Gyms were born out a redundant model of training. Bodybuilding
Think about it, before the 80s bodybuilding boom featuring legends like Arnold and Franco, regular people weren’t really gymming. There were gymnasiums and weights rooms for athletes, but the 9-6pm corporate warrior looking to drops some KG and put on some muscle wasn’t hanging out there
This boom gave us Commercial Gyms, and within the next decade these facilities would become an institution amongst affluent modern humans looking to develop themselves… For a while there things were looking good – Aerobics, Fake Tans, Cable Machines, Polyester clothing, Pump class
The thing is – for all of the relative success of a few bodybuilders, there was a thousand crippled humans meandering about below who were failed by the gym. Not because bodybuilding is the devil (not even hating… we do some bodybuilding in our gym), but because this micro-cosmos method of training became the only option for the masses
It addressed muscle building, yes (and narcissism). What about flexibility? Education? Strength? Body awareness? Or more primal triggers for health like Community, and Purpose?
The people drank the cool-aid, wanting to ‘get fit’, and ‘drop a bit of fat off the belly’… ‘wouldn’t mind toning up a little either’… Just like the rest of us (i slugged it out in this manner for years as an 18 year old). They did the curls and presses to make their muscles grow, they did the treadmill to burn fat, they even did the 6 meals a day, low fat, protein shakes, hydroxburn-whatever the fuck supplements are being peddled these days. They put their heart and soul into this model, hoping to be spat out fit, strong and ready to take on the world
After a few months of quick, mildly effortful gains, things stagnated
For whatever reason, the progress stopped. The body started to accumulate more tension and some little niggles. Shortly after they stopped going to the gym. 12 months later and it was all back to square one… ‘Man i just got too busy with work’… ‘I have a family now and just can’t make the time’… The things we say
They failed. But it wasn’t their fault. They entered into a game where very few people actually succeed (kind of like that movie Hunger Games i guess)
The thing is – you don’t turn up to a mechanics workshop with exactly zero experience in cars besides knowing how to drive one, put the thing on the hoist and get about rebuilding your own engine. What kind of lunatic could even imagine doing that?
You pay the mechanic, because they know what they’re doing
Commercial gyms are the same shiz. You sign up, get a membership, a cheap towel and a backpack, then you get to work servicing and rebuilding this Ferrari that’s been gifted to you by the goddess of evolution. At first you’re pulling bits and pieces off the top of the engine, cleaning them, making it all spiffy. It’s coming along well!
Soon enough you’re pulling shit off and you have no idea of how to get it back on. This thing has gotten way out of hand. All of a sudden this fine piece of automotive engineering is spluttering along like a total lemon. It’s falling to bits. What was once a well designed and maintained machine has now become dysfunctional
But when it comes to our body, shouldn’t you know what to do with it? After all you do live in it every day… ‘Oh I played lots of sports as a kid so i should be fine’… ‘I used to be really fit so i’ll just do what i did before’
How far did that attitude get you with your Ferrari? I don’t need to point out the absurdity of this process
I’ll say it again, it’s not your fault. You just bought into good marketing and the allure of overnight transformation like so many of us have and continue to do so year on year. You got tricked
You trust your mechanic to advise you on what work your car needs, right? They carry out the work so that you can jump in the thing, get on the road, and not have the wheels fall off. You need to have the same person for your body. There’s plenty out there, so you’d better do your research – once you’ve found a good one, follow their advice. You’ll thank them later
A great coach of mine named Ido Portal once said to me “If you find a good coach, learn from them regardless of what they’re teaching”
My takeaway from that was to seek the highest quality coach and place big value on what they’re teaching…