At our Original Strength Pro Certification course OS founder Tim Anderson made a statement that many in the fitness industry would call controversial, dangerous even: You do not need exercise. Since I make a living selling fitness, you might expect me to disagree or feel threatened by that revelation. I do not. In fact, I almost agree! I would just phrase it slightly differently: you should not need exercise.
If you engaged daily in using your body as it was designed to be used: jumping, running, climbing, crawling, throwing, rolling, carrying, sprinting, tumbling, swinging, dancing and playing you would not need exercise. If you spent all day hunting and gathering or working the land and then danced every night or engaged in play, your body would get all the fitness it needs without a gym, without a coach and without any training. If you engaged in such primal activities and supported them with adequate nutrition, you would be healthy and whole.
But I’ve bet my livelihood that that is not how you live your life. It is certainly not how I live mine. And for that reason, you and I do need to exercise. If we used our bodies to play the way kids used to, you and I would never need a gym. But these days even kids seem to be deprived of the opportunity to play.
I never imagined kids would need to go to gyms, we used to just go to playgrounds. These days KidFit is one of our most popular programs but in the age before internet kids didn’t need gyms. My friends and I walked or biked to school. At recess and lunch we were out in the schoolyard playing sports. And as soon as school was done we were outside playing until our parents called us in for dinner. Some nights I might have spent 30 minutes on homework but when the task of eating and homework was through I’d be right back outside until bedtime. And when the weather was crappy we’d all gather in our basement to wrestle and have shoot outs my dad occasionally shouting for us to keep it down, my Mom reminding us to be careful. Bruises, blood and tears were a regular feature of having fun. We played hard.
I don’t like exercise but I’ve never lost my appetite for play. CrossFit Empower to me is just an adult-sized indoor playground (though I like to keep the doors and our big south-facing window wall open because I never loved being inside so much). I guess a lot of adults have emotional scars from PE or maybe from other past gym experiences because they often walk into our space with a bit of trepidation. But the kids recognize our space instantly for what it is – an enormous toy-filled playground. And it doesn’t take the adults long to clue in too. And when they relax and begin embracing the spirit of communal play they begin to shed the notions of discipline, hard work, toil and monotony that they associate with exercise and they start relearning how to play.
Training is sold as serious business but at Empower we are serious about play. It is this spirit of play that has made training so enjoyable for so many. It has allowed those of us who could never consistently stick with an exercise program turn fitness into an enjoyable lifestyle. At Empower we have a chance to use our bodies the way they were designed to be used and it feels great!
In a perfect world, you should not need exercise. But reality is that you need to move. The great news is that it can be fun! Like turning back the clock. And when you play like you did as a child, a little magic occurs and you start feeling younger too! Why don’t you come out and play a little?
For Cindy/Mary we can get 6 group class members to the pull up bars and 4 on the lifting platform with pull up alternatives.
1 min Air Squats
1 min Breathing in Squat
1 min Lat Pull Ups
1 min Scap Rock
1 min Judo Push Up Rock
1 min Ring Rows
1 min Leopard Crawl
Push Up or HSPU
Squat or Pistol
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
20 min AMRAP
10 Alt Pistols
15 Pull Ups
Shoulder Pass Throughs