Are you really working out? or just patting your head and rubbing your stomach?

People claim to work out.  They claim to go to the gym all the time.  They even boast that they spend hours running, or cycling, or ellipticalling (is that even word, i think i just made it up).  Or better yet, climbing stairs to nowhere, that’s even better.  However, what I see is a lot of peoples ability to walk or pedal, and watch TV or read all at the same time.

Sorry to break the news to all those people out there that think this is working out or exercise.  Its is in no way shape or form working out.  All that proves is your ability to “pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.”

To really qualify as a workout, there needs to be some sort of intent, some sort of goal.  You need to be working towards a physical adaptation and it needs to be somewhat strenuous.  What are you trying to accomplish in your workout? Figure out who’s sleeping with who in Hollywood?  Walking on the treadmill, reading the latest issue US Weekly does not make a workout.  What do you find strenuous about walking on the treadmill while holding on to the handrails?  Really? You’re gonna hold on while you walk?  When in life do you walk while holding onto something unless you’re on crutches, have a cane, or a walker.  No, during “natural,” “normal” movement, the arms swing in a contralateral fashion, or left leg steps out, right arm swings with it. 

I know I’m picking on the treadmill, but its the most commonly used machine in a gym and where I see a lot of problems.  The main focus of a majority of gym goers is not their workout, it’s catching up on a book, or watching the news, or whatever other crap happens to be on the television.  And you see these same people day after day, week after week, and after a year they look the same if not worse.  Why is that?  Because their focus isn’t on the task at hand.  100% focus should be on your workout, on creating some sort of biological response.  That’s how you reach your goals.  Too many people see the gym and especially the “cardio deck” as something to do while they entertain themselves.  They figure if I’m gonna watch TV anyway, might as well move.  Yea, that’s not a workout.  That’s walking and chewing gum at the same time.  Congrats on doing two things at once.  But don’t brag about your “workout.”

Next time you’re at the gym, do yourself a favor, leave the book or magazine at home, ignore the TV overhead(or newer machines have TVs on them) and put 100% focus into your workout.  You’d be amazed at your results. 

That’s my cardio rant.  Stay tuned for a little rant on how people resistance train.

Pick things up, Put them down!!

If more people picked heavy crap up, and then put it down, we’d have a healthier society.  Instead we have all this selectorized equipment for isolating each muscle group.  Guess what!! Thats not how the body moves.  The body moves in a series of contractions of multiple major muscle groups and smaller, stabilizing muscle groups. 
Seriously go out and lift heavy crap up, put it down, and repeat.  That is your exercise prescription.