An Argument for Average Fitness

Average Fitness

I recently read an article by Mark Manson called “In Defense of Being Average“. (worth a read!)

The premise of the article is that we tend to idolize and make heroes of people (or characters) who embody perfection. We think up heroes like Batman and Superman, and idolize Greek gods and Spartan warriors. We’re always looking up to those that are the best at what they do.

The same is true in fitness. You can tell by the endless amounts of Instagram posts of “Fitspiration” focused on peach booty’s and 6-pack abs. It’s perfect images of perfect body’s in perfect lighting and perfect poses.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to look at for sure, but what does that do for our expectations of OUR fitness?

Mark said it great in terms of what I want to focus on in this article:

“Today, I want to take a detour from our “make more, buy more, fuck more” culture and argue for the merits of mediocrity, of being blasé boring and average.

Not the merits of pursuing mediocrity, mind you — because we all should try to do the best we possibly can — but rather, the merits of accepting mediocrity when we end up there despite our best efforts.”

Think of it like playing basketball. Of course you’re going to idolize players like Michael Jordan, Cobe Bryant and Labron James. However, if you’re reading this it’s likely that you accept that you’ll never be able to perform at their level. You may be good and even great, but you’re not the best.

Does this discourage you? Not really. You’ve accepted it and you can use it as inspiration to push yourself further.

However, I don’t feel the same is true in fitness. From the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with and countless people I’ve talked to, we tend to get discouraged if we can’t be the best.

Yes we have the motivation. Yes we stare at the 21 year old fitness model and want to look exactly the same. Yes we push for a bit to take ourselves further. However, if we don’t reach those results within a couple of months, we get discouraged and quit.

Truth is, fitness has the same type of bell curve as anything in life.

Average Fitness
image from Mark’s article

In this image we can see someone like Michael Jordan is in the top 1%. Sticking with basketball we can probably argue that all other NBA players would fit in the top 5%. College players and high level Rec players will fall into the top 20% and the majority of us regulars would fit into the middle 60%.

This same is true in pretty much any other area of life you can think of.

So why not look at this the same way for our fitness?

What’s wrong with accepting that we’ll have a “middle 60” level of fitness?

It doens’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t persue more, it just means that we don’t get so discourage when we don’t lose 20lbs in 1 week.

Average Fitness

In terms of health and fitness, the bottom 20% is obese and at a high risk of cardio vascular disease and other health issues. The top 5% are the fitness models you see and double tap on Instagram. The top 20% are athletes of some level constantly training for their sport.

So if you’re an average gym goer that shows up 3-5 days per week on a semi-regular basis, then you’re going to land in the middle 60.

The problem is many people aren’t even that. They get so discouraged that they’re not doing 5 days per week, at high intensity, eating nothing but rabbit food and flaunting their abs any chance they can get that it’s just not worth it.

If I’m not perfect what’s the point?!?!

The point is that the middle 60 (or maybe more specifically the upper 30 of the middle 60) is still a solid level of fitness and health. You’ll look great naked, you’ll feel great inside and you’ll live a longer happier life.

If you can accept this mediocracy then you’ll experience more enjoyment in your pursuit of fitness and even the rest of your life because you’re not stressed about not being the top 5%.

I encourage you to consider the value of having an average fitness and the happiness that comes with it.

I Don’t Wanna – Lacking Motivation

“I’m tired.”

“I’ve had a long day.”

“It’s late and I need to rest.”

“What’s one missed day…”

Ever had these thoughts?

Ever been lacking motivation?

These are the thoughts we have on the days we don’t wanna.

We have a goal. We’ve been working hard for it. But today is harder than most.

Then the justifications come.

“Today I feel like I deserve a break.”

“Today I think rest is what’s best.”

“Today I just don’t have the motivation.”

I saw we, because it happens to me too. Many of my clients have thought I’m immune to these days somehow, but it’s just not true.

These days exist for most of us so don’t use it as another excuse and think you’re special.

The difference between success and failure for reaching our goals is the decision we make on these days. The difference between success and failure is how we end these days.

Did you give in, buy the excuse and take the rest day you “earned”?

Or did you buck up, dig deep and make it happen anyway?

We all have days we don’t wanna, but it shouldn’t affect the actions you take.

If you truly want to reach your goals, you know how this ends 😉

~ Chad

This Shit Ain’t Pretty

This Shit Ain't Pretty

Building the body of your dreams (the one you follow on Instagram) isn’t easy, it’s not pretty and it doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m so sick and tired of all the crap out there that says otherwise that I wanted to step up and be a voice in the opposite direction.

