You know when you read something that is so good you immediately have to share? That was my reaction on reading this post on reembody.me this morning. Even before I completely finished the article I knew I needed to repost. I’m going to put an excerpt here, but really, you need to click over and read the whole thing yourself on their blog.
You know that I enjoy most motivational fitness photos, but some do make me uncomfortable. Kevin Moor explains it perfectly, far better than I could have. Warning: there is some foul language, (but it’s totally worth it:)
THE 6 MOST SHOCKINGLY IRRESPONSIBLE “FITSPIRATION” PHOTOSby Kevin Moor
Join me now, as we stare in shocked incredulity at the worst of the worst:
What They Think They Are Saying:
“Don’t give up! You may think you’ve given all you have, but you have so much more! You can make it if you just grit your teeth and push!”
Why It’s Bullshit:
Getting mad at your own limbs sounds less like the behavior of an olympian and more like the crazy-eyed hobo who lives behind my building’s dumpster. Really look at the guy in that picture: that’s the face of a man more likely to have a restraining order than an NASM certification.
It is absolutely true that, if your muscles finally reach the point of failure, an emotional response like fear or anger triggers the release of adrenaline, which can keep you going. It’s called the fight or flight response and it’s been attributed to everything from moms lifting cars off kids to soldiers who refuse to lay down and die.
It’s also not something to fuck around with.
Pushing your body’s limits just because you want bigger biceps is sort of like setting your house on fire because you’re cold.
Routinely stressing your body’s physical capacity is called overtraining, and it’s a massive problem in the fitness industry. It is linked to everything from joint degeneration, ligament tears and bone spurs to depression and—no joke—post traumatic stress disorder. The fight or flight response only kicks during moments of impending danger precisely because the response itself is potentially dangerous. It’s a calculated risk on the part of your own biochemistry: turn it up to 11 and risk the joint damage or become food for a cave bear. When invoking that kind of biochemical gambit becomes less of a do-or-die, last-ditch effort to survive and more of a “Tuesday-at-the-gym-is-chest-day” scenario, you’re inviting in a whole mess of future problems.