Strong, real, lean, and proven
Fake, artificial, synthetic, and bloated
This is the second article in a series of 5 discussing popular fitness myths.
A discussion of strength must begin with its definition: 'Physical power, energy, capacity for exertion, durable, and endurance' are all words to describe Strong. But, strength as a Human Being must also encompass the attributes we have been given and our abilities to produce them in any given situation. Agility, coordination, propulsion, and the ability to jump, twist, climb, sprint must all come into play to define true strength. Sure, the bodybuilder on the left has the ability to move 300 pounds lying on his back, and, that may be his goal but chances are his joint range is limited, isn't the most agile and nimble guy in the gym, and most certainly has not gained his size without aid of supplementation, legal and otherwise. He encompasses a limited scope of what a strong human must be. The gymnast, on the other hand, is certainly lean and achieved his optimal frame, possessing the attributes and abilities that encompass a strong and agile human being with training alone.
This article is not meant to be a bash against bodybuilding, because, in fact, anyone who lifts weights with a goal of improving the looks of his or her body is bodybuilding. No, this post is meant to understand that chances are, you have looked at someone like this thinking (or envying) the look and that it might be possible for you to get there someday. Forgetaboutit!
Points on Bodybuilding:
- Most follow a narrow protocol of lift more and lift often. This approach almost always ends up with injury and neglects fundamental movements of stability, mobility, speed, coordination, and of course variation and progression which are essential for a strong human.
- Super sized humans are becoming more and more common due to a few things:
- Increased interest in fitness competitions
- Increased shelf presence of supposed health & fitness magazines
- Sports supplements
- Fitness competitions have little to do with fitness. As I mentioned in the Urban Caveman's 10th Priority, anyone can lift a lot of weight, take supplements, get a spray tan, down diuretics days before a competition, lather up with oil, bleach their teeth, don a flashy swimsuit, and stand on a stage to be subjectively judged as to how ripped their muscles are, or more accurately, their genetics and given skeleton is. Sounds harsh, but so many of the folks that engage in this hobby are doing major harm to their organs, skeleton, and endocrine system, not to mention the injuries, mostly joint, that they have to live with the rest of their lives. I see them, watch them work out, and know them years after they have quit this nonsense and most regret horribly what they did to their bodies.
- Exercise must include variation, progression, proper exercise selection, rest, regeneration, appropriate nutrition, and most of all, common sense.
- The word 'Natural' has been tossed into the bodybuilding arena. This could mean that there are no artificial (illegal) prescription hormone, steroids, or growth hormones being used. However, synthetic, over the counter hormone precursors, and everything available at your local GNC is most likely being dumped into their bodies. Just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it's not damaging to the body, and it certainly is not 'natural'
Getting Lean the Right Way
As you've probably heard, there are no shortcuts in life. Dedication, determination, and patience are the keys. Throughout this site, there are many articles on Eating Right and Exercising Efficiently. Practicing these two principles and the other 11 Priorities while ignoring common gym dogma and the supplement merry-go-round of false promises will lead you to a resilient, pliable, fast, and lean body.