Thursday, June 16, 2022

Exercise is Finding Out

Why is exercise so hard to do?  It depends on what one means by "exercise."  A lot of people think they own the category -- rather than it being the unique way each individual finds out who they are, and what their ultimate capabilities are.  So why would some people not want to know that?  It is because they have been conditioned to think that only other people are fully worthy of such challenges and calling -- but not themselves.  Such people have long consigned themselves to being spectators for the lives of others -- so what they do, is not important -- when it is the most important thing to do and find out in every life.  That is what matters.

Many millennia ago, it was thought that only one person mattered -- the person at the top, and it was the duty of everyone else to serve and sacrifice for that one person, and the lives of everyone else did not matter and could be sacrificed for The One.  So if such a personage died, all those who knew or served them, could be dispatched to keep them company along the way.

But as time played out, it was increasingly realized the one needn't compete to be exclusively that one person with all the spoils, and there could be societies in which there was enough to go around for everybody.  In such a society, many could be winners -- and not just the one.  Then many more had a vested interest in the success of that society rather than everyone only battling to be the one on the top -- and once there, they expended all their resources and energies to keep everyone else down.  Invariably, such societies would disintegrate and disappear, and generations later would run across their artifacts and wonder, "What were these people thinking?"

That was old world thinking, and the new world thinking is the exploration of vastly more than that.  It is not merely a new generation of oppressors and people who want to be the boss of all the others -- but the much more expansive question of what one would do if each were their own boss?  How would each manage their own lives?  What was important to do, and what did one not want to do -- but thought they had to?

In that old paradigm, "exercise" often was that compulsion to do what they really didn't feel like doing -- and would do anything to avoid.  But lost in that resistance, was the realization that they themselves could define the rules and parameters of the games they played -- and make them as fair and rewarding as possible -- rather than just setting themselves up for failure and humiliation.  It doesn't have to be that way -- though countless minds think that is the only way possible.  We recognize such minds as undeveloped and unfulfilled -- because given the freedom and liberty to do all things, they seek only to destroy the freedom and liberties of everyone else -- and not to become as great as they can be themselves.

Such people are invariably the products of poor conditioning and traumatic experiences that limit their ultimate growth -- that those without those limits imposed upon them were not crippled by and set back.  But a few overcome them, and the exceptional even rise from those formidable handicaps that make them extraordinary persons.  While nice to read about and learn about in other lives, it is much more important to do one's best in their own lives -- as what is most important.

Those expressions and activities are the exercise of each life -- from potential to fullest articulation (actualization).  That is what is worth knowing -- and not what everybody knows -- because only one knows that.  That is the secret of successful and fulfilling lives -- and not simply wondering all one's life, what could have been.  The only way to learn that, is to find out -- to the fullest extent possible, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, etc.  That is the exercise of life -- finding out.  It is not enough just to "know better," but making no attempt on their own, to find out the truth of that matter for oneself.  That art and skill are lost in an age in which all the answers are provided to them -- without having to make any effort of their own.  And so one thinks they know all the answers -- when they have not even begun to ask the right questions -- so that kind of knowledge is invariably irrelevant and just a mind full of useless information -- signifying nothing of any consequence and difference.  It wouldn't even begin to tell the difference.

It is a mind disconnected from any reality -- and thinks that what they see on television, videos, and print, have more reality than what they are actually experiencing in their daily lives -- and the "results" they are getting.  Invariably, what they think they are doing, differs greatly from what they are actually doing -- and that is why they get the results they are getting.  Their thoughts are not aligned with reality -- which is the whole purpose of the exercise of their faculties.  They don't really know what they have -- until they express it in the actuality -- and actually make that connection manifest -- which is to say, "Make it happen."

It doesn't just happen because one wants it to more than anybody else.  More often than not, it takes hours of practice, to manifest the results one wants -- even with the greatest of talent, and optimal conditions.  But usually, it is not like one is the only one trying to accomplish that -- as probably a few other prodigies, see the value of doing so as well.  How each goes about it, is frequently the story of competitions -- but that is not the only thing going on.  Probably as much, or even more, is going on unwitnessed -- and in that way, it is important for each to be their own judge and jury of how well they are doing for the countless hours that are the majority of their lives.

If only they care, that is not nothing, but the most important of the audience -- especially when their moment is out of the spotlight.  At that point, even the best and most famous, find themselves in a vacuum many are hardpressed to fill for the remainder of their lives.  It is easy to understand their motivations and judge their success while they are still vying for the top of the podium -- but whether they can sustain themselves beyond those glory years is everyone's greatest challenge yet.  That's why so few, if any yet, make it to 100 -- in peak condition.  Most have lost a step or two, while many have given up entirely, and are ready to go at the earliest moment of expedience -- when they could be reinventing the rules for their survival advantage. 

