The Fitness Hype Train

The Fitness Hype Train

There is so much bullshit out there about fitness, and it’s all a massive endeavor in attempting to separate fly shit from pepper.This bullshit permeates the internet. People with way too much time on their hands endlessly debate the minutiae of fat loss and muscle gain on message boards o’er the land.The truth is, only 20% of Americans get a decent amount of exercise (1) and about 32.5% eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.(2)That focuses on about 10% of what is important about getting in shape, being strong, living healthy, losing fat, building muscle, getting faster, etc.Is there any worthwhile information in the bullshit, or even the legitimate scientific research that examines the micro-issues surrounding fat loss, muscle gain and physical performance? Sure, but is any of it actually relevant to you? Maybe not.

WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?

Do you get all waxed, tanned, oiled, and Speedo-ed to pose on a stage? Do you have a rippling six-pack? Are you questing for the shredded eight-pack? Do you have the job of protecting your quarterback’s spleen from being ripped out by some behemoth defensive lineman? Do you regularly step into a ring and need to hit people so hard their grandchildren are born dizzy?

If you do — if you’ve got the other 90% down and want to achieve ultimate excellence — then go ahead and work on separating that fly shit and pepper. But if you’re like the vast majority of the population, then you should instead be focusing on what’s really important. You need to focus on the 90%.

I don’t do MMA, pose on stage, race competitively, or try to hit opposing football players so hard they fudge their jockstraps. I have four-pack abs, not a six-pack. I drink six-packs. I run for fun and lift because I love it. I cycle far and fast, and get lost on purpose. I get email alerts about powder days at the ski hill. My ideal vacation involves lots of time in a sea kayak.

LIVE IN THE 90%

The fitness & nutrition world is a breeding ground for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The irony is that many things people worry about simply have no impact on results either way, and therefore aren’t worth an ounce of concern.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE FOCUSING ON THE 90%?

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:

Did I kick ass today?
Did I eat healthy today?

AND IF WEIGHT LOSS IS YOUR GOAL:

Did I restrict calories today?

These are big questions that require big effort. They make up 90% of what you need to do to build muscle, lose fat, be strong, healthy, fast, flexible, agile, determined, mentally sharp, and generally kick ass at life.

Sure, you could waste hours debating techniques and nutritional tips with some genetically gifted and juiced-to-the-gills freakazoid on the message board of some website. Or you could, I don’t know, spend that time exercising instead.

WHY WORRY?

I’ll tell you what I don’t do. I don’t worry about maximizing my post-workout recovery food. I don’t worry too much about balancing carb and protein ratios. I don’t worry if my aerobic training interferes with my weightlifting. I don’t care if the number of sets I did was perfectly optimal; I pay attention to the essentials.

I care if I work hard. I care if I work out frequently and for long periods of time. I care about how many miles I bike and how fast. I care about my fruit and vegetable intake and number of calories. I don’t look for “secrets,” and I give precisely zero shits about taking alleged muscle-building or fat-burning supplements.

CARE ABOUT HAVING A GOOD TIME!

DID YOU KICK ASS TODAY? THAT’S WHERE YOUR FOCUS SHOULD BE!

HERE ARE SOME TAKEAWAYS STRATEGIES

Quit worrying about the minutiae and focus instead on the big picture of a fit lifestyle.

If fat loss is your goal, consuming fewer calories than you burn is all that matters. Find a healthy way to do this that doesn’t leave you starving or decreases physical performance.

Lift heavy. Lift hard. Lift often. Not too often.

Focus on multi-joint weightlifting moves.

Do your aerobic training at a high intensity that you can sustain for a significant period of time. Ever hear of the sing-talk test? My advice is to go hard enough that you can talk but really don’t want to.

MOST IMPORTANTLY

LOVE WHAT YOU DO

GET GOOD AT IT, THEN GET BETTER

KEEP PUSHING UNTIL THE DAY YOU TAKE A DIRT NAP

(1)  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57582759/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/

(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.stateoftheusa.org/content/americans-passing-on-fruits-vegetables.php

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