Headed out to the park this morning after pumping out 180 good pushups. The blood was roaring in my ears - I'd normally do some more things before gallivanting on to the park, but being it's cool outside (for a change), I couldn't wait to get outside to feel the fresh breeze on my face.
So, romped on to the park, onto my exercise spot - only to find the dipping bars being occupied by a short, portly gentleman who was, for lack of a better description, "swinging" himself on the dipping bars. So much for starting off with a nice, slow, low set of dips.
Side note: It's amazing how people ignore a fantastic piece of workout equipment right IN FRONT of their eyes. Sure, the old, thick dipping bars ain't no shiny machine in a new gym - but use them correctly, and they'll build more strength than any new fangled machine ever will (or can). This particular gentleman was a step ahead of those who see dipping bars as a place to hang their sweaters and not much else - but still, if your out exercising, and if all you can think of doing on the dipping bars is swinging back and forth while imagining that "loosens" your legs up, well. . .
Anyway, started off with pull-ups. Warmed up with some "mini" pull-ups, and then on to the first, full range pull-up. Upon which the guy behind me said "Wow, for a big guy like you, you sure can pull yourself up well. Cool!".
Well, being that I'd only done ONE full range pull-up at that time, I was a bit surprised to hear that - but thanked him anyway, and moved on to doing sets of pull-ups. He continued goggling at me for quite a while before he finally left. Wonder what he'd have said if he saw some of the grip exercises I was doing.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up today is to point out one major fallacy in modern day thinking (when it comes to fitness) - and that is, one's weight. Folks automatically assume a stocky, strong fellow is "musclebound" and "not fit" - and when they see a rail-thin skinny waif or dude, they pat them on the back saying "well done, I wish I was fit as you are".
Erroneous thinking, my friend. While weight is, and always will be an important measure of one's overall health and fitness, it is by NO MEANS the end and all of fitness. I've seen rail thin folks struggle to do even one pullup, and I've seen big, strong guys climb hills daily without getting fatigued. I've seen skinny men jogging around the park - supposedly building strong lung power - but give them a flight of stairs to sprint up, and they're exhausted before they know it. And these are but a few examples.
So, that, my friend, is a classic example of judging a book by it's cover - not the insides. And if your going to counter what I'm saying by pointing out that body mass indexes are what one needs to consider - well, then just remember that some of the world's strongest and fittest athletes are considered obese by those standards. That's right - obese - and we're talking highly paid professional athletes here. So while I'm not knocking the BMI thing, it's again by no means an accurate indicator of one's fitness.
And on the flip side, this should NOT be taken to an extreme and is NOT an excuse to justify being fat and slovenly. If your belly hangs out depressingly, if you can barely walk a mile without fatigue, if you can't do a single pushup in good form, all these things are NOT good things - and you DO need to make sure you can do them, and control your weight accordingly. What I'm saying though is that shouldn't be the only thing your focusing on.
Concentrate on your HEALTH - and STRENGTH - and make sure your doing all the right things to keep your weight at a decent level - and the rest will come automatically. The above won't guarantee you a six pack - I don't have one myself, and never have - but it will guarantee you some amazing improvements in your overall health, strength and levels of fitness.
So, that, my friend, is today's tip - time for this "big" guy to go shower!
PS: I speak about dips in today's note - a fantastic exercise for the entire upper body. To find out how to do them in proper form, I urge you to get your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness NOW.