I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be done using my body for fitness in the next few years. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we go to the gym, we eat right, and we do our best to make healthy decisions, so that we can be on this earth a little bit longer.
The purest form and definition of fitness lives in what has been true since there has been living breathing creatures on this planet. Those that are considered the most fit, are those that have attributes that allow them to live and thrive longer on this earth. It blows my mind that we would do, consciously, anything that would take away from that.
Just like you, I signed up for my first gym membership, to be a better version of myself. I wanted to be not only healthier, stronger, more capable, look better naked, but just be an all around an awesome human. Within fitness, that is, the act of making my existence such that I will proliferate longer on this earth, and to do a better job of being a human, I have also found things that I love.
While lifting weights and getting my heart rate up will make me live longer, be more capable, and be cooler, I’ve also decided that I love the idea of growing strong and capable. I loved it so much, that I became blinded and started sacrificing the idea of being better at living on this earth, for the idea of being stronger in certain lifts.
It is been a long journey to get to this point, I have been lifting for the majority of my life.
What follows, are few lessons I learned, a few things that I was able to take away from my life up till this point that will help me become a better human, live longer, and be more capable rest of my life. I want to share them with you so that way as a coach, you can learn from my experiences, and be better your self.
I’m not looking to share all the things that are super common about fitness. I’m willing to bet you understand that eating meat and vegetables is good for you, avoiding soda is a great idea, and getting your heart rate up here and there is also a great idea. I want to share with you the details about how I’m learning to bulletproof my body, stay injury free, and keep perspective about training in life.
Call it longevity, call it durability, it’s really just a way of saying that you are working on living longer, and living better.
If I were starting all over again, I believe that one of my biggest mistakes to this point, is avoiding all of the little things that would have kept me durable.
There are a few key things that people should do when they were trying to be fit. They should move, and move well. They should eat high-quality food, and they should perform exercises that get the most return for their money.
This means some sort a loaded version of every movement pattern we are capable of performing.
Whether it’s with a weight, such as a barbell or kettle bell, or using one limb at a time to make movements are more difficult, challenging the positions we wish to keep, by training the movement patterns we want to always be able to use, is crucial living long, Happy, and capable life.
Our bodies are capable of so much, such a broader range of motion than we typically utilize, and so many different patterns, that is very easy to neglect them.
I understand that we all have limited time to train our bodies and exercise, which is why I’m not suggesting that we add in an entirely new training regimen to our 3 to 5 hours a week of exercise. What I am suggesting, is that we take five minutes of each of those sessions and hit a few movements that will train a different range of motion, or a different way of being strong.
Some of these can be considered bodybuilding movements, sometimes they are called durability movements, or even warm-ups. Call it what you will, practicing alternate movement patterns, loading the body in different ways, and doing them in small doses repeatedly, will help us to make sure that we don’t have any neglected avenues of movement, and our joints will thank us by way of being less injury prone for the long term.
So coming back around full circle, one of the biggest mistakes that I have made, one of the hardest lessons that I’ve learned over my decades of training, has been that what happens behind the scenes from the big moneymaking important movements in exercises and fitness, are what builds up to make you strong for a long time.
If the main lifts and exercises are the bricks you build your house with, then a good quality warm up, adding an accessory movement either in between big lifts, or at the end of your work out, are the mortar that holds it all together. You can stack a bunch of bricks only so high before they fall with no mortar to help them stick. You don’t see any 15 story buildings made out of just stacked bricks.
So do the work, pay attention to your warm-ups, every movement you put your body through, don’t neglect the little movements behind the scenes before or after your sessions, even if it’s five minutes.
Learn from my mistakes, and I promise you, if you spend a few minutes every session focusing on these little things in between the important exercises of the day, over the course of the next year, decade, and lifetime, you’ll be more fit to survive and thrive on this earth has a capable strong happy human being.