About a year back, we blogged about the interesting relationship between science and practice in the health, fitness, and wellness worlds. On the one hand, a lot of what passes for ‘best practices’ in the trenches – from professional athletic teams’ weight rooms to your local Gold’s Gym – is completely unscientific garbage. But on the other, there’s also a long history of well-executed journal research simply lagging behind new and effective innovations that have already gained traction in the real world.
So it was particularly interesting to stand in the middle of that process, when a recently published meta-analysis of 27 weight-loss studies fully endorsed several of Composite’s key ideas that we’ve been developing over the past year and a half.
As the name implies, Composite is built on a multi-faceted approach; in building fitness, we think that the parts of your life that happen outside of the gym – things like nutrition, movement throughout the day, and lifestyle – are just as important as what happens in class.
We also think that coaches – the highly-trained leaders of those classes – have a role beyond teaching and guidance, as accountability points for those outside-of-class factors.
And we know that the community we build in classes can similarly reach beyond the gym, to provide support, encouragement, and motivation that helps people build and sustain healthy habits over the long term.
So it’s no surprise to us that the paper’s authors conclude precisely the same thing:
“Programs supervising attendance, offering social support, and focusing on dietary and lifestyle modification have better adherence than interventions not supervising attendance, not offering social support, and focusing exclusively on exercise.”
As we said, that’s not a surprise. Even so, it’s nice to be right.