It's not about cheating death or cheating age, but fulfilling it to its ultimate purpose.  What they should have going for them is the wisdom of experience.  That doesn't necessarily mean remaining young and foolish forever -- but taking that wisdom and experience to another level that hasn't been achieved before.  There is no greater challenge or calling -- because it is not just one's own, but the legacy of all human knowledge and being up to the present moment.  It's not just longer lives in a deteriorating condition -- but health beyond what has been achieved up to now.  Implied in this is longer lives, but more than that, it is a vastly greater health that makes length a moot point.  One would presume that it would mean a longer life, but it is more than just hanging on for dear life -- but attaining and actualizing a more robust, vibrant existence never witnessed or even imagined before.

That's really the story of humanity.  At some point, greater quantity produces the conditions for the critical mass that makes a qualitative quantum leap inevitable.  That's how life evolves -- and has not simply repeated over the millions of years.  That's how change happens: slowly at first, and then explosively -- past all our expectations -- into the unknown, that then becomes the knowable.  And the only way to get there is not for a few, but for as many as possible, to embark on that exploration -- and task.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Challenge of the Ages

“Aging” IS natural selection. Those who age, have a much greater chance of dying. The recent “pandemic” bore that out. The old (and diseased) were several times more likely to die than the young and healthy.

 That is the critical mistake non-critical thinkers make — thinking that simply living as long as possible is sufficient — rather than the quality of life (health) that makes a longer life more probable (survival).

They have it backwards — and if they program that into the cells and organisms, that will not guarantee immortality — but as we are already witnessing, simply longer lives in deterioration, dysfunction and agony. 

As Darwin observed, better selection is what ultimately survives.

Abundance requires better selection — rather than simply more frequent selection.

When food (resources) are plentiful, the winning strategy is to be more selective — and not less — which is obviously the mistake of the morbidly obese, drug abusers, and lottery winners — who all of a sudden think they have to have multiple houses and cars, which increases their liabilities and shortens their lifespans by making them more vulnerable to the viruses, bacteria, fungi, injuries and accidents.

That should have been the primary lesson of the “pandemic,” but instead was misplaced for the necessity of vaccinating the least vulnerable — in the misguided notion that that would increase the immunity of the least capable by averaging it out — as the undiscriminating wokesters like to believe.

Aging is a function of time — but we recognize that some age well while most age badly, or poorly — largely because of their lack of knowledge and bad lifestyle choices they make — doing whatever "turns them on" at the moment. These invariably have longterm and lifetime implications. That is the crux of the problem — and not finding miracle vaccines to prolong one’s life in longterm care centers indefinitely — just because they have all the money in the world, and the "fundraisers" know how to work them out of it.

That's been the challenge throughout the ages -- not the quest for immortality -- but just to live another day.  That is the survival of the fit -- and beyond that, the greater life chips in.  In every case, life ceases when the heart stops -- in every case, and not just those who die of heart disease -- because the circulation it provides prevents it from nourishment with the supporting environment.

Air from the environment no longer comes into the body -- sustaining life.  But once it is drawn into the body, such resources can be optimized by the better understanding of those processes by which some individuals can do things others have not even thought possible.  The obvious are the physical and athletic proclivities one can become proficient at -- with practice and understanding, while a rare few begin with a natural predisposition and body intelligence.

Everyone doesn't start at the same starting line -- or end up at the same finish line.  Life happens in between.  And so the proper measure of one's progress in their unique journeys is not between individuals, but each individual's results trying the many different ways.  For most, they do not just try one thing, and remain on that course all their lives.  The healthier and more robust, have tried the many different things and ways, and from that knowledge and experience, refine a better path -- as long as they are capable.

So to remain capable of doing so, is what differentiates those at the end.  Most will have long ago fallen by the wayside and resigned themselves to their fates, while the few, will still be trying everything possible that might work until the end -- and never reach that resignation before they die.  Only for the latter, does hope spring eternal -- and die still trying.  The others have long given up trying -- and even thinking anything else possible.

That seems to be a better measure of life than simply how long one lives -- even if the heart is the only organ still working.  What amazes most people is that differences and change does not have to be monumental -- but can be the slightest of differences and change -- over a long time.   It is not that "fast and furious" does better than "slow and steady" -- over a much longer time.  At that point, most have already given up entirely -- saying they are no longer young anymore -- which is irrelevant to what they could be doing now.

