I was saying ‘SNAFU’ as a kid for over a decade before I knew that it was an acronym made famous in the military that stood for ‘Situation Normal: All Fucked Up”. It hits a bit harder when you consider the phrase as intended.
That’s where we’re (still) at in the fitness industry. Everything is completely normal as in it’s atrocious out there. I recently was asked to teach at a corporate sponsored fitness festival that brought out influential fitness minds and coaches to create a unique experience for thousands of attendees.
It was atrocious. Period. As someone who sees no utility in complaining without commitment, I’m not here to gripe or make others look inferior for that sake of pride and/or marketing. I’m here to create a better understanding as to why this phenomenon continues and what we can do about it.
This dysfunctional industry continues to prop up pseudo leaders and quackery because of an underlying human condition: we desperately want to relinquish responsibility. Becoming physically and mentally fit is a process that characteristically is challenging because its nature is one of adaptations. Immediately, this sets the stage for a path of resistance. Since fitness is a difficult process of introspection and ultimately adaptation, it’s much easier to simply not do it. Homeostasis is just fine without forced adaptation. How convenient, then, would it be if someone of authority could let you off the hook?
ENTER: fitness industry leaders.
Methods that get people strong and fast and in shape don’t show up on infomercials because the audience wants to be let off the hook more than they want fitness. If I can buy a thing, use it, and not get results, we can all continue to refer to fitness as a mystery and feel good about trying out best. I’m over here saying this isn’t a mystery. It’s simple, but not easy and that’s the problem.
In no other industry would we accept such poor results as we do fitness and it’s because of this unique intersection of human nature. The path of least resistance has rewarded leaders who will corroborate this story.
Well, we know why it’s happening, so now what do we do about it. Like my friends at Power Athlete HQ like to say, “Battle the bullshit.” If we know the pendulum of human preference resides so far away from the work required for tried and true training methods that we cannot make the task of getting this country healthy any harder. Don’t allow people to put you in a position to corroborate or perpetuate the ridiculousness of this industry. When you hear your friends talk about goat yoga or the next insane cleanse, please don’t nod in agreement to be polite. This is insanity.
The beauty of nearly every system that is bound by the rigor of attaining positive results is that the natural, built-in accountability measure demands best practices and punishes poor practices. This system, however, is built to fail because there is no accountability measure. The market that is voting doesn’t want to be fit more than they want to be excused from it. Leaders, then, are reward for selling excuses rather than positive results. Changing this will have to be a deliberate effort that is weighter than the gravitational pull to skirt the relative difficulty of strength and conditioning that drives adaptation.
We need your help.
Complete the following for time:
3×25 Inverted Rows
3×8 Skull Crushers
Then, AMRAP 4
10 Wall Balls (20/14)
10 American KB Swings (70/53)