Ever since cardio machines and big monster machines that work only 1 or 2 muscles, exercise has become a confused and out of whack form of strength training that just won’t cut it. Sure there’s Hip Hop Abs, 8 minute abs, Tae Bow, P90X and other infomercial products that are “designed” to give you the body of your dreams. Hate to break it to you but once it does happen or “if” it happens, your body will look great but your health will be in the slammer because they expect you to train hard all the time for the rest of your life and that’s just not ethical.
The machines that are designed to work a certain muscle is not a realistic approach to functional training and should really only be used for rehab or if that. Isolating the muscles may make you stronger but you’re only stronger with that particular muscle. To build a functionally strong and healthy body, you only need a few exercises and the less you have the better.
Back before cardio machines and cables, there were dumbbells,barbells, gymnastic rings and a few racks, which was all that was needed for the old-time lifters and strongmen of the day. They didn’t isolate the muscles and were far stronger and healthier pound for pound than most people today in our obesity, diabetic and cruel twisted world. Would you believe that a man back then only lived to be no more than 50 yet a number of physical culturists lived long lives and actually got better as they aged say for instance George Hackenshmidt lived to be 90, Jack Lalanne was 96, Bodybuilder John Grimek lived to be in his late 80’s and believe it not even a man as little as Joe Greenstein aka The Mighty Atom lived to be in his mid 80’s. Simple training with the right mindset and program that works can give you a long and healthy life.
One of my all-time pet peeves from certain people in the fitness industry believe that they’re system only works and nothing else does so it’s their end all be all mentality and try to brainwash people into believing that. In reality there is no one way to any exercise system. I use to believe that too until I broke my legs and had to learn how to walk again. I learned to be open-minded and try certain things and if they work, great if not than I get rid of it. Having an open mind gives you limitless possibilities to find what works best for you but knowing and doing the basics lays the foundation to what you can really accomplish.
It’s never a good idea to torture yourself and be frustrated trying to achieve your fitness goals. I was frustrated for quite some time when I first started training and read about routine after routine after routine in the fitness magazines that no matter what I tried to accomplish something else was telling me that I sucked and needed to do something else. The moment I learned to stop that, everything became clear. You don’t need to go to a gym, you don’t always need thousands of pounds of equipment in your house that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Save your money and if you want to get something, make sure you really could use it otherwise you’re just throwing yourself in debt.
Remember that military tag line “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” Great line and remember how many words are there, I counted 6. Six words and it already have a powerful statement. So look at it this way, the fewer exercises you do and you master them, the more powerful and stronger you can be. Here is a new tag line for you in your fitness endeavor “The Few, The Proud, The Basics.” Simple, easy to remember and sends a power message that you don’t have to do everything under the sun, just a few simple things and you’re on your way to fitness glory.