Calling Bullshit

In advance of this, I’ve been digging into the whole Corporate Warrior community the last couple days to see what had been keeping Lawrence busy.  By the looks of it he’s done really well in gathering a huge amount of HIIT based research and experts and information in one place, which is really great.  He’s also looking pretty shredded, which means if nothing else he’s walking the walk–always a good thing from a marketing standpoint.

Now I actually really like Lawrence’s philosophy, particularly much of what he says in this piece.  Although it is geared more towards strength based HIIT contains a bit of blog vanity (hey, what blog doesn’t?), it mirrors many of my own thoughts and experiences as I’ve navigated the HIIT for endurance landscape.  I also really like that he recognizes the widely ranging points of view that dominate the HIIT landscape, the potential confusion that exists, and the difficulty in making sense of conflicting thoughts and theories.

But to his credit, he presents it all through his podcast.

So now I’m getting to the point.  It was in pulling metaphorical books off of Corporate Warrior’s well stocked shelves this morning that I found the motivation for this particular blog.  It’s motivation that stems from something I’ve been thinking about with increasing fervor this past year and a half, something that may even result in another book (eventually, Skyler, eventually!).  It is the motivation to call Bullshit.

Here it is:

Now in this particular case I’m not taking offence at Discover Strength per se, or their trainers, or their cool animated video (though the form on the curls is just such an easy target), but one of the key points of their message, is, in my opinion, part of one of the biggest bits of misinformation that is pervasive in the fitness culture in general. It comes right at 1:46 in the video.

Come on everyone.  This isn’t what we should be promising. This isn’t even what we should be aspiring to, unless of course we’re talking about improving as a person in general.  But constantly improving fitness?  The belief that we can and should always be better physically can be toxic.  It keeps us from being happy when we meet our goals.  How fit is fit enough?  Because however we answer that question (assuming we do it with some genuine reflection and level-headedness), we ought to be able to get there.  And once we’re there, we ought to be content with just staying there. But this video seems to assume that there is a de-facto understanding that more is always better. Bullshit.

This culture of more doesn’t just exist in fitness if course, but this is a fitness blog so I’ll contain my pseudo-rant and keep it from spilling into other realms. For now at least.  And, speaking of this blog, well, it for one won’t always be improving.  Nor will my time trial swim-run time, towards which I now turn my attention.

Happy training (and improving…or not).