Trampoline has gone through it’s fair share of rumours pertaining to the perceived positive effects of bouncing up and down. The big one being obviously that everyone is looking to lose weight. In this article I will discuss some of the realities of why trampoline based workouts are great and why they can suck too. After reading this you should know if it is right for you!
Weight loss/ Cardio: Most people forget that trampoline is exercise just like running or elliptical or any cardio based movement. Yes, you will not lose as much weight as you would when doing a 30 minute High Intensity Interval Training session ( HIIT). If you are interested in learning more about HIIT please leave a comment and I will write another article. Most would be very surprised to discover how hard trampoline can be once you bounce for 15 minutes straight. I have seen 240 lb men who can bench and squat double their body weight who have had to fly off and rest for 20 minutes because of a cramp they have gotten after 5 minutes of bouncing. They were only doing seat drops and back drops lol. To get a little more technical there is an increase in capillerization (formation of new capillaries) that allows blood flow to reach muscles quicker by taking shorter paths. It would be an interesting study to see what means of training increases cardio the most. I may be inclined to believe that trampoline would be better for cardio then traditional methods due to the fact all muscles need to be squeezed during trampoline so that you don’t fold in half. This causes a higher overall recruitment of muscles which causes a higher demand for oxygen rather then the normal amount needed for walking or jogging. Not to say muscles are not activated during running but it is not to the same degree because there is a lot less flight time. ie, less gravity to fight against. The body will have to make up for this extra utilization of oxygen by increase heart rate initially. Then the body realizes that that is too hard to maintain so it brings down the heart rate by increasing the amount of blood actually pumped out per beat.That is when you get the lower resting HR because the more blood being pushed out causes more preload (end diastolic volume) which causes an actual “stretch” within the heart muscles which increases the amount of blood being pushed out. The body thinks this is awesome because it wants to work less and less so it will keep trying to increase the amount of blood ( ie, oxygen carrying cells)pumped with less effort. This has been shown to go to ridiculous levels. For example the average resting heart rate ( BPM) is 72. An average athlete is 50-60.That is where I fall under.
Then you have the VO2 max records of about 80+ ml/kg/min who have a resting HR of under 35. Ie Lance Arm strong. My V02 was 64 last time I checked. By the way, Volume of Oxygen consumed is measued in ml/ kg/min.
Therefor I use 64Kg x 64ml= 4096 ml (4.096L) of oxygen every minute when I am at my max workout load. That is over a gallon of Milk every minute. HAHA I hate milk!
Enzymes are also creased when ANY FORM of exercise is increased. The body breaks down Carbs, Fats, and Protein. The main energy sources for exercise is Carbs followed by Fat and then protein is the last choice. Protein is only used after all the other substrates are used up. This is seen when athletes ” hit the wall”. This is simply when an athlete has gone through all the oxygen, carbs and protein available to the body and literally has nothing left. It can happen very quickly when you are focused on a 4 hour marathon. It takes longer to make energy from fats because you have to move the fats out of the storage deposits in the body before they can be used. Simply the fats are broken down into specific parts and these parts mix with other molecules in the oxidative metabolism pathways and creates energy. This is why it actually takes longer to lose wight then to gain muscle mass. The pathways are different. Yes, people are fat for many mental and genetic reasons as well but thats for another day.
The body uses mostly oxidative pathways just to bounce on a trampoline so these fats that are broken down need the be moved and attached to other molecules such as Acetyl COA which is the precursor to the Kreb cycle. Don’t worry Links are at the bottom if you care. It is not necessary that you know that however. All of this changing and transportation of fats uses other transporters and enzymes. These enzymes increase in numbers when the stress builds up. The more cardio you do the more enzymes, including transporters get made to counteract the new stress. Evolution on a micro scale is called adaptation. Your muscle fibers also change. That’s again for another day.
Those who try and sell you a trampoline fitness class by telling you, you can burn 1000 calories do not know the reality of the situation. A HARD HARD HARD workout for 1 hour will burn maybe 500 calories at a really intense advanced work out. A trampoline work out is a whole series of small bursts of energy repeatedly. You will NOT burn as many calories as a high intensity work out but that is not the crux of the trampoline workout. We will get to it shortly. Remember resting does not burn calories as highly so look at it this way: If your goal is turn lose weight then your body is not adapted to do that based on the fact you require it in the first place. If the body is not adapted to it then it is not efficient at breaking apart those vacuoles that hold fat and transport them. You have not created the necessary enzymes to even lose weight yet. That is why people start and get demotivated so fast. They have to give the body a good month before the body says “ Ok guys, looks like we have new orders from the top guys, lets start making transporters and enzymes”. That is the secret to weight loss. Weight watchers and all these pills and stuff, is all garbage and plays to your ignorance of how the body actually works. The only way to lose wight in a healthy manner is to work your ass off. Make your body follow a new directive. Sure you will get headaches and tummy aches and soreness and a billion other reasons to let the body keep doing what it wants. Those responses are just like crying babies. They just want to make their life easier and will cry until you say “ FINE, have your stupid cheesecake you dumb brain”. You may laugh but I'm not joking at all. Thats why people give up, they do not realize that the body is fighting you on it and you have to win. Sure you can lose but who wants to lose when the path is so straight forward?
