Drew Baye recently published a post titled “Why NOT High Intensity Training?“. The timing could not be more perfect. Not more perfect because I had been wanting to make a similar case here on TDL for a few weeks now. The case that by labeling real and proper exercise, “high intensity”, we are in fact perpetuating the insanity that is status-quo exercise lore, myth, and superstition.
In fact, even labeling exercise as “proper” or “real”, or any such thing, only reveals how young the subject matter is, and how utterly ignorant the majority of those who claim to know something about it are. For example, children are not taught “real” addition, subtraction, and multiplication — or “intense” division.
Nor is anyone learning “the secrets of the alphabet” in grade school. Such ideas are nonsensical and ridiculous to us.
And the same attitude must be applied to exercise if the science is to ever drown out the voodoo-shamans of our day like Tony Horton, Jillian Michaels, P90Shit, Insanity Home Stupidity, and thousands of other witch doctors claiming to know anything valid and reality based about exercise.
Exercise is exercise, and then, there is everything else.
And the fact of reality is: Arthur Jones figured out exercise decades ago.
Anything outside of these bounds is not exercise. It might look like exercise, sound like exercise, and even feel like exercise, but it is not exercise — no matter how many millions of people say it is, claim it to be, preach it as such, sell it as such, or perform it on Youtube with a Flipcam and “thumb it up”.
People are entitled to their own opinions, not their own facts. None of these factors have any bearing on what exercise is and is not.
And it’s time to stop dumbing down exercise for the masses.
- “Cardio” is not exercise
- Running a marathon is not exercise
- “Crossfit” is not exercise
- Sports, of any kind, are not exercise
- Taking a shit is not exercise
These physical activities, random and contextual as they may be, are not exercise, and will never be exercise. They all carry varying degrees of exercise effect, sure, but exercise effect, irregardless of the degree, is merely a derivative concept of exercise.
What we are after is exercise — with an absolute respect for biology, bio-mechanics, and reality.
The reality of being human, and what our bodies need and require to achieve their best and highest physical potentials — nothing more, and nothing less, with no contradictions possible.
In a sense, a net positive physical activity that can be performed by virtually the entire human population throughout the total course of their lives that actively and continually pushes the body of an individual closer and closer to it’s peak potential without cultivating unnecessary cumulative internal damage to the body, that in a long enough time span will FORCE any individual to cease their exercise activities partially or completely as a direct consequence of their sum exercise activity.
THAT, is in large part, exercise, and it is 100% antithetical to mainstream “exercise” thought, lore, and practice.
Coming full circle, it’s time to stop defending high intensity training as a bastard branch of exercise science. It IS exercise. Other physical activities can have net positive effects, including exercise effects. So it would be accurate to say that other physical activities have the potential to produce net positive effects on the human body and even mind. Walking, sex, and non-insane stretching and Yoga come to mind.
These things, no matter their similarity to exercise, cannot be honestly classified as exercise. And outside this comparatively small range of activities that can benefit our lives, lies the huge range of activities falsely posing as exercise, that are simply not exercise — many of which are violently and patently unsafe, if not outright stupid if being performed as a means of exercise activity.
(If you’re performing unsafe physical activities for other reasons, that is your own decision to make for your own reasons. Just know that no matter how many millions of people bitch, moan, complain and cry, those activities will never be exercise, nor can those activities be made fundamentally safe by tweaking superficial aspects of them).
End rant. Read Drew’s post.
— Anthony Dream Johnson