Strength Mirrors Health
This past year, being our first as stand alone Fitness Clinicians™ needs no literary punch up to justify some reflection. We made some progress and learned from some challenges. It is actually a bit odd after so many years training folks previously to be once again coming face to face with one’s career. Suffice to say we have risen to the occasion even if we have needed to make a few prudent adjustments.
One tough fact of working to ‘help others help themselves’ is accepting the limits of our influence. Some people just aren’t ready and others are in far too much of a rush. We resolve to plant the seed and not over water. If it sprouts its easy to nurture if it doesn’t…well maybe it is just temporarily dormant. An area we do not accept limits is our ability to learn and problem solve. Where there is a will there is an exercise adjustment and nutrition tweak to lead the way. At the end of the day or the year the fact remains; when it comes to health each one of us has a unique dialect and family influenced accent and strength holds the Rosetta Stone of body language.
You have one true gateway to fitness and one honest protector of health. As of this year we are past softening our message and have come out fully on the subject of strength. Physical strength is fitness, there is no other fitness as it relates directly to health. Endurance, agility, flexibility, reaction time, mobility, stamina, pain recovery, pain avoidance, body image, body composition…everything is entirely dependant on your physical strength.
There is actually little need for nutrition let alone special dietary consideration if you are not strong – why? – because only a strong body drains enough resources to merit substantial nutrition. We all live in an over fed society, now if you are hungry or low energy it has nothing to do with lack of calories. Furthermore, you won’t even rest well if you aren’t strong enough to fully drain your nervous system based energies. And never forget, you can be as low body fat as you wish but without strength thus muscle you will look unfit and feel vulnerable even sickly when faced with any real stress.
‘Be Strong‘ is not just our new catch phrase it is our declaration that strength centric exercise, strength based nutrition…a strength based life is not a choice it is the clear separation between fit and unfit. Strength is where protection from the stress of life and aging comes from and is inversely proportional to physical discomfort.
Summed up, what is really fun about being transparent with our philosophy is being open to helping educate. We can now concentrate on how important working your weaknesses really is, this rather than playing to your strengths. Counterintuitive as it may seem we could fill a thousand posts with how we see clients always making small subconscious adjustments to make exercises easier and how we have to fight this propensity at every turn. Suffice to say it is now our primary aim to explain why unconscious habit has held back public health and fitness not just with eating but even more so with exercise.
Up and Coming:
In our realm, having been born of the Nautilus H.I.T. school of fitness (High Intensity Training) the mere idea of cardio is considered a scourge and a total falsehood with many of our peers. The thinking is that in order to actually make a permanent, positive change in ones physiology you must challenge the body with not just increased heart rate but more importantly deep fatigue and high tensions in the muscles – aka muscle building/weight training.
Fundamentally, this is correct however with one simple omission: The human body has evolved to rely on regular physical movement of all types and intensities just to maintain basic function. In a nutshell, you need the effects of gravity, physical displacement, varied heart rate and blood pressure levels to assist everything from digestion to the your lymph system.(https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002247.htm).
Long story short as always we have put our money where our mouth is to satisfy our clinical curiosity, fundamentally speaking opinion and tradition have no real place in science.
For our first trials we chose the Max trainer (Bowflex) both because Nautilus owns Bowflex and because it appears to offer some variety of function. Yes we paid full price and this will be an entirely independent trial. In fact, when you consider home based exercise machines are actually in direct competition with what we do for a living there is more confirmation bias towards finding negatives than positives. We will of course endeavour to be as objective as possible and the real point of the trial is to gauge benefits of so-called cardio activity and its place in fitness verses just an equipment review.
Have a look at how it works – stay tuned – be strong in 2016.
Andrew and Tierney