Monthly Archives: January 2021

Fitness – what exactly IS it?

I am intending on writing a regular blog after deciding I need to start explaining myself and my professional expertise in a broader way than what I can do on say Facebook – this being my prime Social Media outlet. At least for now it is, I am looking to migrate to a different platform perhaps MeWe, not yet decided.

Anything slightly controversial or even slightly not what the censors at FB would like readers to see/hear is removed or blocked and there’s now a new expression no one had even really heard of 12 months ago – Facebook Jail!

So to avoid the censorship for now I will avoid political references and discussion around health in vials and injections …..

Anyway the topic at hand is what eactly IS fitness? Here’s some ideas –

  • losing weight, the beer gut or tummy, the thighs or butt
  • running a race, 5/10k, Spartan etc
  • being fit for sport
  • reducing blood pressure
  • getting in shape for the impending (real) Hunger Games!
  • fitting into that old dress or pants
  • looking good in the mirror or just feeling better about yourself
  • and plenty of others, they’re all valid components of fitness

Through my blog I wish to help you all start taking better, more productive steps to higher levels of fitness – better fitness, better health!

The first thing I have to tell you is this – your gym membership is probably not serving you.

Why? Well modern gyms are equipped with a lot of machines that are a thing of the past in how most modern day fitness professionals approach solving fitness challenges for clients.

I will tell you a quick real-life story of something that happened to me recently with a potential client. This guy is a multimillionaire and lives in an amazing home with an infinity pool, views of the ocean and a purpose built gym (nothing else mind you, not quite sure where he slept….). An attempt at humour! The gym is purpose-built (by an equipment manufacturer) that no doubt sold the guy on the multiple exercises that could be done on the “multi”gym, the 2 bikes, one recumbent and the other upright, the recumbent one presumably so you can sit back and take it easy while you’re, er, “working out”. A treadmill, dumbbells, bench and some other bits and pieces completed the set up.

This guy wanted me to help him. He had injured his back and wanted a professional to help him use his gym and get his back better. This guy was a physical mess.

He had prefaced our entire conversation with – PLEASE DO NOT FUCKING BULLSHIT ME. He had a history of people doing this to him and as a self-made multimillionaire he does not suffer fools, at all and especially ones that wanted to bullshit him! So I didn’t.

I explained to him that machines placed uneven loads in isolated muscle groups leading to uneven stimulous and irregular muscle growth between groups. Therefore the product of this is some bits bulge, some don’t, some are big some are small – I give you Johny Bravo!!

If this bodyshape isn’t bad enough there’s worse news. Isolated muscle groups being stimulated individually is exactly how muscles do NOT perform in daily use nor in athletic performance (sports) where the human organism works as a single, homogenous unit. Teaching your body to perform this way is usually highly deleterious to performance whatever you’re intending on using your body for and especially if your goals are around maximising quality of lifestyle.

We’ve all seen the bulging biceps and huge chests sported by those that populate the big box gyms all over the planet – functionality is not a requirement unless that functionality is required by disciples of Neil Strauss in the local bars and clubs……..

As humans we can categorise our movements in 3 planes, saggital (forwards/backwards and up and down), transverse (rotational) and coronal (side to side) and in 7 different patterns being push/pull, rotation (again), gait (walk/run), hinge (bending at the hips) and squatting and lunging.

These are our humans gifts and with the ability to grip with our thumbs wrapping over our fingers (opposable thumbs making humans unique on the planet in this regard), we are a highly complex organism capable of many amazing feats.

But we tend to cut corners and sit and use devices……

So back to my prospective client he was doing a heap of exercises that had zero relationship to our planes of movement nor patterns and instead he was isolating muscles and not building connections between them in a movement/pattern sense. And in doing so had set himself up for an injury.

I said I am not bullshitting you, you’ve been doing it wrong and in doing so, probably injured yourself…….that went down real well – he tried to argue with me. Being the ultimate diplomat, I argued back and told him he told me he didn’t want any bullshit! Some people!!

Hahaha it didn’t go quite like that but kind of.

I cannot stress enough that machines in gyms are not your friend, unless being supervised by an expert. And I mean that. I know a couple of highly qualified experts in the field of bodybuilding and they can navigate the machines, your goals and your presented physiology in a way that will see you get results, if aesthetics are what you are looking for.

Do I want to do that? Nope, not my style, not in my locker and not in my opinion how any of us should be doing it, unless we are competing in bodybuilding or want a purely aesthetic result.

For the rest of you, and referencing the original title of this post, we should be building our fitness journey around movement and utilising equipment and modalities that are true to these human traits. Your bodies will respond positively in a physiological sense and a lot of the boxes back up above in what fitness means get ticked!