So here I sit, in the frozen tundra that is NYC. It is the day after Christmas 2010, yet it feels like a medieval night in 1210 and NY has become the North Pole. I am left without power in my house and whole neighborhood. No light, no heat. Just me in the darkness, wearing a hooded cloak by a candle light with an open leatherbound notebook and a quail feather dipped in ink as I sit pondering fitness and exercise, thinking about the latest techniques, what works and what doesn’t, and the current state of the fitness industry in this coming year. . . .
Here are the random thoughts from the Fitness Monk himself . . .
1. The Words of Bruce Lee – “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless.” -This quote from the master himself directly applies to anyone looking to achieve success in any aspect of their lives. Especially when it comes to the fitness business, there are way too many falsehoods out there that people take as absolute fact.
Not only in this industry but you will hear plenty of BS from many people in your lives. If you want to grow and not stagnate then strictly follow his advice.
2. Flexibility Training – I am starting to think we all need a little bit more! It seems for years that this is a component of training that has been neglected and in most cases forgotten. Even if people do stretch, they usually do only the ones they are good at instead of trying to counter their true barriers.
Static stretching is a much needed component, since I have begun to add it in to the programs of my clients more and more, I am starting to see the change in their movements. Not only less stiffness, but more mobility. Also it is a component to the workout that seems to balance the strength portion almost like yin and yang. Beyond this stretching just feels good, and flexibility is something we must maintain as we get older! More on this coming soon!
3. The Shake Weight or The Perfect Crunch – If you got one for Christmas, throw it at the person who gave it to you . . . Seriously! (This guy below looks way too happy with his new toy!)
This is the exact kind of thing that fuels many of the misconceptions of training and what it takes to actually change the way you look. Americans especially want the quick and easy fix and will be willing to spend billions of dollars a year on BS devices supplements and programs that sell you a false hope.
Get over it. Its only hard, teeth gritting, profusely sweating, callous forming work that gets you anywhere. People want to completely change the way the way they look, they want a TRANSFORMATION – sorry but this does not come from doing anything “while you watch tv” – Turn off the TV and get to the gym, pick up the heaviest pair of dumbells you can hold and carry them as far as you can. . . Then bring them back.
Great bodies are built through hard work. Anything you consider “great” in this world is a product of hard work. Its just the way it is.
4. Food Journaling – Definitely a “must-do” to get results. If you want to lose fat, you must keep track of your eating. You are not going to get anywhere if you eat midlessly and dont write anything down. I have seen this over and over again when people tell me they cant lose weight, I ask “What did you eat?”, their response “I don’t remember.” That will get you nowhere. The most important thing that writing it down does for you is that it keeps the food you are eating on the top of your mind. You will know what you ate, and if you do not lose weight, then we can look back and tweak things. I am convinced that fat loss is easy, but until you start writing down and monitoring what you eat throughout the week, the results will not be optimal.
5. The Fitness Industry 2011 – I would like to be optimistic and say that the mainstream will change, but who am I kidding? The mainstream is definitely more educated now than in the past. Last year I wrote about barefoot training, and kettlebells. Now that all this has come to light, it seems as if people are more confused than ever, only because there are more components to be confused about. Hopefully 2011 will be a return to old school simplicity. A return to actually taking care of our bodies as nature intended. A return to pure movement, a return to making training fun, efficient, and effective. People will come train in the gym so they can play harder outside, they will build a suit of armor so that no problem can penetrate them. They come to build strong states physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. After all, your body is your temple.
Too many times I walk into the gym and see the same 20 people on the treadmill going at the same slow steady pace – (Oh, how I want to run up and crank up the intensity on each machine! RUN DAMNIT RUN! . . . J/K . . . not really =) ) Seriously though I think that this will be the year that these people will look for alternatives, they will seek better help and information. They will look to get their butts kicked into life. They will realize that they have been wasting time and that their bodies are truly built for action . . .
Grab a protein shake, train hard and play harder!