Be afraid, be very afraid.
There is a being that lurks in many gyms throughout the world, and he preys on innocent, non-aware victims of fitness. He waits patiently for new blood to approach him each day and feverishly prepares his sales pitch to hook an innocent newbie. These people appear to him with various physical problems and difficulties. These people are looking for various answers to all of their health and fitness needs. This being is extremely intuitive and will seem to make total sense, almost as if he has special powers. He will have an answer to all of your problems and will convince you that he can fix all of your ills.
Just who is this being and is he really dangerous? He is Bosu-Man and he is a danger to your health and fitness goals. He will take you down a long path of fitness goal destruction, one that may take months to recover from completely. He can look just like any other trainer or coach out there. There is no good way to distinguish him from any other trainer just by his physical features. He will even call himself by other names to trick you. He will tell you that his craft is “functional” and convince you that his methods are the only way to really train these days.
Bosu-Man has many accomplices; some are female and are simply called, Bosu-Women. The male and the female Bosu-Beings will carry the same promises and will potentially inject the same amount of danger on to you. Beware of both. For they live in the same world.
Bosu-Beings are equipped with all of the regular equipment that everyone is used to seeing in their gyms. Heavy bars, Dumbbells, Machines, etc… But the major identifying factor is the overuse of the Bosu-Ball for most all of his/her training. Bosu-Man will incorporate the Bosu for almost everything. Squats? Only on a Bosu. Overhead presses? On a Bosu. I have even witnessed one Bosu-Woman making her client perform DB Dead Lifts while having each foot positioned on a Bosu ball. Many will bench press with their clients, but only on a Bosu.
The number one danger from these beings is not just the use of a Bosu ball. You see, the ball in itself is not dangerous, even its use in the right circumstances is safe and sometimes good. The danger comes from these beings using it with all of their clients before any of them even have a basic grasp on the movement in question on a stable, non-yielding surface. The Bosu-Being will incorporate these exercises without any evaluation of movement or any education to their client on how to do the movement correctly. The Bosu-person will have his/her client perform Bosu Squats, for example, before the person ever has tried a regular squat in the flat, stable, non moving floor. Bosu-Man is not interested in teaching, or even in improvement. Bosu-Man’s goal is to make every single exercise that he gives his client as difficult as it can possibly be. Why would this creature do such a thing you ask? Simple…The harder the client works and the more they sweat, the more they feel that they are getting a great workout and that Bosu-Man/Woman must be the greatest trainer in the world. It is a very dangerous trap that most people fall into. The harder you work, the better trainer Bosu-man must be, right?
Wrong. Bosu-Man is tricky and will trick you into thinking you are reaching all of your goals. But are you really? Ask yourself, no better yet, ask Bosu-Man just how doing DB squats on a Bosu ball is really going to make you stronger in daily life? He will undoubtedly tell you that it will make you more functional and that function is the key to being healthier and moving better. However, ask him just what kind of function is he working on. Unless you live on an active fault-line, and are anticipating multiple earthquakes, I really cannot see how training constantly on an unstable surface is making you more functional. If he tells you that it makes you stronger, ask him how much more weight you might be able to lift if you were on stable ground? Some Bosu-Beings train athletes which is even scarier. I have seen Bosu-Trainers making golfers swing their clubs while standing on a Bosu ball. This would only make your game worse, unless of course you are playing during a stage 3 quake. I have witnessed Bosu-Man teaching his client to swing her tennis racquet while on a Bosu ball. Again, I ask…how does that help your tennis game? “It helps you recruit more muscle fibers in the legs, thus making your stronger!!” Well, yes, it might, but again, it trains you how to function in an unstable, yielding environment. None of which any athlete plays on.
Maybe we should ship Bosu-Man to the
Middle East. Maybe his training regiments will do well over there, where there is war and where the ground shakes every 5 minutes.
So beware of Bosu-Man. It you are snagged in his net, ask him why he does what he does when you see the Bosu ball come out. Ask him if it might make more sense to do those squats, presses, or dead lifts on the solid ground first. Finally, ask him where he got his education, and which certifications he holds. Once you do this, he might reveal his true colors to you.
Be afraid, be very afraid…
While you are watching out for Bosu-Man, also keep your eyes peeled for Stability Ball-Girl. She is just as dangerous and will take you down the same road of fitness goal destruction.