In the fitness world, we often find ourselves chasing after the next big trend. The media and so-called experts feed us what we crave, what sells. Instead of providing the insight we desperately need.
Method after method is proclaimed as the Holy Grail.
The one ring to rule them all.
What you've been searching for.
Behind this door lies salvation.
They tell you you need to do a few things. Learn a few skills and apply them. And the results are guaranteed.
In my experience, this does not happen often.
And when it does, it happens because a few other factors fell in place - not because the method is superior.
Inevitably, you fail.
But you didn't fail.
The method failed.
Because you needed something beyond a method.
But you don't want to hear the deeper answer.
And because you are impatient to listen, because you want your short-term results, the folks selling things to you conform to what sells.
They seem to win.
I don't think it is about methods.
It is not about learning certain skills.
Your skill gap is not the reason you are not reaching your fitness and health goals.
Learning to run better or lift kettlebells is not what is stopping you.
The Lure of the 'Perfect' Method
The moment a fitness trend gains momentum, it becomes the talk of the town. Everyone starts replicating it, either lauding its perfection or criticising its shortcomings while promoting their own 'fix-all' solutions. This black-and-white approach is misleading, creating an illusion that there is a single answer to our fitness woes.
The more FOR or AGAINST you are, the more attention you garner.
Moderate opinions are discarded because, well, they are moderate.
The Media's Role in Perpetuating Fitness Myths
The media thrives on sensationalism, often amplifying claims to attract and retain audiences. This tendency towards hyperbole is especially prevalent in the fitness industry, where exaggerated promises are the norm rather than the exception.
Piggybacking on a huge result - "See how this 150 kg guy lost 50 kilos in 5 months by just doing this ONE thing." kinda nonsense. Really?!
Challenging the Hyperbole
We need to challenge this culture of hyperbole and understand that fitness is not a destination, but a journey. There is no 'perfect' method that will solve all our problems. Instead, it's about a process of discovery.
It is not about cramming for an exam.
It is not about learning a few skills.
It goes deeper than that.
You need to work on your foundation. On your core. And no, I don't mean crunches.
The Pitfalls of Self-Help Methodologies
Self-help methodologies often focus on the difficulty of the task at hand, reinforcing the idea that fitness is hard work and that failure is a personal flaw. This can lead to a cycle of self-blame and a lack of progress.
When you stumble, it's not you who has failed.
The methodology has let you down.
In our quest for the 'perfect' method, we often shift from one trend to another, blaming ourselves when we don't see immediate results. This pattern of shifting allegiances is counterproductive and often leaves us feeling defeated.
Your relationship with your body
Beyond the hype of the 'perfect' method, the real key to fitness lies in finding a deeper alignment.
You need to establish a better relationship with your body.
If you are angry with how your body looks, with how you have let yourself go, with how you were a fat kid, you need to work on that.
While I am StrongFirst Elite, in my head I am the skinny, weak kid who could not last beyond 10 overs in a cricket game. That holds me back. Being unfair to myself, and being angry with myself has not let me celebrate or empathise with how amazing an achievement I have accomplished.
Instead of learning to snatch the 32 kg bell or deadlift 3x my body weight, I need to work on being kinder to myself. On acknowledging my body's awesomeness. On understanding why new skills do not leave behind everlasting goodness.
I need to work on a better relationship with my body.
A lot of us do.
Your relationship with a lot of things
The foundation of true fitness lies in establishing healthier relationships with your body, your diet, your work, and those around you.
The true fundamentals of fitness are about
building a better relationship
with your body,
and your support system.
Your relationship with work-life
The rat race we've been put on from childhood encourages instant gratification. It tells you that scoring marks in exams is what matters. It tells you that promotions and paychecks are the real deal.
You intuitively know that your mind and body are more important. But short-term deprioritisation happens. You look at your elders and see that they are in a sad physical (and mental state.) You tell yourself that it won't happen to you. But it will.
The Path to True Fitness
The quest for the 'perfect' method often leads us astray. Instead of focusing on acquiring skills or jumping on a new method, you need to go a different route.
Build a better relationship with your body, and with your past. Is your work life enabling your journey? Do you have a support system in place that encourages and empathises with you?
I know this sounds unnecessarily deep and complex. But that's life.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Embrace the journey, and you'll find that the path to true fitness is within your reach.