And that is the only relevant question, "What can I be doing now?"  You cannot rewrite the past, or reimagine the future, but you can do something now, and that is the only thing that matters, and makes a difference.  So rather than an older person asking how they can keep up with the young, a better question is what they can do better than a younger person can -- and almost dares not to?

That would be to lift a light weight better.  One does that by taking the lightest weight possible, and perfecting that movement -- while all the young people in the gym, take the heaviest weight possible, and perform that movement with the most awful form.  What do you think is more striking? -- and more productive?  Try it.  Even the simplest of movements, done precisely -- indicates the highest degree of mastery, and not the overload -- done without manifesting any skill.  Which do you think is more valuable -- and more productive?

A good example is the performer who lifts their leg straight overhead -- in contrast to barely dragging all one can carry across a line with all one can muster?  Which is a higher degree of proficiency?  Which skill would one prefer to maintain all one's life -- if possible?  Obviously the finer skill indicates much more ability -- because one might do the latter also -- but not vice-versa.  One implies the other -- and that is preferable to the much more limited ability.

Eventually we all get to that mountain -- greater range of movement, or greater resistance in a limited range of movement.  The latter does not imply the former.  Form dictates function, and not vice-versa.  And that is the primary reason most do not sustain muscular gains the longer they persist with the notion that resistance (weight) is more important than the fullest articulation of each movement.  As a practical matter, it is possible to maintain peak operating condition by simply executing the movement perfectly with the least amount of weight that enables them to do so.

The converse is all these people who tell me they can no longer perform any range of movement -- because they always use too much weight, and so it hurts, and they recognize the twinge of impending injury.  Meanwhile, the fullest articulation of the range of that movement with a weight sufficient to insure that focus and form, will enable them to retain those movements for the rest of their lives -- and the shape and condition that goes with it.  They require knowing only in what position produces fullest muscle contraction, and what position is the fully relaxed position for that muscle -- and designing a movement that moves from one extreme to the other -- as the maximum, range of movement possible.  In achieving that alternation, they mimick the action of the heart to propel blood and fluids around in a very direct, palpable and life-enabling way.  It's not just physical education jargon and magical/wishful-thinking.

Anything less is likely to produce the opposite effects and results of what one is hoping to achieve -- which is lifelong health and full-range movements.  You don't get there by doing the opposite of what you wish to achieve.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Taking Inventory

Many people ask what is the purpose of a warmup? -- thinking they should go straight to a personal best, each and every time.  But before one can do that, one should know what their present momentary capabilities are -- or they risk overestimating those capabilities, and less often, underestimating them.  In either case, one is out of touch with the present realities -- thinking that their present capabilities are as they were 20 years ago, or as they hope they might be 20 years into the future.  And the whole point of any exercise, is to find out precisely where one is, and is capable of doing -- not just yesterday, or tomorrow -- but in the present moment, which is the only reality.

The truth of any matter, is not what one thinks -- but the actuality of each moment -- good, bad or indifferent.  The worst is fearing to find out what that actually is -- preferring to live in one's fantasies and delusions of what they would like to be.  It gets worse with age and time.  Many mistake what they did 50 years ago as what they are still capable of doing presently, and don't want to learn otherwise.  But when one knows their present capabilities, they can improve -- from that reference point, rather than further deluding themselves by not putting themselves to the test anymore.

In this way, people lose contact with their present capabilities -- and prefer to think they are something other than they actually are.  That is the importance of actually finding out -- by doing -- tentatively at first, and then going a little bit farther.  That progression of course, is the familiar warmup -- starting at one's lowest level, and gradually moving up -- and in that systematic way, achieving personal bests and even world records -- for those who are genetically and environmentally gifted for that development.  Nobody just starts at the top -- and moves up from there.  In fact, those who go the farthest, usually start with the rudimentary basics done extremely well -- upon which they have a firm foundation to go far -- unlike those who find themselves at the top, without knowing how they got there, and have no way to go but down.

In many cases, it was their youth alone, that put them at the top, and after that, they have no idea how to grow further -- and that is where most of the gains come, and especially when many have given up that further growth is possible.  Unfortunately for many, that is as soon as they graduate from high school or college, and they are certain all of life is downhill from there.  Those are the ones that are obvious, but less obvious are the ones who give up at any age -- thinking that is all there is, so why bother trying anymore?

