How the Old Fitness World Died: and the New Era of Moving Heroically (1 of 5)

The old world of fitness is dying like a slowly falling giant.

And as each person abandons the old fitness regime, the giant loses power and slowly begins to crumble.

The irony is that this "old" way is actually very new. For the vast majority of our time as humans we've been moving with meaning, strength and very little pain.

If you've been following me for any length of time, you probably know that I believe our current model of fitness is backwards and fragmented. It's designed to put working out into a box that leads to a lack of meaning, and a very unrewarding journey ending mostly in injury, boredom and frustration.

I believe it's time that this broken model of fluorescently-lit, box-based, machine-centric, rep-counting, suffering came to an end.

Let's take a stand. Absolutely no more...

  • Half-rep, half-assed gym workouts that lead to nowhere.
  • Sitting for 10+ hours a day and wondering why the hell your body hurts so much even though you "worked out."
  • Living castrated from the neck down and just "dealing with" your body because you have to.

It's time for this nonsense to stop once and for all.

What's worse is that this backwards model of fitness is responsible for the #1 reason you don't stick to your training.

In this video I explain what that reason is and how to fix it:


The commoditization and quantification of movement has caused a lot of obvious problems:

  • Generally, you're not gaining new skills and abilities, the foundation of what "fitness" is supposed to be about. You know, fit for your environment.
  • We're no longer required to move much to survive, so the immediate payoff or reward of movement (food) is not there. We've severed the work/reward link of movement and survival which has been devastating on our bodies.
  • As my friend and coach Justin Goodhart would say, gyms are a kind of fitness utopia. Everything is predictable. All the weights are of similar size and shape. The bars and handles are all smooths and perfectly rounded. This environment hardly compares to the complex, unpredictable movement environment of the real world are bodies are evolved to interact with.
  • We've thoroughly stripped away all the joy and pleasure out of movement.

We want to become fit, but for what? When do we ever get to actually do it, and use the capacity we've been training for?

How do we turn this mess around?

  • Tie movement back to pleasure by incorporating more play.
  • Train in a way focused on personal goals and abilities.
  • Remember why you're training and make a practice of reminding yourself.
  • Become involved in a community of other heroic movers.
  • Work on expanding your usefulness as a human, so you stay grounded in your practice.

Most importantly: do it for the love. Or as my friend Danielle LaPorte would say: "Have the courage to fucking enjoy it."

[clickToTweet tweet="Movement without purpose is hollow. Purpose without movement is impotent." quote="Movement without purpose is hollow. Purpose without movement is impotent."]

Movement divorced from purpose leads to robotic, mindless routines and boring, unimaginative humans. Training in a gym, your body might be able to move well in straight lines and fair well with predictable patterns.

But the real world is not made up of straight lines and perfectly manicured environments.

It's highly chaotic, highly unpredictable.

A better approach is to continually vary your training.

  • Move in all directions, through all planes of motion.
  • Pick up awkward, uneven objects.
  • Move outside on uneven terrain.
  • Climb trees and rocks instead of sticking to isolating your pulling training to perfectly manufactured bars.

The old way fools you by creating a nice looking body. You might have the appearance of a heroic mover, but none of the ability when the world tests you with new situations and challenges.

It's time to stop this way of backwards way of training.

It's time to Move Heroically.

In the next post, I'll share with you how to say goodbye to dull world of fitness, and embrace a new path of moving like a hero. Specifically, you'll learn the five steps you need to take to get there (#3 is ridiculously fun).

Together, we can speed up the death of the old world of fitness, and usher in a new era of moving with purpose, joy and meaning.

Stay with me, this is going to be a fun ride.

The full series:

This post is part of a five part series on Moving Like a Hero. Here's the table of contents:

  1. How the Fitness World Died: and the New Era of Moving Heroically < you are currently here
  2. The Ultimate Guide to Superhuman Movement
  3. How to Move Like a Hero: The Daily Practice
  4. Should You Take Rest Day? The Power of Periodizing and No Structure
  5. How to Train Like the Top 1% in the World


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