Young people don’t realize they’ll ever get old.
This widely accepted statement is actually bullshit.
While it is true that teenagers aren’t exactly touring assisted living facilities or researching hip replacements in an effort to prepare for their future, pretty much every six year old figures out the circle of life.
Now, what I do think younger generations miss is that, inevitably, their stuff and their way of life will get “old timey”.
Girls writing notes to boys on loose leaf paper, your Dad asking you to get off the couch to change the TV channel and rolling down the car window by hand were certainly things people would be doing my entire life. Yet, here I find myself in the world of DMs and wireless remotes and automatic car windows.
And before you start judging me as an old man, keep in mind, oh smug member of generation Z, that this will happen to you. That in a few short years you will be wearing reading glasses and reminiscing on how you had to put on a giant, clumsy headset to experience virtual reality. That you had to use an app and leave your house to go on a date rather than just have the man of your dreams created for you without ever leaving your living room. That you used archaic things like keyboards and wore jeans and had an actual living, breathing dog as a pet and lived in a time when real people drove around in manually operated trucks in order to drop packages off at your front door. Insanity.
Progress, for the most part, is good. Until the robots realize that we humans utilize too many natural resources and kill us all off. Then it’s probably not great.
On the subject of not great, I’ve been getting more social media ads promoting shiny, fancy, new fangled fitness equipment lately. Everything from calf stretchers to polygonal shaped weights to frozen vibrating foam rollers. And while most of these items are not unconditionally good or bad (okay, they’re mostly terrible) the main problem is not with their efficacy or novelty or value. The problem is, they are a distraction.
Regardless of what your recent political debate with your cousin Celia on Facebook would have you believe, the human mind adapts much more quickly than the human body. Your body is conditioned from years of evolution and best practices to act and behave in a certain way. The brain, on the other hand, is open to suggestion and plasticity. It can influence behavior in an instant. The body, can’t really change on a dime (there’s an old timey saying for you!). In some cases it can take generations of changed behavior before the human body takes on permanent alterations to its structure or function.
Over time, human bones have gotten weaker and lighter and our guts have gotten smaller due to decreased physical demands and more of a reliance on cooked foods. But that change didn’t happen overnight. It took about 50,000 years.
And this is exactly why time tested exercises make up the bulk of our training programs. When things like squats and deadlifts and sprints and jumps have been around for centuries, have tons of research behind them and you’ve witnessed their efficacy with your own eyes, it’s hard to turn your back on them.
We get it. While it’s hard to argue the validity of the tried-and-true, it’s also not the most titillating thing in the world. People are captivated by the new and unexplored. And certainly innovation is an important thing. Fitness is no exception.
But if your goal is to get results in the most effective and efficient way possible, the vast, vast majority of your training should rely on the proven concepts, exercises and programs that have driven those outcomes. Do you want sexy exercises or sexy outcomes?
I don’t want to come across as a stuck-in-my-ways hater here. And if you love your Mirror, just picked up an Ab Squat Machine off an infomercial or clicked “Buy Now” on the latest Instagram Influencers “Peach Booty In Three Minutes Per Day” program and you love it, more power to you.
But I’m going to stick to my squats and deadlifts and sweat and proof.
Because, sure, I may be a bit old timey. But I’m also pretty sure I’ve found the fountain of youth.