If one never tries anymore, one will never find out and learn anything new -- and particularly, how much they have changed -- and not that they and the world, has stayed exactly as they wish to remember it -- forevermore.  Invariably, that is themselves at their peak of capabilities -- and not that there could be any improvement -- from what they would like to think.  The obvious best way to find out, is to start tentatively and gradually, and work one's way up -- from the lowest bottom to the highest top -- and so they are familiar with every inch of the territory -- and where to go from there, and how to make the appropriate adjustments.  

The novice, on the other hand, thinks whatever they do is good enough -- so the need and possibility of improvement seems unnecessary and meaningless.  They cannot tell the difference between good and bad, better or worse, and so meaningful improvement is not possible -- just the repetition of one thing -- good, bad or ugly.  The perfectionist, starts with the simplest movement perfectly -- before they go on to higher -- as it is obvious to them, that if they cannot do the simplest movement perfectly, making it harder will make things worse -- and that is precisely what happens in many people's workouts.  They begin and end arbitrarily and thoughtlessly -- and wonder why they don't get the results the "experts" promise, and think there is some mysterious, great secret to getting anywhere.

First, they have to be pointing in the right direction to get where they want to get -- and not simply heeding the advice of experts to just go anywhere, and somehow, they will end up in the right place.  It never happens that way.  People hit what they aim for -- more often than just hitting out in any direction -- thinking that is the same.  One starts slow and easy, and lets the hard take care of itself.  But starting hard, makes it impossible -- or even distinguishing the difference, because from the get-go, one is already taxed beyond their sensibilities -- and they know nothing else, particularly how to make the proper adjustments when things do not go according to plans.

More often than not, things will not go according to how one wishes they would -- but the most accomplished, know how to make those adjustments so well, they seem like they are all part of the plan -- and it is, because that is what they have prepared themselves for -- the challenges at any level, and not just the one they hope it will be.  That would be easy -- but it seldom works out that way.  The most proficient and prolific, are capable of making those fine adjustments -- while those only wishing it were so, merely delude themselves further.

That is the value of being able to ease into any activity -- and not just operate on an all-out or none basis -- as though one can turn on any capabilities at will, and realize one day, that they won't -- and don't know how to get into that mode from humble or impossible beginnings.  One day they wake up and realize that the precipice is too far from the other side.  It's not that people grow too old too fast, but they forget how to take baby steps that made anything seem possible -- with practice and persistence.  Instead, they grow impatient, and think that the simplest, easiest, most basic movements are unnecessary to practice -- and desire only the world records, or at least personal bests, each and every day -- even if only in their wishful-thinking.

Then one day they wake up and realize they no longer have those capabilities they took for granted would always remain with them.  It all seemed too easy -- and thought it would always remain so -- but now was nonexistent and impossible even to consider.  They had lost the faculties they thought would always remain so -- just because they wished that it were so.  It's not that one has to lift a great resistance to make it worthwhile and meaningful.  Just retaining and perfecting the movement in itself, is 90% of the gain.  Among the older crowd, the difference is not who can perform a movement with record poundages, but those who can do the movement at all -- and those who cannot.

It's not that they cannot do a movement with 500 lbs in their later years -- but that they cannot even do the full-range movement without any resistance at all.  Through all that excessive wear and tear, they cannot even do the simplest of movements involving those joints any longer -- that just being able to do so without great pain and discomfort as well as drastically limited range, would now be a monumental accomplishment.  An older person who has retained all their faculties -- rather than the increasing norm of disability in all its variations -- is the distinguishing difference between those who are thriving, and those on their way out.

For these people, even doing the warmup is out of the question -- when that is all they have to do to retain that mobility -- every day of their lives.  It just becomes easier to tell the winners from the losers - without establishing a course to see who can crawl over the finish line last.  Range of motion tells one everything they need to know about present capabilities.  That is generally regarded as "liveliness," or vitality -- that produces robustness -- just in their being, and doing ordinary things.

It is not the amount of weight one loads onto the apparatus that is productive, but the movement itself -- and quality (range) of it.  That is what the muscularity is designed to express and articulate -- especially and particularly, as one grows older.  That's all there is to it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Fallacy of "Failure"

Proponents of "High-intensity" training think it is a simple matter of training a muscle to "failure" -- and that will automatically produce gains -- and they go on further, to say it is such a productive manner of training, that one should do at least 5 sets for each exercise -- which obviously indicates they have no understanding of the concept of "failure."  

