Getting results

I have a problem with people who say they’re interested in “general” fitness. They might as well be saying “my body isn’t important enough to me to think about.
When I feel like crap I’m usually not at my best intellectually either. That’s because our mind lives inside our brain, which in turn lives inside our bodies. Brains are the body. So any concept of separation between mind and body is beyond idiotic, at least during our biological lives. Saying you don’t care how strong and fit your body is, is akin to living in substandard housing when a 7.2 earthquake hits. Easy not to think about until it’s too late, and then act like the disaster was an act of god that couldn’t have been helped. Bullshit.

It’s time to take responsibility of the single most important residence you’ll ever live in: your body; yourself.

2 thoughts on “Getting results

  1. I find that there are so many perceived forms of fitness from “feeling good”, having good medical test reports, looking good in a swimsuit, to being “cut-up” with a six pack, it’s difficult to define what one wants — thus, a default to “general” fitness. Some of these traditional standards of fitness are complementary while others may be at odds.

    And, as we go through life, our goals, life conditions, and possible best results all shift. Fitness is very much a moving target.

    When I’m in the gym, the most common fitness-related objective I hear from the instructor is to get ready for the swimsuit session. Yet, for most gym members, it’s eating less that would be the most beneficial to obtaining that goal. So, for me, while I agree most people use “general fitness” because they don’t think about their goals to any meaningful extent, many other people revert to the term “general” because it is a default setting in an environment where the concept of fitness is fragmented and often contradictory.


    1. It’s actually a chicken/egg situation. Because the public doesn’t even understand what fitness is, or how it is achieved, many good trainers have dumbed it down in an effort to not frighten off the novice. Every body engaged in weight lifting for any reason is either training for sport performance, or body building. It’s just an individual question as to what extent. An 80 year old woman with osteoporosis does maximal weight bearing exercises in order to force her bones to thicken. If that doest fit the definition of bodybuilding I don’t know what does, but tell a woman she’s going to be body building and she thinks she will end up looking like an east german olympian circa 1972.

      Truth be told, most trainers don’t know their asses from their faces, either. Anyone with a borderline normal IQ can be taught how to pass any certification test required by most gyms, if the individual really wants to learn. Tell any random trainer that you read the term <em>said principle in a magazine and ask them what it means. Watch for the blank faces and the stumbling responses. And most aerobic Instructors have never worked as personal trainers and aerobic certifications virtually ignore exercise science and instead focus on things like choreography and music selection, with only a cursory overview on definitions of aerobic and anaerobic training..

      There are exceptions. The Swedish Institute (an expensive 2 year associates degree level program), The Cooper Institute, and The National Strength and Conditioning Association (their CSCS credential) offer higher end learning opportunities. But college education is downgraded by the industry. If I held a BS in Exercise Science, and a Masters in Kinesiology, I would still be required to maintain a certification that is in reality nothing more than an introduction to fitness . Minus all the education, a high school diploma or GED and the certification gets me the same job, if I want to be a personal trainer, that is. That’s why you have $8.00/hour trainers who are 18 or 20 years old.

      So when it comes to general fitness, what most people mean is they want to be healthier than they currently are. So, how much healthier do you feel like being? A very healthy body will look fitter than a less healthy body, at any age, and that’s where it gets confused with the shallow, aesthetic interpretation of fitness. If I’m 48 and trying to look like that spectacular 21 year old, I’m in trouble, but that shouldn’t stop me from trying to be the fittest (read healthiest) 48 year old possible.

      We all know people who are naturally good looking, and may not be healthy. They are usually young. They won’t be that way forever (minus the occasional genetic freak). On the other hand, getting super cut up usually requires a level of commitment that starts invading other aspects of a well rounded life, and can bring later physical woes in the form of repetitive stress injuries, arthritis, and chronic, non-arthritic, joint pains. Taking anything to obsessive levels is never about health. In those cases some other motivating factor (for good or ill) is at work.

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