Tom: One thing that stands out about your programming is tailoring training parameters to the goals of the individual. I know that sounds obvious, but you’re ultra-inquisitive about the right fit. For example, you have stated “just being active” is good for some. Could you provide more insight into that seemingly simple recommendation?
Fred: Many people have argued for years over what is termed “exercise” versus “working out” versus “recreational activity” and a bunch of other technicalities. When it gets right down to it, people need to be active, period! The body does not know where a stimuli comes from, so if you are in the gym lifting weights or busting your ass moving rocks in your yard or running on a soccer field with your kids or riding your bike fast to get up a hill, your body is working. When people get caught up in a one-dimensional plane of exercise they lose sight of what’s going on and how the body and mind benefit. Those people tend to sit around and wait for their next scheduled workout and spend their time on discussion boards arguing over the superiority of their program and how everyone else is wrong for doing something different. That’s wasted time and narrow-minded thinking.
I have a saying that I share with all my clients when it comes to exercise: “A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.” Essentially, don’t get caught up in the minutia of training. A workout consisting of push ups, sit ups, and a two mile run can be the perfect prescription for someone on a given day, but let’s take some of these gimmicky infomercial workouts that require you to commit an hour a day, five days a week. I have spoken to people who made good progress on these programs. No surprise since previously they were using their bodies as a speed bump and never moved around, but now they have activity in their lives and have improved their health and fitness. But I pose this question to them, “If you don’t have an hour to do your program to day, what do you do?” The answer every single time is, “Nothing.” So it’s either an hour or nothing – that’s ridiculous in my opinion. We think we need to do a “workout” based on a specific time parameter, a certain amount of sets, or some other criteria, but that is following what others tell you is required versus you figuring it out for yourself.