Failure is the utter inability to go on further; one has done all they can momentarily -- and will require some time to recover, and not simply one or five minutes between each set.  It will often take as much as a week to fully recover for the next all-out attempts to failure -- and in many cases, often longer.  Otherwise, they are just conditioning themselves to quit as often as possible -- rather than conditioning themselves for the rare once-in-a-lifetime maximum attempt -- as though their lives depended on it.  

So it was noted by the original proponent of such a concept, Arthur Jones, that it should be done infrequently -- as could be observed by the strongest specimens of every species.  It was for the lesser members, to be always proving their place in the hierarchy -- while the king of the pack, infrequently engaged unless he absolutely had to.  In the workplace, that was seen in how the foreman at a work site, was not the person doing the most work, but the individual who stepped in when all the efforts of all the others, were insufficient to get the task done.

Those get to pick their battles -- and take on only the most worthy challenges -- that make the difference between survival or extinction for that species -- while the countless more worker-bees, were consumed in the lesser day-to-day housekeeping tasks.  And there is a proper place for that work as well -- or the colony wouldn't exist in the first place.  So it is not a matter of which to do exclusively -- but the importance of doing both -- appropriately as required.  And that is the critical judgment -- so one is not going all-out, when a lesser force would be more appropriate to the task.

Many ask which is better to do -- exclusively, as though that was the optimal choice.  It is like asking whether one wants to be able to do only the hard tasks -- or only the easy tasks -- and not either when more appropriate.  That is what critical thinking is -- the ability to discriminate these things skillfully, and not doing just their one thing no matter what.  It may be likely that their one ability, is inappropriate for most occasions -- but still, that's all they know what to do -- and will insist on doing them no matter what -- even to the astonishment of everybody there who see the objective clearly.

But it happens all the time -- especially in the training/conditioning centers.  People will persist in doing their one thing -- despite the fact that they may not be getting any positive results, and in fact, is the cause of their pain and injuries.   Despite acknowledging that, they will persist in their one exercise -- as though nothing else is possible, or permissible -- because that is what some authority insists is the only thing that can be done.  Obviously, there are many ways that work for different people, but the only thing that matters to each individual, is what works for them particularly -- and if not, finding that way that does -- even if they have to invent it themselves.

That is what the champions do -- what nobody else has done before -- or can imagine doing, before they think of it.  And that is the great prize of any doing -- to do and discover what hasn't been done before -- even for oneself.  Of course that doesn't happen every day, or all the time, but that it happens at all in any life, is a great accomplishment -- upon which to build on to subsequent developments.

In this way, one would prefer to condition themselves by success -- rather than failure -- and so rather than quitting at 10 repetitions or 15, and calling it "failure," a better arbitrary number is 50 -- to ensure that one does something at all -- as a daily habit, or conditioning to persist at least that much.  The problem with doing a bench press with 300 lbs. to failure, is that although they cannot do another repetition at 300 lbs., they might be able to do a few more at 200 lbs., and subsequently 100 lbs., and then with 10 lbs., until they can no longer move their arms with even no weight (resistance).  That is true failure --- and not loading the bar up to 1,000 lbs. and proclaiming they failed when they could not do one.

Using the training style of unloading the bar only wears out the spotters, and not the trainee as intended.  The better approach is to take a light weight, and extend the range of movement in the direction of the muscle contraction -- which is much easier done in the direction of the relaxation -- which is mostly allowing gravity to do the work.  But lifting the bar further in the direction of contraction produces such a severe contraction that most unfamiliar with such movement, are likely to experience it the first time as a severe muscle cramp -- whereupon they have no further control and are likely to drop the bar on their chest if they are lucky -- and on their neck or head if they aren't -- even using a light weight.  But that is preferable to using a heavy weight.

Eventually, training in that manner results in a more controllable "pump" that many using too heavy weights so that they perform no productive work by it, claim they no longer experience -- nor wish to experience because it reduces their ability to handle heavier weights in doing so.  But that is the productive part of what they are hoping to do -- to dramatically increase the circulation to that muscle to effect an immediate result.  Simply lifting a lot of weights does not have the same magical effect.  That is simply doing a lot of unnecessary work -- and not getting the direct positive results -- that when effectively done, can transform most people immediately, and they get better in subsequent sessions.

