Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gym and Other Wastes of Time

There is plenty of work to do in the world, and working out at a gym seems to me a silly or at best a selfish act, because no good work is getting accomplished by the shifting of dead weights or the turning of a treadmill. I have always preferred doing something physical that either serves a purpose or else makes money. Working out at a gym, or going for a walk with no other purpose in mind than walking, always struck me as a slightly foolish waste of time and energy. That said, I've spent plenty of time going for pointless walks and runs and lurking in gyms. But no more. I think it is better to find personal projects around the house, yard or community to work on and complete rather than buying a gym membership. In that manner, the imagination and the soul (and possibly the bank account) are exercised and enriched in addition to the body.

Rather than lift weights at a gym, a prospective bodybuilder would be well-advised to sell his services as a mover and be paid to lift, rather than paying for the privilege of lifting. Rather than walk in a park for no other reason than exercise, a man would be better off working a job that requires him to spend some time on his feet, thereby getting paid, in effect, to walk and move around.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


Eric said...

Hmm, I'm not sure you're right about this.

It's fair to say walking around in a job counts as cardiovascular exercise, but no prospective bodybuilder would build much muscle by doing a removal man's or a farmer's job. If that were the case, then removal men would generally look like Hercules, rather than the scrawny specimens I invariably encounter.

Bodybulding requires lifting specific (progressively heavier) weights, in a very specific, disciplined manner, followed by days of rest; not merely casually lifting chairs, boxes and bails of hay on a daily basis.

igor said...

For me, fitness revolves around cardiovascular health, and a job that involves walking around and occasional stair-climbing and lifting is pretty good for that. When I used to go to the gym, the only machine that interested me at all were the stair-climbers and the treadmills.

But no, one will not gain much in the way of muscle mass in most jobs. It would be interesting to compare the longevity, stamina and endurance of a farmer who works from sun-up to sundown with that of an average weight-lifter who presses maybe one or two hours every other day. Strength is highly prized by many men, but it seems a little bit obsolete in the age of machinery, except perhaps for those who have a combat role that includes melee. Stamina, longevity and endurance, on the other hand, have practical benefits in any scenario in the modern world. I think even the weight-lifter should be very interested in these things and assign them high priority.

Eric said...

Bodybuilders tend not to have high stamina, since they limit cardiovascular exercise because it uses calories otherwise needed for muscle growth.

igor said...

My brother always downplayed cardio, placing emphasis on weight-training instead. I think weight-training is emphasized in order to enhance attractiveness, in his case to females. But I would say that cardio is also very helpful in that respect, because I think the face is an important aspect of personal appearance. Good circulation and overall fitness and health nourishes and protects the skin on the face. On the other hand, exposure to wind and sun from working on a farm or running outdoors can prove detrimental to skin health as well. So in the end, the weight-trainer working indoors might actually look better due to less skin damage from UV rays.

Anonymous said...

Weightlifting is a fine cardiovascular exercise when done correctly. Jogging is hell on your joints. Everything else is boring. Sex and weightlifting are really the way to go for cardiovascular health. Diet always above all however.

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