This is the golden egg or the Crux of trampoline for the average Joe: You will be so happy to learn tricks and to bounce around and have fun you will forget that you are losing weight. It turns the stressful endeavour of weight loss into a game and everyone loves games. Instead of focusing on the soreness of the muscles or on the fact you would rather be doing anything else Trampoline parks have created a way to play your way to weight loss. Sure you won’t burn a million calories in a day but you will actually have the incentive to go back the next day. It is not longer work, but a fun activity with the kids and the family.
Spatial Awareness: Spatial awareness come from three semi circular canals within the ear. These have fluid inside of them and based on the movement of the fluids that sends a signal to the brain saying that you are facing a certain way. If you are up side down the fluids go upside down. This causes a signal to the brain saying “HEY I’m upside down, yippie” . If the signal builds up and the brain literally overloads on the signal then dizziness occurs, head aches, nausea sometimes vomiting. Then the person has to rest and gain control over the fluids before resuming. After a while of flipping and twisting the body learned to control this signal and it becomes weaker so more signals can be tolerated and therefore you can be upside down longer before you feel dizzy, you also recover faster. You may think spatial awareness does not matter for you but it d
oes. Here are a few examples that you may be able to relate to.
“Approximately 40% of migraine patients have some accompanying vestibular syndrome involving disruption in their balance and/or dizziness at one time or another”. - See more at: http://vestibular.org/migraine-associated-vertigo-mav#sthash.USzepCY4.dpuf
“It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls. For most people with a vestibular disorder the deficit is permanent because the amount of restoration of vestibular function is very small. However, after vestibular system damage, people can feel better and function can return through compensation. This occurs because the brain learns to use other senses (vision and somatosensory, i.e. body sense) to substitute for the deficient vestibular system”. - See more at: http://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/treatment/treatment-detail-page#sthash.VPdJ0w8t.dpuf
These quotes basically say that if you have migraines or any vestibular based illness that by forcing your body to go through the motions you will learn to adapt by using other senses such as sight to help reduce the pain and overcome the illness to a degree. Will trampolining help your vestibular issues such as vertigo and migraines ? Well this article discusses it briefly but not much research has been done on this concept yet. I sure would love to do a few studies of my own. Any takers? http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/encyclopedia/en/article/278/
The body is quite simple. It is very good at adapting to any situation. It even regenerates! Every time you get a cut or a scratch, the skin goes through a clotting cascade that creates no skin in that area that is slightly tougher then the skin before it. “We don't want that to happen again” the brain says. This is why Gymnasts get calluses on their hands. Over and over the body says,”Ok clearly we are always going to be destroying the cells on the hands, let’s add reinforcements”. The rest of the body does the same thing in it’s own way. If you start slow and build your way up in anything you will learn it. Just don’t expect to jump half way up the latter and not fall down every time.
The above article briefly mentions that just by standing on a trampoline you will begin to reinforce the necessary pathways that will help to override the vestibular disabilities. Again I have no idea how great the benefits really are but basic logic states that it is better then doing nothing.
Joint stability: A lot of people have lax joints and don’t even know it. There is a degree of anatomical variability that goes with this but a large portion of people with lax joints only have them selves to blame. For example flat footed people are not different then anyone else, they just don’t use their muscles on the medial side of their leg like the flexor digitorum longus or their arch muscles on the bottom of the foot that cause the arch. This could be for many different reasons but that is not the point of this article. People witch lax joints need to tighten up the joints and exercise is one of the main ways of doing this. If a person has hyper extended knees then they need to bounce with legs slightly bent. For a normal person they will look straight but the person bouncing will know that their legs feel bent because they are normally hyper extending. Just thinking about this while you bounce will start to tighten up the knees overtime, or at least help you not make the condition worse. I have worked with many people who have this problem and they have over come it by simply remembering to bend their knees while standing and jumping and you can see a difference in their posture now. Trampoline will help tighten your joints as part of a negative feedback system in the body. “uhoh joints being stressed, lets tighten them up so this body does not get hurt” – your body.
