Sunday, October 14, 2007

Enough with the Hype!

One thing that I hope that I never do here is submit to or create hype. I'm not about that. I like straight facts and straight talk. Unfortunately, I'm a lone row boat in the bullshit ocean that is the fitness world.

I'm not the greatest exercise historian but I've read enough to tell you that there is nothing at all new under fitness sun. Much of what you see has been around for thousands of years. Granted it wasn't as mainstream or as popular but it was still there. The Chinese made and used barbells. The ancient Egyptians did pushups. Yoga is thousands of years old. Most of these pillars of modern fitness didn't get much attention through the years usually for three basic reasons:

1. Classism. Having a physically well-developed body was usually a sign that you were a lowly laborer. Therefore, the royalty and the Elite typically frowned on anything that would give them the look of a proletariat. Trends change but being gaunt or overweight was a sign usually of great prestige.

2. Military Secret. Much of the knowledge was classified. The armies wanted to assure that they were the biggest, strongest people the society so that they could maintain control and order. So, the average person was denied this knowledge. This happens to this day.

3. Price. In regards to equipment-based exercise, that is. It was usually very, very rare and therefore expensive. Do you ever wonder where sandbag training and kettle bells came from? Weights were too pricey so people who desired to get in shape would lift whatever heavy objects that they could find. If you look at some old weights used for calibrating scales, you'll often find that they have a stunning resemblance to Kettle bells. Coincidence?

I mention this because I want you to see through the hype. Don't think that what you're seeing is something new and something that you must do. Don't think that there is some hidden benefit that you're not getting that you simply must be doing. There is no magic exercise out there. Just about everything under the fitness sun has been tried several hundred times in the history of mankind. The key to it all is hard work, focus, and a good mind-body connection. You don't need anything else so don't dupe yourself into thinking that you're missing out because a slick advertiser says that you are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ron Coleman/Steroid hater here again.

Heads up my friend. You are NOT a lone boat in this sea. Hype and BS are blacklisted in my life also.

I just want to add another line of thought to your fine article. When considering a piece of fitness equipment think about this;

1. Who made it? Are they anyone important? Do they REALLY know what they are on about? And no, those "I train Hollywood celebs" types are NOT the ones you want to be listening to.

2. How much does it cost? Is it actually decent value, like an ab wheel (about $15 and absolutely brilliant), or is it ridiculously over priced? "Secret" movements and "special fat burning power" are not justifications for stupid pricing. If you look at the equipment for what it's base elements are (nuts, bolts, elastic tubing, box steel) you will see 99% of the time it's not worth a fraction of the sales price.

3. Could you do the exact same exercises without this? Would a few dollars worth of sand in a bag do the same? How about a cinder block? Could you even do these exercises without equipment of any kind? Are those push-ups and chin-ups really so useless when ALL Special Forces use them in test requirements?

Remember, exercise equipment is just like buying anything else. You wouldn't buy a house without doing the appropriate research would you? You wouldn't just take the real estate agents word for it. So why would you take some slick talking infomercial jerk's word for gospel truth? You're not a sucker are you?