While most Americans were firing up the barbecue or lying on the beach this weekend, the New York Times published an opinion piece on exercise, entitled Fitness Crazed. Daniel Duane wrote a compelling column in which he contends that simple is better. He says current fitness trends, such as muscle confusion and high intensity interval workouts, were ineffective for him.
What finally worked for Daniel (since an article about nothing working probably wouldn't be published in a prominent position in the Sunday Times)? Legendary strength training coach Mark Rippetoe's five-lift barbell routine. Basically, lift (squat, bench, etc.), rest, increase weight, rinse and repeat. Daniel was able to gain strength by sticking to a simple and effective program.
Daniel's vivid, personal story of frustration-turned-exhilaration underscores the importance of motivation. As I wrote in last week's blog, the best exercise is the one you actually do. Fun and passion are both a big part of this. Daniel reminds us that "through small, steady increases in weight, speed, distance ..." we can achieve results that provide great motivation.
He recalled the story of the ancient Greek wrestler with superhuman strength, Milo of Croton. Legend has it that Milo once carried a full-grown bull on his shoulders. He developed this strength by carrying a newborn calf every day, and as it grew it eventually became a mature bull. (Note: Once he was able to carry the adult bull, he slaughtered, cooked and ate it -- all in one day of course.)
Few of us aim to lift a bull on our shoulders, but most of us have some fitness goals. Seeing clear progress on our journey towards achieving our goals provides us with tremendous motivation.
We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about key fitness milestones that have motivated you. Comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness or tweet us at @flytefitness.
Be Flyte Fit,
Co-Founder & CEO