My girlfriend and her whole family is terrible for this and when I first noticed it many years ago while I was in school I always get at her to bend her knees. It is a form of laziness. She would rather stand with locked legs, to disengage the muscles and “rest” putting the pressure on the ligaments that never heal once stretched by the way, then to simply recruit the muscles to add support to all her movements. Do not ever do that if you catch your self doing it with arms or legs. I know lots of athletes that have hyper extended joints and for example they will do handstand with locked elbows as instructed by the coach but the reality is that you should just have that athlete imitate a straight arm and not “lock it”. Sure it will be weird for a few years honestly but it is better then adding more stress to the ligaments that will deteriorate for ever.
Some coaches may disagree and thats fine but I truly feel there is a fine line between medals and the longevity of your body. But let’s face it, you are not born with lax joints. You are born as a flexible mouldable creature and even what happens in the womb effects you when you come out. I would be willing to hypothesize that for every person that has lax joints at 17 years and older let’s say, had bad habits at young age that were the cause. So of course you blame the parents. Why don’t we have a certification to be a parent? I mean, I have to take lots of driving classes to get my licence, I have to go to school to do anything in this world like to build a building or even open a restaurant…but the most sacred commodity in this world, human life, can be possessed and used by ANYONE with no training. A lack of training has almost destroyed the trampoline park industry, and they are quickly creating manuals for the owners. It is funny how I see the human race failing in much the same manner. It’s funny I have not seen a required parenting certification on the market yet…hmmm
Coordination: Goes with spatial awareness but being able to move your body in weird ways does have its benefits and until you are put in a situation where you can look back and say ” wow I am glad I could do that”, you wont understand what I mean. Most people can comprehend this idea however. The body has to be balanced in trampoline at all times which is a lot easier said then done. This is caused by signals in the brain turning on and off muscles at certain times to keep your center of gravity stable. This takes practice but can easily be applied to off trampoline situations. Many times I have felt like falling but remembered my training and either chose the best way to fall so I don’t get hurt or I can actually prevent the fall all together. Once the body is trained to send signals very quickly and in just the right amounts then balance can be achieved. Most of the population walk around with big uncontrolled movement and a acute muscle contractions are forgotten about because let’s face it, when do you really need to balance in life? Not really often. walking is a fall/ break motion, not really balancing to a high degree. When is the last time you were on a tightrope or slacklining? Sure balance is a part of every movement we do but trampoline will help increase the awareness of your balance and teach the body how to control every little movement to a higher degree.
Like really think about it. You have +-80 years on this planet in the body you live in no matter what you believe about afterlife. Why on earth ( pun intended) would you want to just be useless? I don’t get it. I use my feet to open doors, turn off lights, catch falling objects and have very little limitations to my movement. I could never imagine not being able to do that. How could I enjoy life? Sitting and crawling with the dexterity of a block of cheese. Like really, what do you gain from not having the highest quality of life imaginable? You should simply just cut your limbs off and donate them to a hospital to someone who actually wants to use them.
Trampoline and gymnastics and for that matter, ANY SPORT will help you just simply learn to use your body. Im not even going to get into how many times my coordination has saved my life. Actually I guess I will. You know how many times I have slipped on ice but having a repertoire of escape tactics such as coordination and quick reaction time all developed by my sports, have been able to escape injury? Osteoporosis is a major cause of injury for the elderly, and having a solid frame with a mental readiness will reduce those injuries.
I could actually get physically upset at people who do not do some form of sport. I mean, Canada alone pays somewhere around 1.6 Billion in healthcare costs a year attributed to “preventable ailments” such as osteoporosis and obesity and whatever lee that can be prevented from being athletic on a trampoline or ANY other sport. Thanks for being lazy and taking my hard earned tax and wasting it on you. I could easily use another lane on the DVP into Toronto to save me time so I can create more tutorials for my industry but no, instead it will go to you so.. big thanks for your contribution to my industry. An industry I have devoted my life to, thanks.
Neurogenesis: My thesis:) Neurons grow in the brain based on the stimulus from the external world. If we learn new things or at least try new things, neurogenesis increases and causes us to learn. Trampoline is a new stimulus for the brain for those who have never tried. Some studies as discussed in my thesis show that people actually get smarter in other areas of their life when exercise is included in their daily routine. The same way muscles grow when stressed, the brain does the same thing to a certain degree.
