Remember playing outside in the backyard on a warm summer day with your real live friends and running inside for a big glass of Hi-C Ecto Cooler! The tasty green juice from a little tin barrel that needed two holes punched in the top. I remember riding my bike to school in the morning, home for lunch and back, then home again after school. Playing dodgeball, climbing ropes, and watching the space shuttle Challenger explode were all a part of my youth. Mr. T was cool, Prince was his name, Garbage Pail kids were trading cards, and the Dukes of Hazzard were on my tin lunch box. Things were totally awesome then!
What has happened to us? Kids classrooms are no longer allowed to celebrate calendar events like Christmas or Valentines because ONE person in the class might be offended. Dodgeball and rope climbing have been deemed way too dangerous. There’s no Presidential Physical Fitness test because someone might feel inadequate if they don’t get a patch! As a parent I’m too scared to let my son ride his bike to school because some creep might take him, and Heaven forbid he doesn’t wear his seatbelt… despite the fact I rode in the back of my dad’s pick-up or in the back window of my mom’s car.
A lot of today’s world is one big overreaction, even in the fitness world. In many cases warm-ups and cool downs now take longer than the meat of the workout! There’s a fear of picking up heavy things and a movement toward excessive pointless stuff like bosu balls, overly excessive nutritional supplements, and don’t forget the litany of fitness feedback trackers for your phone app. And for the love of all that is good, stop posting your workouts on ANY social media, you’re the only one that cares what you did in the gym! Honestly, getting in shape isn’t that hard just pick up heavy things and get your heart rate up. We need to get back to the basics. Squats are not bad for your knees, your technique and poor ankle mobility is killing your knees. Fix it! Deadlifts are not bad for your back, your technique and poor hip mobility is bad for your back. Bench pressing is not bad for your shoulders, your technique with soft lats and flared elbows coupled with poor shoulder mobility is bad for your shoulders. Just take some time and learn the proper mechanics from a professional. Fix it! Stop with all the crazy cardio techniques too; from zumba to tabata and HIIT vs steady state, just get your heart rate up and get uncomfortable. I can tell you with documentable proof, my clients that squat, bench, and deadlift once a week and finish workouts with 10-15 min of high intensity conditioning consistently outperform everyone else. Stop over thinking this like everything else in our world today. We’ve become an all bread and no substance society… Come on people, “Where’s the beef?”
Today’s technology has improved some things, but others have just become watered down. I think when I take Dylan to school tomorrow we’ll get in the car through the windows, listen to the Miami Vice soundtrack, and wear our Swatch watches. Then I’ll tell him to celebrate Easter in his classroom by talking about Jesus, the one who died for our sins, the real reason for the spring holiday. If that offends someone, too bad we won’t be able to hear their complaint over the sound of our boom box blasting “Born in the USA” on our shoulder. Maybe they can go take selfies on their bosu ball and post it on Instagram while the rest of us get back to deadlifting, doing push-ups and making real progress! Stop over thinking everything and don’t adjust what you do to accommodate the 10%’ers… Fire it up!