Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fitness center rant, part deux

When did people get so bad at moving?

I was never what you could call a coordinated kid. I was never picked for any sports in gym class, and I knew better than to try out for any team other than cross country where I could just run (slowly) in a straight line (and that's also why I'll never take a dance class with Sarah). But what I saw at the fitness center this weekend (see part I of my rant here), shocked me.

We supposedly live in one of the fittest areas in the country. People are supposed to be pretty active here. And I was at a recreation center on a Saturday morning, so folks are already self selected for people who would rather exercise than sleep in. AND NO ONE COULD MOVE!

Lift one leg up and touch it with the other hand? no.
Run in place? only if I hold on to the wall.
Jumping Jacks? ha!

This is why you need to lift with kettlebells and barbells, people!

I'll (mis-)quote Rippetoe here (I can hear Randy groaning): the fact that you don't fall down when you lift a barbell is proof that it's training your balance.

If you spend all of your time sitting at your desk and then going to the gym to "use the machines," you'll never learn how to move your body. You need to challenge yourself and stay balanced under load. How else are you going to recover when you trip over the curb? Life is dynamic, and if you don't learn how to live in a dynamic world, you're really missing out.

I don't even think people realize how bad it's gotten. We're all happy to sit on our couch scrolling through Instagram with our iPhones. We drive everywhere, take the elevator up stairs. At the grocery store, we don't even carry our food, we use the cart (and even lean on it - Kevin's biggest complaint!).

Looking at my childhood, you'd never guess that I would be the one complaining that everyone around me is uncoordinated. I guess that strength training is good for something.

As much as I complain that my kids are killing me, at least they keep me off balance. I can sit on the floor, have an ADHD 6-year-old jump on my shoulders (I have enough muscle around my neck, so he hasn't broken it, yet...), and then stand up without using my hands (because I'm using them to protect my face from the flailing). Then we walk down the stairs in the dark while he flails around some more...and we do this every night!

Don't fall in the trap of making your life so easy that you grow weak. You'll need your coordination and balance to protect yourself sometime - the black swan is out there.

Today's Workout

with a barbell:

press 5-3-2-3x2
2 TGUs between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

snatch 5x(2+2) heavy
double front squat 3x5 light
press 3x(5+5) light 
dead stop double clean 5x5 medium