2/2/16 - Fitness Industry Musings: Everything But..
Sometimes I openly describe my resistance to gym rat tendencies and a lack of interest in biceps and hard workouts. Don’t confuse that with a belief that this stuff lacks importance. Though it’s true that my boat isn’t floated, if you will, by hardcore exercise, I do believe strongly in everything that we do. In fact, every ounce of perceived apathy can be made up for with an absolute fire raging in my belly about purpose and why we all ought to pursue this stuff regardless as to whether clean and jerks are a part of your ideal weekend plans.
My ideal night out doesn’t include front squats, but your boy can front squat. Know what I mean?
That being said, a good portion of the passion that fuels DEUCE Gym is based out of need, in my opinion. Hell, if people just understood quality of movement and naturally pursued self-betterment, we’d be obsolete. If 24 Hour Fitness held the standard, we never would have opened.
But, they don’t so here we are… pirate flag in hand.
The problem is, by and large, that the fitness industry is virtually everything but real, tangible fitness that you can sink your fingers into. Why is it that I can by twenty different kinds of dumb ab roll out machines online? Why is getting a PT, chiropractor, or message therapist to tell me to avoid squatting the easiest thing on Earth? In fact, the second easiest thing on Earth is finding a place that will tell me all about their healthy foods camouflaged as savory bad ones. Why do we need Quest Bars? I can’t find anyone that wants to speak about nutrition for more than ten minutes. What’s that about GNC?
This abomination of what fitness is permeates everything from gyms, to personal training, to the consumers looking for it, and even health practitioners that surround the industry like referees on imbalances and safety. Let’s be honest, the fuel for this type of avoidance is fueled by human nature. The juice in life is always at the end of a tough road. There are zero exceptions. We, like water, will feel a pull towards the path of least resistance, so though I can understand why we’ve arrived at this place, I can’t tolerate it. It’s simply easier to practice, teach, reinforce, and babble on about everything but fitness.
What do I mean by “everything but” fitness?
I mean we have a systemic problem here. It’s downright fear and avoidance of greatness. We’re terrified of people, especially ourselves, going for gold. Personal trainers let clients dictate what they do or don’t do. After all, they’re paying the bill right? When’s the last time a doctor with a 400lbs back squat told someone with a 95lbs back squat that they should avoid weight training? Most people, including doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and the like, aren’t fit. Period. They aren’t fit because it’s easier to be that way and that’s a tough place to stand with authority from.
Being strong, being fast, and having respectable work capacity is a hard thing to prescribe others. It’s improbable if the prescriber doesn’t have it. That would make them look like a fraud, so we “take it easy.” Meanwhile the center of the bell curve has everything-in-mediocrity-ed themselves to the living dead. Wouldn’t it be easier to have surgery, get orthotics, and avoid strenuous exercise?
So, that’s what we do. We all make a deal with each other to perpetuate the easy thing. Keep in mind this isn’t a Crossfit-or-nothing article or a strongman-or-nothing article. It’s quite the opposite, except your preferences don’t sound like preferences anymore if they mean that you can avoid evolving yourself. Preferring to mark time doing exercise rather than improve yourself isn’t a thing. This is a post that says at some point we need to stop pretending that imbalances from left to right, inflexibility, “lengthening muscles,” and flat feet are at the molten core of fitness. When do we get to the fitness part, people?
I’m all for standing around and talking about scapular stability and correcting your lordosis, but only as long as we don’t kid ourselves. We’re going to train after this chatter, right? At this pace we’ll be starting this fitness journey at the ripe old age of 101 years old.
Like water, the bulk of the industry corroborates this bullshit. Furthermore, if we can all get together and agree unquestioned truths like lifting weights is dangerous, being strong also means being unattractively big, and working hard is only for young people, then we’re in luck because we don’t have to do it. “Phew! Thank goodness!” I’m just here to say that I see what you’re doing. Do as you may, but that worldview is a lie and it makes being a coward quite convenient.
Not everyone is guilty of this, of course. For those that are, however, I see you.
By and large, the fitness industry from practitioners, trainers, product manufactures, supplement brands, and the like will give you everything under the sun but fitness. That’s something you’ll need to go out and work for yourself. It’s hard and it always will be, but don’t let these morons sell you on the idea that the other stuff is fitness because it isn’t.
Complete the following for time:
10 Power Cleans (155/105)
30 Double Unders