It is also shown that simply finding a hobby or activity can reduce stress and increase quality of life. Go jump on a trampoline once a week even and you will find yourself looking forward to the next training. This get’s me to a big issue. Research also shows that by having set mini goals and working towards them and accomplishing them helps to create purpose in life. Many people you see that are extremely overweight or are always in a bad mood or just depressed simply have no reason to live. It is sad but it is true. Without a goal, you have no purpose and you subconsciously realize that eventually and that leads to all the mental and physiological issues you experience everyday that makes you feel like a victim. Your not a victim to anyone but yourself. Hit up the gym and go play trampoline dodgeball in a league. Do not worry about weight loss or exercise, just have some fun. I love fun, if if I didn't find what I do “Fun” I wouldn't do it. I would find something that is fun. So why do you just putz around with no goals? Create small achievable goals or even just a schedule and you will find that life just happens to seem rejuvenated. It is not about money or social status or how many friends you have on Facebook. It is about looking forward to something every time you wake up. As one of my acquaintances from CBC’s Dragon’s Den Michael Wekerle says, “That’s It, Thats all”
Toughen Up The Mind: To many young children and even older adults are simply to scared to live life to the fullest extent. This is a whole philosophical debate but I wont talk about that now. However I will say that if you are scared to get hurt then their are few sports open to you. Trampoline and gymnastics are great at teaching people to fall and “go again”. I do not like to see a person say ” It’s too hard, I cant do it, what if I get hurt?” Trampoline is a sport where everyone lands on their head sometimes. If you can get hurt and say ” I want to do this again until I get it” then you have the right state of mind for trampoline and gymnastics. Some don’t believe me but this attitude will get you far out side of the gym. It is this determination that causes people to fail a task but to keep going and eventually succeed and become the best or one of the best at their goal. Can’t quit in life, so if you quit in gym or trampoline I find it is a direct correlation to your personal strive for success in your career.
There is no easy way to say it but the reality is that injuries and death is a normal phenomenon. You can’t be scared of it. Sure you can believe in a billion Gods but the reality is that by depending on anything else but your own perseverance weakens the mind. Im not hear to debate if religion exists or not but either way do not forget your life is up to you. If you feel God made it for you then awesome don’t waste his time by quitting everything you try. If you do not believe in such tales then do not blame anyone else for the fact you are not where you want to be.
Starting a fun trampoline program, recreational or competitive will help you realize that you have control over your life. You will quickly realize that if you do the wrong mathematical equation then you will fall an maybe get hurt. If you do the right mathematical equation then you won’t. You can’t learn that vicariously. You can only learn by doing it. Empower yourself to take life by the horns and see what your body can and can not do. You will be surprised how much you learn. And it may sound egotistical at a fundamental level but those who accomplish these kinds of goals are more confident because they know they worked their butt off to achieve the goals. People fundamentally pride themselves for hard work. The reason people do not want to do hard work in the first place is because they believe they won’t succeed. You cares if you succeed at the start. Just have fun. The root of all greatness is passion. passion can’t be measured in medals and year end bonuses. It’s a feeling like “ FU#@ YA I did that! Can YOU do that? I didn’t think so! That’s why psychologists would say that athletes who care a little too much about medals are unconfident and need a visual reminder of their worth rather then actually believing internally.Those emotional victories are leaves on the tree of success. Just make sure you water it with training.
Independence: When you are on a trampoline, no one else is there to help you. Yes a coach may spot or throw in a matt but ultimately if you screw up it is your fault. This idea teaches kids to take responsibility for their actions. They understand, that THEY are the ones who did not perform the skill correct and learn to not blame other influences. This as in (6) can be taken to the outside world as well.
Do you have those few athletes that just seem to get all befuddled when you are not there telling them the steps of their training? DO NOT give in to them. Make them figure it out. You have already discussed with them what they need to know to be relatively successful and they need to do it on their own. Sure they will fall and complain a few times but make sure the parents know your motive and you are ok. Let them fall and learn at the inter club level so that once they are P4 going national stream they do not need you. They should be independent for the most part at this point.
Trampoline forces you to be independent and to figure it out on your own. All sports do. You may not want to hear it but kids who do sports generally become more successful in life, at getting better jobs, higher income, less mental health issues and overall quality of life that keeps them happy and wanting to succeed more. Its a circle. Put yourself in the wheel and things will just seem to get better.
All these benefits of trampoline sound great but of course there is the possibility of getting hurt. However this is only accomplished when the individual fails to do many things.
- proper set up of equipment including matts and and analyze your surroundings
- being mentally ready for the skill
- being influenced to try something that they are not ready for just to look cool
- not be physically ready
- not be technically ready
- not being focused.
All these factors influence a possibility of an injury. If this check list is marked off then an injury will rarely not occur. Sometimes coaches push to fast and sometimes athletes push to fast. I will say that I have never seen an injury from someone who has not been doing one of the above fallacies. Keep it safe and trampoline can give you many rewards besides a gold medal.
I hope you enjoyed this article. I am sure i git a few nerves but too bad because it's true. Do not live your life in a fantasy, the real world is much more fun. Feel free to combat me on any points. There is always research to defend both sides.
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