This phenomenon is undeniable -- and even the top bodybuilding competitors are pumping away to achieve their maximum impressiveness even for that moment.  That much is unsaid -- when in fact, is the quality that distinguishes those who can effect such transformations instantaneously, from those who haven't a clue as to what is going on.  Instead, such charlatans will insist that if one continues to do what they are advising, one year from now they will see some results -- but never before then!  But bodybuilding exercises, when properly executed, has an immediate, often dramatic result -- simply because that is the body's response to such inputs.  So when "aging"bodybuilders no longer experience such positive effects, it is usually because they have lost sight of that direct connection and response, and think that something else is more important than effecting the blood flow -- which is usually how much weight they are using, or how many repetitions -- even when they don't directly effect the blood flow in a palpable way.

And that is particularly true of the blood flow to the critical faculties of the body at the head, hands and feet -- and thinking that the only bodypart of relevance is the biceps -- which is the major criteria of senior bodybuilding competitions.  They're fixated on only one thing -- rather than the total picture of health and vibrancy.  One can tell that even without stripping down to posing trunks and "selfies."  It is a person who looks and moves competently and robustly at age 70, 80, 90, and 100.  And if not -- at 60, 50, 40, etc., they have to do something about it -- and not just listen to the self-appointed experts who are usually in that same sorry shape -- because most of the people in the media cannot distinguish any meaningful differences, or anything of substance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Beyond Nautilus Principles Into the 21st Century

 Far more important than high intensity exercise, is full range movement -- which seems to correlate with age as well as condition.  As a lifelong observer and student of movement, the greatest difference has always been obviously the range of movement the most capable exhibit (flaunt), and the lack of range in those who are least capable and fit.  That seems to be true for every movement and activity.  Those who are most prolific, have a far greater range of expression and articulation than those who have a limited range done harder.  I would even go so far as to say that the range of movement implies all else.

This is important because this is the least discussed and understood aspect of most "exercise" activities.  This is the qualitative aspect of movement -- which makes it productive or not.  Even among the former greats, the diminishing range of movement, is what makes those exercises unproductive -- more than all the other factors usually discussed -- about how it is impossible to do a full range movement anymore, and so one settles for a very limited range of movement -- while lamenting that they no longer get the same results as when they used to do a fuller range movement -- even with minimal resistance.

Instead, they load up the resistance to as much as they can, while doing very little with it -- and certainly not getting any desirable results, because it doesn't matter how much resistance they apply, if the movement itself is minimal.  In every case, the fullest range of movement (articulation) with minimal resistance that allows it, is self-evident indication that the joint is in optimal functioning condition -- because any full range movement, will require the muscle change from fullest relaxation to fullest contraction, and that change, produces the flow that produces the greatest health in every cell, tissue, organ of the body -- and that lack of flow, is what causes it to stagnate and die.

And rather than that being automatic, is the major rationale for exercise being a healthful, productive activity.  But most are focused on the wrong things -- as the most important measures for producing and sustaining health, and that is evident in their very performance (movement) of an exercise.  Invariably, the lack of range is explained away by an injury (weakness) that limits that range -- particularly if the resistance is too great to allow movement in safety.  But those focused on the wrong things, will maintain the weight, but further reduce the range -- to the point that it is no longer a productive activity.  And that is what most people do -- and as the years go by -- note that their range of movement(s) is further circumscribed -- because that was never regarded as the priority above all other considerations.

If one can lift their leg backwards and touch their foot to their head -- more weight (resistance) is not required to make it a better movement, and in fact, adding more resistance (weight) to the leg, will NOT make that movement MORE possible.  The range of that movement provides its own resistance to doing so.  Conversely, there is no weight light enough that will make such a movement possible for most people.  But obviously and undeniably, such a movement is possible for some people, and to a far lesser extent, everybody else.

For this, we don't need to correlate it to some other measure of predictability -- other than the actual performance of it.  One can or one can't.  Most of real life is like that -- self-evident truth -- and not the reliance on something else to prove it is true.  In fact, it can be argued that it can't be done -- and we should not believe our own lying eyes, but rely on the "experts" -- to tell us what is true.  There are many people who think this way -- that what is true, is what the experts say, and not that it can be demonstrated otherwise.  They may even insist that the demonstration of such facts, are prohibited by consensus -- that it can never be done -- and that will be the new history of the world going forward.

So in that way, nothing new can ever be discovered or created, and the parameters of expression and achievement, grows narrower and more exclusive of anything but the one predetermined ideal.  Instead, what we witness is the explosion of undesirable results as obesity and metabolic syndromes -- as people get into worse conditions and health -- rendering them susceptible to even more diseases, especially over a longer span of vulnerability.

