Are you ABUSING the gym?

Dear Athletes,

Last week I wrote about TABATA’S; the most intense protocol for high intensity interval training. I concluded that the Tabata protocol can be an effective method of high intensity training if used in balance with complementary protocols like Yoga, Flexibility training, Restorative conditioning, Massage therapy, and Myofascial Release therapy.
That means with lots of YANG (energy out), we need to rebalance with YIN (energy in)!
I hope you find some equilibrium with your exercise regimen as it will make you better at Tabata’s and all the other activities you wish to pursue.

Are you ABUSING the gym?

After listening to my mentors Tim Ferriss and Kelly Starrett enlighten listeners on “the good, the bad, and the ugly of Cross Fit” podcast, I’ve come to a reminder-thought on the purpose of the GYMNASIUM.

In ancient Greek times, the gym was functioned as a training facility for competitors in the public games of the Coliseum. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. Is this how we still use it? We train, but for what reason? Do we engage or do we disengage when at the gym? Do we find ourselves or look to lose ourselves?

I think we’ve manipulated our perspective on the affect the gym has on our lives and as consequence, we abuse it’s usage. The gym was meant as a training ground, a place for deliberate practice, a place to refine skills and abilities, and a place for learning and achieving flow states.

Now, many people seek the gym as a place to shed calories (as if the calorie was the end all and be all currency of fitness success!?!?). Many people seek the gym as a cathartic dump for their sweat and stress release. Many people abuse the gym as adrenaline junkies; over-training to pump up their egos, while simultaneously running away from truth, honesty, and responsibility.
Harsh reality yes, but a reality nonetheless. I see it daily.

Whether you abuse the gym or use it to disengage from reality, it is extremely important that we regain perspective of the gym as a training ground for activities of higher importance: LIFE.
The gym is the stepping stone to SPORT, PLAY, LIFE-LIVING, and MOVEMENT AS EXPRESSION. We fine tune skills and proactively engage with others and ourselves so that we can approach the more important activities in life with more confidence, finesse, and ease.

Concluding takeaway:
The gym is not the event. The gym is not the race. The gym is not the performance. THE GYM IS THE COMPLEMENT.

Let’s bring back the learning, the socializing, and the deeper purpose that this shrine of a place once used to be known for.