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How to build bigger biceps: A little exercise each day boosts muscles more than one big weekly workout

Wild Secrets I Never Knew About Fitness Trainers Until I Worked as One
A fascinating glimpse into the world of trainers for the rich and elite, customized gyms and equipment, and more.

A week with Technogym’s in-demand pros reveals requests for $100,000 altitude rooms, obsessive plunge baths, and BDSM in the DMs.

Every single pro I shadowed agreed that they often feel more like a therapist than a fitness coach. Hayden, another of Technogym’s talent trainers, is even looking into getting certified in counseling, because so many of her students come to her with their life problems. The No. 1 issue? Relationships. “I’d say about 60% of my clients have told me they’re having affairs,” notes another trainer

From Peloton to Soul Cycle to Tae Bo, why we fall for fitness fads

Fitness is not inherently a consumer endeavor, but we tend to approach it as one. The health and wellness industry is more than happy to oblige.

“Fitness is experienced in this country mostly as a consumer product, so the rules of the markets apply to exercise almost more than the rules of science or health,” Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a fitness historian, professor at the New School, and author of the upcoming book Fit Nation. “There is this constant cycle of exercise trends mostly because there’s the need to keep creating new products and flashy experiences for people to spend money on.”

There’s always something that’s in vogue (like Peloton six months ago, and SoulCycle a little before that, and CrossFit a little before that), and there’s always something that’s going to replace it, just like in fashion, said Rina Raphael, a health and wellness writer and author of the upcoming book The Gospel of Wellness. “There’s no money in telling people to go for a walk, right?”

There are shifts in fitness governed by breakthroughs in exercise science, but those shifts are generally slow, Mehlman Petrzela explained. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, cardio and aerobics were embraced as a type of exercise that everyone could do. Then in the 1990s, there was a shift to strength as good for general health, and away from worrying that strength training would make you “muscle bound.” In the last 20 years, there’s been more research on mindfulness and meditation.

There’s a difference between how exercise trends are driven by science compared to the capitalistic drive to repackage and resell.

“In this very, very crowded marketplace, you need to sell a different experience or a different packaging,” Mehlman Petrzela said. Sometimes we’re trying the new thing because we’re being marketed to and not because it’s actually different or good or advisable.