However, there will always be a few -- who get better despite all the prohibitions against it.  Those people test the limits to see what is truly possible -- and not what the consensus of experts (Pharisees) say it is, and the Scribes repeat it endlessly.  The highest intensity of any muscular contraction begins where most think further  movement is not possible.  That key concept is the most overlooked of all the Nautilus principles -- that the fullest range, is not what most people think it is.  And that is particularly so in the direction of fullest contraction.  Most people on hearing the need for this, willingly extend the range in the relaxed position while neglecting to extend the range in the fully contracted position.

That is to say that using the bench press as an example -- the position at which most begin the lifted position on downwards -- to maximize the contraction, they would begin to push up further in the other direction -- producing such a powerful contraction, that there is a real danger of cramping and muscle failure -- so that one is fearful of doing a movement in that way because of the very possibility of losing total control and having the bar crash into the trainee.  For that reason, one would design a machine that would eliminate that danger and possibility -- but most people do not extend the range of movement in the direction of fuller contraction, but may extend the range of movement in the relaxed position -- because it is easier and more convenient to do so.  That misses the whole point.

The really productive part of the movement, is extending the range in the contracted position -- because that contraction, is also a compression -- which for health purposes, pushes the fluids back towards the heart -- which is the weakness of most bodies to generate that healthful flow.  In many people, that results in edema and lymphedema, or the swelling of the body tissues -- which compression in its many variations is the solution -- especially in exercise or movements producing a very definitive muscle contraction-relaxation phase, which is the principle of fluid dynamics upon which the body works and maintains its viability.

Exercise, compression clothing, massage, pharmaceuticals that do this -- make the body healthier by removing the toxins that build up as the normal processes of cell functioning -- and merely getting the heart to work harder is not going to make a difference, but will certainly strain and enlarge the heart.  Instead, what is needed, is to force the skeletal muscles to contract from the extremities -- which compresses the fluids back towards the heart and other purifying and recycling organs, and when those tissues are evacuated, there is room for new blood and nutrients to enter -- but not before then.

That is the flawed understanding of exercise as we know it.  You cannot fill a cup that is already full.  You must first empty it -- for it to have any meaning and impact.  Simply making the heart work endlessly and tirelessly harder, is why most of the extreme athletes are dying prematurely of heart failures.  That should be way obvious -- and the solution to that, is not to find ways of making the heart work even harder, but to understand the proper relationship and dynamics of flow.  Then everything one does will become productive, healthful, and enjoyable as well because everything will make sense -- rather than forcing the body to do what it knows is better not to, on the penalty of premature injury, disability and death.

That's what inevitably happens to all the older bodybuilders.  You start off with a light weight and make the exercise harder by contracting more intensely by extending the range of movement in the contractile phase (exhaustion) -- rather than starting with a heavy weight and then unloading the barbell as the muscle fails to contract even minimally.  In the latter, the only ones who do most of the work are the "spotters" -- removing the weights, to make it seem like one is exercising intensely.  It's far more effective to make a light weight heavy, than to make a heavy weight light.  Why would one do otherwise?

This is the 21st Century.  Only in this way can one continue to train productively all the days of their extended lives -- while attaining and retaining maximum range of movements.  "Nothing else is possible."

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Survival of the Fit

 The problem with making everything into a competitive activity is that there is only one winner, and everybody else has to lose -- no matter how worthy their efforts and achievements.  That is true regardless if one is doing what is beneficial to themselves most of all -- which really ought to be the true measure of what everybody does in life.  Is it good in and of itself, and not, whether one wins a trophy at the end.  That is making everything in life into a trivial activity -- and not the valuable one each life can measure for itself.

That was the operant mentality of the 1970s that thought the only reason for doing anything, was to be first and foremost, and everything else did not matter, when in fact, the competition for that supreme distinction, was the least important concern.  It doesn't matter how low one's body fat is, or target heart rate, or for that matter, how much one can bench press, squat and deadlift -- and those concerns get in the way of achieving optimal functional health --  which is not measured by those things but the qualities of life that escape narrow measurements -- and become meaningless once they are achieved.

It does not matter how much one already knows -- as it does how much one is capable of learning beyond that.  That is what trips up a lot of people thinking their past accomplishments are what matter -- when the greater life lies ahead, waiting to be discovered.  What that is, nobody knows yet -- but those thinking it is simply the same thing -- but a little more, or more than everybody else has, is not thinking expansively enough -- particularly to their own existence, which is really what matters.  That is the meaning of life for every individual -- and not just what one individual has determined must be the criteria for everyone else.

