Training and/or working out for the sake of fitness is not a natural behaviour for humans. It’s not a common thing in all societies. It’s only really found in modern, westernised societies. There is training to develop certain skills like hunting and physical preparation for warfare, but outside of that there isn’t really training for the sake of fitnessing.
We had to create fake work
We had to make up things to do to allow our bodies to function well. Our bodies need movement. It needs to be put under stress to function well. Usually this stress would come from manual labour and playing games. This is how humans maintained and developed physical attributes for a long time.
Technology is killing us … if we let it
Technically we don’t really need to be active as we have enough technology to live a comfortable minimal-movement life. The rise of the machines that they spoke of in Terminator is here, just not in the same sense as in the movies. Cybernetic organisms looking like Arnold aren’t coming to kill us with violence and destruction - your TV is, by keeping you plastered to the couch. Your car is, by making you walk less. We are built to move - it is deeply ingrained in how we function. Our lifestyle does not demand it from us anymore so we have to find the movement ourselves.
Everyone needs to find a movement practice that they love and do that, it doesn’t matter what it is. Just do something that you enjoy. Move! It can be a martial art like BJJ, it can be Tango, Parkour, CrossFit, Gymnastics, and it can be jogging (more on this here) or lifting weights (more on this next week). It doesn’t matter, just move.
The important thing is to not let that movement practice break you. Our bodies have become so soft and atrophied because of comfort and an actively sedentary lifestyle. Because of this, most of us don’t move well and we have many limitations we have to work around. Like I’ve said before, just because you love running doesn’t mean it’s good for you. You have to do the work that prepares your body for the demands. This is where training comes in.
Training might not be natural but it’s necessary.
We need it, now more than ever. We have gone soft. We have become immobile, weak and fragile. We need to do work to strengthen ourselves to make us more capable of handling the demands of the things we enjoy doing.
Capability is the buy-in to the poker game! The more you are capable of doing, the higher the stakes of the game that you can play. This is the difference between being able to go for a walk vs running vs trail running. A person who is capable of moving well on a trail run can do all 3, the same cannot be said for the other two.
Tortoise vs The Hare
Everyone wants to be the hare, myself included. We all want to do as much as possible in a short space of time to get results immediately. We work at a pace that we can’t sustain and eventually burn out. We forget that the tortoise wins the race. Consistency beats intensity in the long run. Intensity is good, but consistency is king. This is not about being lean in 12 weeks or having bigger arms in 6 weeks. It is about having a better life.