5 Reality Check
Which of these examples of group fitness psychosis have you fallen into? Maybe it’s time to face reality.
Many powerlifters have fallen victim to what I call “mass fitness psychosis.” It’s the kind of hysteria you sometimes see in people who belong to the same isolated group or community…like us. let’s start.
1. Most of the time, disappointing results in gyms are due to poor work ethic, not suboptimal planning.
There are many different training methods for building a strong physique. Some lifters are good with machines; others are good with machines. Others have had success using free weights. Some swear by a slow pace; others use lots of power and acceleration. Some rarely do more than 5; others rarely do less than 15. Some people use full-body procedures.others prosper Split top/bottom.
It’s true that genetics and the use of PED can make training style largely irrelevant, however, all else being equal, your work ethic is probably the most influential variable in your overall training approach. Without a doubt, this is the least valued factor for most lifters.
Bottom line: Before you start overhauling your training methods because you’re not getting the results you expected, sit down and honestly evaluate your work ethic. This is clearly a trait shared by all successful strength and conditioning athletes.
There are two long-standing statistics about low back pain:
- About 75% of people experience low back pain at some point.
- Most low back pain goes away within 30 days, no matter what you do (or don’t do).
Because of the widespread tendency to mistake correlation for causation, these two observations (especially the second) have long provided shelter for many problematic treatments.
A general understanding of anatomy and kinesiology supports the idea that all orthopedic structures are likely to respond to various treatment modalities, especially the least appreciated of these, rest. And by rest, I mean just be patient enough not to constantly check on the injury and hope you fix it without enough time to heal.
And, if you allow me to deviate a bit, a good decision “rule of thumb” is that when an approach’s value is unknown but the cost is low, it’s probably worth implementing.
3. We blame poor food choices for most of our health problems, but it’s actually more about overeating.
Dr. Eric Helms summed up this idea with the observation: “There are no bad foods, only bad diets.” Don’t lose sight of this: Some foods are definitely healthier than others. But the total amount of food you eat has a much greater impact on your health than the quality of specific foods in your diet. There are two reasons for this:
- This in itself limits the amount of “bad” food you may be eating if your overall calorie intake is right. The devil is in the dosage.
- When your overall calorie intake is right, you will maintain an optimal body weight, which greatly affects your overall health.
From a behavioral perspective, eating low-nutrient/high-calorie “junk” foods is mostly problematic. Eating these foods can lead to uncontrollable cravings that lead to excess calorie consumption. If you are one of these people, please exercise restraint.
It’s a bad idea and has been on life support for decades. Its longevity stems from the fact that most of us instinctively assume that any difficulty must be beneficial. the truth? Difficulty is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for effective training.
The main adaptations of resistance training (hypertrophy, strength, power, flexibility, etc.) require high muscle tone. Any time you practice in an unsteady manner, you sacrifice your ability to create this tension.
While this trade-off may have its merits and some context (think physical therapy), most lifters are better off using stabilization exercises.
Many lifters justify their poor progress by blaming more successful lifters for drug use (while arguing that less successful lifters are just being stupid). In this version of reality, you always come out on top, blissfully unaware of the actual reality: While the barbell doesn’t worship the altar of fairness and inclusion, it’s more than happy to reward anyone willing to put in the hard, sustained effort.
But let’s take a closer look at the concept of cheating. Most people define cheating as the methods you use that give you an unfair advantage over other people. While that’s pretty logical, the problem is that “fairness” simply doesn’t exist when it comes to our gym lives.
Look, I’m not saying that cheating isn’t a thing. Of course, some people cheat. However, there is nothing you can do about it, so from a practical point of view, the best approach is to focus on your behavior and let it be.
Disagree with any of my points? Or do you have any other examples of this phenomenon that I should include? Let’s chat about the store!