Our early ancestors had it rough.
Whether it was hunting for food, building a shelter, or enduring extreme changes in temperature, they had to be aware of the effects on their energy stores. They also were strong as hell.
Because we no longer have the daily mandatory physical demands that were once necessary for survival, hard work has become scarce and energy expenditure is at an all-time low.
Enter “fitness training”, the need for exercise due to our decreased physical workload over the years. This “phenomenon” started to take place approximately 40 years ago with the introduction of various trends we refer to as “cardio “training. The 70’s introduced us to jogging (which introduced us to physical therapy, but that’s another topic). Since then there have been an endless supply of fads, gizmos, and gimmicks aimed at keeping our minds busy so we don’t actually realize how bored we are.
The truth is, most cardiovascular machinery found in corporate or “box” gyms do not allow us to use the compound movements our bodies were designed for. They generally keep us in one plane of movement for as long as we can mentally stand it. Treadmills, ellipticals, and bicycles flood most gyms, keeping us in the forward or “sagittal” plane. These pieces of equipment are very popular because for the most part they’re very easy to perform.
There’s just one problem. We do not move in just one direction. Also, statistics show that the world is not becoming more fit. Instead, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle is at an all-time high. Basically, were doing something wrong.
I believe that the reason for our declining health is that people (and trainers) try to prescribe exercises that:
1. Are cool (fad of the month)
2. Make you tired (not enough breaks)
3. Make you sore (Wow! I couldn’t move this morning!!)
Let’s look at this more carefully:
Cool: This could be jogging, spinning, or “crossfit." Not that any one of these forms of exercise are bad in small doses, but if it’s the “newest thing” people have a tendency to “overdo it” making their training regimen one dimensional.
Make you tired: Not allowing yourself enough rest between reps or sets will diminish your power output from set to set depriving your muscles from maximizing the amount of intensity at which you can work. End result, less strength and stability in your muscles and joints. (P.S. most injuries occur when the body is in an overly fatigued state in which the body compromises correct form to just “get through” the movement.)
Makes you sore: Bottom line, if your trainer or your exercise program makes you sore after a couple weeks, you’re not adapting to the movements and your trainer is doing a lousy job.
What I’m trying to say is let’s get back to the egg. Big basic compound movements such as squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, and jumping. Just like our ancestors. I guarantee you’ll get stronger, look and feel better and not get bored.