The fitness world has regressed in the past 50 years. Since the popularity of weight training, supplements, gyms, and steroids have exploded upon the fitness world, it´s residue has tarnished the fitness world in a most unfortunate way. Along the way, those who wanted to get fit have surrendered to the notion that fitness of body comes from these and not from within. It comes from your mind. It comes from your desire and your focus.
This is what the fitness books of 70-100 years ago preached about. Authors like Sandow, Maxick, Atlas, Tilney, Jowett, Swoboda, and Van Digglen spoke at length about the need to have a focused mind to develop a powerful body. This may have been born out of necessity. Weights were hideously expensive so having piles of weights would have been incredibley expensive. So, they supplemented by using their mind to direct an intense contraction to the muscle that they were working while using a light weight. This eliminated the need for having all of the expensive iron. The anvil-lifting wonder George Jowett commented in his magnum opus Unrevealed Secrets of Man that he never lifted a weight more than 25 lbs while training. The weight merely served as a way to magnify and focus the contraction that the mind was doing. This may have been an improvisation, but it was a much smarter way to work out.
Unfortunately, this is utterly lost upon the modern fitness world. Now, machines and massive weights provide the resistance. There is little focus on the of the mind on the task at hand. If there were, then there wouldn´t be televisions at gyms, would there? Every lifter has a story of how they have given themselves muscle tears, ripped tendons off their bones, injured themselves, etc. A quick search of Youtube will give you the hideous picture of the lack of focus, attention, and intelligence in the fitness world.
That´s why I say that we have fallen behind. If anything, we need to look back at the way it used to be. We need to use our minds to develop our bodies and not rely on foreign objects to do the work that our minds should be doing. Work out without distractions. Focus your mind on the body part that you´re working on. Develop a connection between your mind and your body. This may not be as easy as piling on 100 lbs of weight on your shoulders but it will yield a much healthier, stronger body as well as a better, more focused mind.
Start looking backwards now...
If you´re reading this, Thanks, Gordon Anderson, for all of the good work that you´ve done here. It is invaluable. You´re the tour guide to the past, and a damn good one at that!