious decision to stop sending their products out in those huge plastic bottles that contribute to the destruction of the environment. Check out www.RiseAbovePlastics.org for more on why this is so important.

Fitness Pros Will Stop Shit Talking

Years ago if Billy Bicepz recommended that people only ever do five reps per set and Jonny Gunz recommended that people only ever do six reps per set they would shit talk each other incessantly all over the web. They’d call each other names, question the other’s intelligence and basically disregard the other as the scum of the earth.

I remember being in the middle of that a decade ago. But I think what social media has taught people is that, yes, we all can get along. Many of the top guys in the fitness industry are friends and have a mutual respect for one another. No one agrees across the board on any fitness related concept. In, fact, they’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum on many issues. But they’re adults so no one cares.

Bashing people only brings you down.

What You Do, Not Who You Are

Too many young males let training define them. It’s all they do and think about. Their whole life revolves around getting bigger and stronger and they forgo everything else in the pursuit of more muscle.

These are usually the guys who get subpar results and suffer from extreme depression.

The guys who make training part of what they do, but not who they are the ones who get great results.

Every well-built professional athlete obsesses about training far less than you do. They rarely ever think about it. It’s just part of what they do.

Every workout is not a competition because games are their competition.

I’ve trained many successful executives who are in the same boat. They’re too busy to think about training or spend nine hours per day surfing the web in search of the best way to do a concentration curl. They think about training for one hour per day, three or four days per week.

To succeed in strength training it’s crucial to have other hobbies, passions and interests. Let it just be part of what you do and not who you are.

Final Words

What do you guys think?

Is any of this really going to happen or is it more like wishful thinking on my part?

What predictions do you have for 2014?

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21 Responses to 10 Fitness Predictions for 2014

  1. joe daniels January 3, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    good points i agree. cross fit also added Starrett and he is one of the best things that has happened to getting people to pay attention to their physical issues and problems. as far as fitness trainers not arguing….. good luck. too many egos will always run around this arena. the best don’t have big egos they help anyone and everyone they can. you’re correct jason, bashing people just makes them look like the idiot to us responsible ones. Good article bud.
    Joe Daniels

    • Jason Ferruggia January 3, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Thanks a lot, Joe. I appreciate the feedback, especially coming from you. I know it’s wishful thinking but I think some will start to evolve.

  2. Clarence January 3, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Jason ,

    This was spot on in so many ways! HAPPY NEW YEARS

  3. Kevin Valluzzi January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Good stuff homeboy. Really good stuff.

    My prediction is that Lil Wayne and all of the other so called rappers will fall to the wayside….leaving the door open for a huge comeback for BDP, Naughty, Special Ed, BDK, Rakim, etc. Wishful thinking???

    • joe daniels January 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      very wishful thinking kevin!

      • Kevin Valluzzi January 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

        I hear ya Joe….if only…….(as my eyes gaze to the sky with my gold chains around my neck and my kangol on my head)

  4. Brandon Cook January 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    So it is written… so shall it be done! :) Happy New Year Jason!

  5. Dan Blumenstock January 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Dang, Jay

    Your intro is depressing.
    So, basically my muscle building days are over.
    I’ve been training seriously for about 5 years now.
    I have to rethink my program.

  6. Josh January 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    I’ve followed your posts and used some of your workouts for the past… five years? Four years? You have shown the most emotional and professional growth in my opinion. You still have the swagger, but you’ve also become a lot more insightful. Or at least, you’re now sharing those insights. I really appreciate the information about submaximal training. Have you done or are you going to do any guidelines for this that I could apply to my training?

    • Josh January 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      I meant that second sentence to read the most growth “out of any of the other professional trainers I follow online”. I’m sure there are people I don’t know about who have achieved Nirvana or something in that time, so they win on the growth thing, but your own development has been impressive nonetheless.

  7. Mike January 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Great post, much logic.

    A question for you:
    ” Submaximal training that minimizes CNS and joint stress, along with overall systemic fatigue as much as possible is what builds strength”

    Is CNS stress a dose response thing – helpful to a point and detrimental beyond that?
    Is some CNS stress (e.g. from challenging squats) part of the mechanism for growth?

  8. David Prochaska January 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Excellent article. I heard you on the Rdella Strength and Condtioning Podcast and this article helped go along with what you were talking about. I think people are leaning more functional fitness such as crossfit opposed to bodybuilding type stuff. Bodybuilding is still there, but more HIIT and bodyweight training will be incorporated this next year. I agree on fitness pros talking shit. People are starting to realize there’s more than one way to fry egg. We realize what works for some might not work for others. Everyone’s different. Once again, excellent article.

  9. Cid Capezza January 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    I predict Crossfit will collapse and then restructure itself with another fancy sounding name to better encapsulate Olympic lifts. They will then be forced to raise their already exorbitant fees by 100% to take into account the name change and some other specially formulated exercises e.g leg raises that they have introduced into their workouts. A WOD will be created in honor of this grand occasion called ‘Duped”
    Happy New Year !

  10. Brandon Richey January 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Jason I really liked the last part about “what you do, not who you are.” As a strength coach I can relate to this one. The athletes that are thinking about a game are doing so only when they need to. Hell even with all the programming, writing, training, and everything else I do as a coach (which I know you can relate to) I am focused, but I do view it as what i do. It’s a defining characteristic, just a piece if you will, that makes up the whole. Thanks for the share!

  11. Amanda January 6, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    I like the part of Health Supplement will replace the Bodybuilding Supplements! Sometimes it takes time to change the paradigm of the people who already believe from the beginning that bodybuilding supplements work. Probably this would happen once the manufactures of health supplements start to compete on the bodybuilding industry.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 11, 2014 at 8:54 am #

      The point you bring up is a good one, Amanda. They will never have the same marketing budget. And their message isn’t as exciting. It’s up to knowledgeable experts to educate the masses.

  12. Bill Rom January 8, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Lee Boyce and others are saying the same thing in regards to fitness pros coming together, and while I agree it is good for all of us to share ideas and realize how we train doesn’t define who we are as people, most are still too defensive.

    Everyone has a hope of being the top guy or the best at this and best at that and they lose themselves. I hope this trend happens, so people stop getting caught of in wars of words and the best training ideas make it to the masses.

    Great work Jason, appreciate the effort as always.

    Bill

    • Jason Ferruggia January 11, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks a lot, Bill. I know that it won’t happen but at least some of the younger generation will mature and realize how silly some of their past behavior was. I know I have had that awakening myself.

      The problem is most of us got into this industry because we were insecure kids. That takes a lot of work to get over.

  13. GaryDeagle January 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    The last one probably is the most important for a lot of people.

  14. Mike January 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Regarding expectations with gains – I’ve been at the same gym for a few years and most folks in there have not made any noticeable gains. The spin class people are still fat. The guys on the 6 day splits look the same, the cardio folks look the same. My crossfit friends look the same. Although they do have some cardio. Oh, and the few kids on the juice don’t even change that much in appearance – except for the neck and shoulder acne.

    Compare BJ Penn and GSP. Very different physiques but performance? I don’t look much different unless I’m heavier in the winter or leaned out for the summer. And my strength fluctuates with the weight. On average I do get stronger every year and have put on a solid 15 lbs over 4 Years.

    So what’s my point? It seems the average person was given a physique that will not change dramatically. Training for performance and being lean seems to be the logical move. Being healthy, strong, lean and athletic.

  15. Mustafa January 16, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    I agree about people beginning to train for performance.. people are getting more and more educated about training with the internet.