Tuesday, August 5, 2008


My work is mostly sitting on my can, or standing and talking. My business does not involve hard (or even moderate) physical labor. The problem is that I really like having a body that is capable of doing things – lots of things. To make that possible, I must train my body.

Exercise is not a drudgery for me. I actually enjoy it in it’s own right. The sweat, the discomfort, the exertion, even the pain. It’s good. I know it makes me stronger. I enjoy my body, and making it do things.

And that is one of the pillars of my philosophy of physical training. It’s about DOING THINGS, more than it is about looking good. Don’t get me wrong…I like looking good. Moreover it also pleases me that my appearance pleases others – especially my bride. I would say that for a 45 year old guy, I'm in better shape than most men my age. Yet I see this as a side benefit.

What are the real benefits?

I can tumble with my kids without fear of injury.
I can put up wood to heat our house for the winter.
I can walk among the mountains and enjoy it.
I rarely have to go to the doctor.
I can eat healthy without being a food nazi
I can DO things.

I appreciate anything that gets someone off their can and moving around. I’m not a big fan of bodybuilding (I thinks it’s focus is all wrong) but it’s way better than not exercising. I’m not a huge fan of “fitness” workouts like you see on TV (I think most people don’t do them with enough focus and intensity to get real results), but again, if you enjoy it and you actually DO it, I support you completely. I think gyms are mostly a waste of money, and most exercise equipment is silly and over rated. The more complex it is, the sillier and more over rated it is.

I prefer simple direct forms of exercise, closely related to the fundamental types of work that mankind has done for millenia -- basically running and lifting. Therefore, I’m more inclined toward things like powerlifting, Olympic style lifting, Kettlebell workouts, body weight training (calisthenics), martial arts training or gymnastics. If it involves compound movement that recruits your whole body, I like it. If it involves isolation and focuses on size rather than strength, endurance, flexibility or agility, I tend to stay away. Even Yoga or dance is great stuff IF you do it with focus and intensity. It’s not that any of these is wrong or right, it’s more about will it get you the results you want – and are you doing it properly to get those results?

I like to read the blog over at Ross Training. This guy is a former boxer, now personal trainer. He uses a variety of conventional, old school, and unconventional approaches to physical training. I’m thinking this guy can do pretty much whatever he wants to do with his body. When it comes to a strong healthy body, this is where I would like to go.

I’m especially impressed by the 1 arm rollouts, the 1leg squats, and the ballistic pull-ups where he lets go of the bar. As they say in Wisconsin, “OOF-DAH!”

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