The truth is, it’s not easy, it’s fucking hard, it takes a long fucking time, and you likely won’t get it on your first fucking try.

This Shit Ain't Pretty

 

Yes, of course, there are a few people that got those AMAZING results you see on the infomercial.

Yes, someone you know lost 40 lbs in 40 days.

However, that’s not normal.

What’s normal is that you’re following a 22 year old fitness model on Instagram.
What’s normal is they’ve had that body nearly their entire life.
What’s normal is that MOST people haven’t looked like their entire life, don’t have the same metabolism and won’t see the same results as them in the same time frame.

What’s normal is:

Most people fail many many times before reaching their fitness goals. 

And if they do it’s not a simple straight line. It’s an ugly, grinding mess that has you feeling like you want to give up over and over again.

So please, please, please, stop believing the bullshit. Stop believing the hype and stop believing you’re the exception.

Likelihood is you’re not the exception, you’re the norm.

It is what it is so accept that reality now and get prepared to put in the work it actually takes. Be prepared for the bumpy road because it sure ain’t pretty.

~ Chad 

 

Building a 100 Year Body

We are living longer than we ever have before.

Thanks to modern medicine and scientific advancement, reaching 80, 90 and even 100+ is quite common.

One of my biggest fears is that we will live to 100 but our body only makes it to 70. We spend the last 30 years of our lives with minimal function and barely moving. Our life outlasts our body.

This make me think of one of my favourite quotes:

“We don’t stop moving because we get old, we get old because we stop moving”.

What this means for me is that in my fitness and health endeavours, I don’t only want a body that looks good now, I want one that lasts and functions for my whole life. I don’t want to just live to 100+, I want to BE ACTIVE until 100+.

Similar to a recent article I wrote, we need to focus on how our body functions and having a strong foundation in order to do this.

So many fitness programs today are focused on 2 things:
1 – an appearance/aesthetic result and
2 – getting that result as fast as possible

This speed and focus on external image often leads to sacrificing internal systems along the way.

We may look good at the beach, but this cumulative damage to systems on the inside ads up and leaves us limited in function, replacing joints, in a wheelchair or needing to inject hormones in our later years just to survive.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I want.

What I want is a 100 year body.

What I want it’s to look good AND FUNCTION GOOD until my last day!

~ Chad

Hacking Motivation – how to stay motivated towards your fitness goals

Ever feel like you’re struggling for motivation to get to the gym?

Or you started strong for a few weeks but now you’ve lost your motivation?

Motivation is having a reason to act in a certain way.

The motivation we start our fitness journey could be:

  • wedding in a few months
  • vacation coming up soon
  • doctor recommended
  • frustrated with how you look/feel
  • inspired by another person and want similar results

Regardless of why you start, the key factor is that there is always a reason to get you going in the first place. The problem however is that the motivation you started with isn’t what keeps you going in the long run.

So, how do we stay motivated? How do we find new motivation when what we started with is lost? How do we get back on track?

By hacking motivation.

How do we hack motivation?

Success.

Success is how you stay motivated.

Let me explain.

In all the reasons why we start, there is some goal we are trying to achieve. There is some end point that we are moving towards.

This goal is the initial source of our motivation. However, it can also become the reason we get discouraged.

  • we aren’t seeing results
  • it’s taking longer than we thought
  • it’s harder than we thought

We lose motivation because we aren’t seeing the success we want to see.

Hacking motivation is creating success where it seems we have none.

We don’t feel or see success because of the perspective we have. In most cases, we are purely looking at the end goal or some big picture change.

In relation to our end goal, it may look like nothing has changed or we’re failing.

What we’re not seeing are the small changes and little successes we’ve reached. Our perspective is on what we’re NOT achieving vs what we ARE achieving.

An example:

I want to lose 20 lbs. 3 months after starting I’ve only lost 3. This perspective is frustrating and incredibly demotivating!

By only looking at pounds lost, I lose motivation.

However, if I look at smaller wins or other factors, I might see success.

My success might look like:

  • I’m more active and exercising regularly than I was before
  • I’m eating healthier most of the time
  • I’m actually feeling better and have more energy in the day
  • I’m sleeping better
  • My digestive issues have decreased
  • I’m feeling stronger in my body
  • I’m 3 lbs less than where I started!

By changing our perspective and finding the small wins, we can see the success we are having. By seeing the successes we feel more positive about what we are doing and stay motivated.

If you’re ever feeling demotivated on your health journey, change your perspective.

Find what you are achieving instead of only focus on what you haven’t achieved and you’ll be better able to continue pushing for your goal.

Find the success.

~ Chad

Sound too good to be true? Comment below and we can chat!