I’ll say it again, I have often enough- exercise is all about the MIND, not the exercise equipment! The more high tech, the fancier the weight lifting apparatus; generally the less it facilitates the all important mind-muscle connection.
This last is the most important thing to achieve in developing your body! Notice, I do not say how to lift the most weight- this is irrelevant. What we want to do, if you think about it, is to move your body in a manner that develops you and your body to the ultimate degree possible. NOT just “how much you can lift”, all of which is determined largely by your joint and tendon attachments, and your various limb lengths relative to your torso…
What you want is to develop your own body (and mind!) to the best, natural, strong, fit and flexible, athletic and symmetrical physique you can attain- the best possible YOU!
Lifting heavy weights will not do this- you will be led to progressive and irreversible injury, with ruined joints, weak ligaments and tendons, and lifelong pain!
Running long distances won’t do it- you will have ruined joints, low muscle mass, and a “skinny fat” body that at first can only run, but after a while, can’t even do that!
Crossfit, Olympic lifting, long distance running- they all are, long term, dead ends.
I think conventional bodybuilding is also a dead end of pain, given that nowadays heavy weights are a given, but I recently heard an interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger by Tim Ferriss that was like a tonic to me. Arnold said that he eventually realized that, when he trained best, it was like a meditation. He flexed his biceps, and completely connected with his mind, flexing just by imagining lifting a weight- the weight was superfluous! By flexing, whatever muscle group he chose, and really imagining it, and making it as hard as he wanted, the stress on the muscle was ideal, and it would grow!
This is virtual resistance training, and the best first step in building your body. Next, add in self resistance training, where one limb opposes another by pressing against it, and now you develop your tendon and ligament strength along with your muscle strength- this is key to develop raw strength and power along with the ability to sustain it without injury.
If you use heavy barbells, for instance, to build bulky, blocky muscles- these muscles will quickly outstrip the strength of their “connectors” in the tendons and ligaments, and you are setting yourself up to have your rotator cuff, and your knee joints to rupture and tear. This is no joke! Besides you winding up with heavy, saggy pecs from heavy bench presses (not a very masculine image, is it?) and a protruding abdomen and fat butt from heavy squats- you can also look forward to injured joints and torn tendons and ligaments from a misbalance between tendon and muscle relative strength.
There IS an easier, and better way!
Perfectly Paleo Exercise. I mean natural, virtual resistance exercise (ala Arnold), followed by self resisted exercise, and then body weight exercise and simple stretching, all done in your living room or in your basement or garage. Add in a once per week session using a pull up bar and/or gymnastic rings, and you will build the perfect, lifelong, functional and completely healthy and natural physique that is each of our birthrights!
And all without any injuries, expenses, commuting, or just plain PAIN that comes from things like Crossfit or other Big Gym Box experiences. Do it yourself, at home, with your tribe, in your own cave or meadow. It’s really not complicated, just like real health is not complicated- we don’t need medicines, we don’t need surgeries, we don’t need endless drugs and procedures!!
We need good, real, God made foods like grass fed meat and dairy- real organic veggies and fruits, real fatted calf fats like- the fatted calf! Pastured dairy! Organ meats! A “tribe” to connect with- a belief in something greater than ourselves, OR ANY ONE GOVERNMENT! Land to work- a garden- a space to get our hands dirty and do REAL WORK! Not sitting in a cubicle, or driving around to meetings, or talking on the phone conferences… real work.
Our evolutionary heritage demands all of the above. There is no escape, no one else can do it for you. It’s simple, and it’s all do-able IN YOUR MIND.