Such thinking is not a mature mind -- but the quintessential immature mind that believes the rest of the world exists only to fulfill their own needs and ego.  So what they think is important, is what everybody else in the world must also -- and compete against them for singular primacy.  Those are usually to be found in the arenas competing for fame and fortune -- thinking everybody else in the world showed up just to cheer them on.  Of course, those are the familiar celebrities who think that all of life is a popularity contest -- and they who get the most "likes" or toys, wins -- or some such eternal glory and place in the record books.  So they are quick to enshrine themselves -- and begrudgingly others, for their self-aggrandizing behaviors -- as though they were great attainments of humankind.

Nobody cares what you can bench press, squat, deadlift, or target your heart rate and body fat -- because they are not great achievements in every life, because each is just a pebble on the journey to greater individual attainment -- and was never meant to be the universal standard by which all are judged for ultimate merit.  How each achieves and actualizes their own life is a deeply personal and significant thing -- and not the gross measurements that self-aggrandizing and self-promoting bit players want everybody else to believe as the eternal attainments and standards which will stand the test of time.  That is for posterity to determine properly.

So survival is not only for the "fittest" but awaits the judgment of time -- to prove that was so.  It may even seen that one was doing everything wrong -- but in the end, turned out to be right, while those who thought they were doing everything right, and had all the spoils to "prove" it, end their days as mere shadows of themselves long ago.  So much so, that it now seems so illusory -- and may as well never happened.  Time and age is very cruel in that respect -- as it reveals who really was right and wrong -- in doing what they did.

People don't age badly because they did all the right things -- nor do they age well doing all the wrong things -- as much as the mainstream media would like us to believe there are no differences, and it is wrong to try to distinguish the good from the bad.  Obviously, that is why most of them are working in that media -- getting paid to convince others of what is not true.  If it were for the reason of telling the truth as the truth, there would be no reason to pay them so richly -- for selling their souls for fame and fortune.  They would simply be satisfied with knowing the truth for once in their lives -- and the clouds of confusion and dysfunction would part, revealing the stairway to heaven.

But we never get there as long as there are those thinking to be the sole and exclusive winners in their battle to be the fittest -- as most worthy, and deserving of survival.  The stairway is vast, and will allow many to get there -- and not just the one who can emerge from the narrow tunnel as the singular winner.  However, that does not mean that any idea is as good as any other, because there are consequences, cause and effect.  Things don't just happen -- no matter how hard we want them to.  And there are many who cultivate that path to wisdom -- thinking wishful-thinking gets them there, so all they have to do is want it badly enough -- while taking no positive steps to increase those probabilities.  That's how the possible, becomes more probable -- or less.  In neither case is it the same, or doesn't matter.  It all matters -- none more than others -- and wishing it were not so, won't make it so.

Every generation has its own unique challenges, and the foolish, are those rewriting the past -- rather than discovering the new, and making it so.  But we try to see the whole of life through the eye of a needle -- and thinking that is all there is.  Those are the obvious competitive types -- but even more devious and undermining, are those who actually believe their own lies.  They are simply and abjectly lost -- because they don't know how to begin to find out for themselves, the truth of any matter.  And finding out, is the name of the game, what life is all about.  Even some with all the money in the world, will not be able to buy a clue.  The world is run very differently than what they thought to be true.  So while it seemed like they were on the top, shortly as was admonished, the first shall become the last, and the last, first.  You just never know when it happens -- and the first will be the last to know.  By then it is too late; all their chances have been used up.

One doesn't say this to mock the dying.  They are consumed with their own problems -- but for the living and the young, the new world awaits them -- but not simply by repeating the old ways that didn't work for anybody -- so far.  The new way has to be discovered and created -- and only such a life is unprecedentedly good.

This robust health lies beyond a single metric to measure -- which is the underlying flaw of all our previous understanding.  It merely accumulated when what was needed, was to subsume all the others in a greater, integrated understanding of the whole of life -- and not simply the accumulation of broken, fragmented pieces -- that tell us very little of the whole.  That is the new, higher understanding of what it means to be fit -- for life.  It is not about wasting the heart beats -- and thinking it will be made up some way in the future.  It all begins right now -- and where it ends, nobody knows.

That is the survival of the fit.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

It's Only a Problem if You Don't Have a Solution

There will always be changes and challenges in life -- because that is the nature of life.  If things never changed, then that isn't living -- so the challenge of life, is to be able to deal with those changes and challenges -- and not as the dying and disabled do, demand that things never change until they get their wishes fulfilled, soon enough.

So it is not as though the fortunate never have any challenges, but that they are good at dealing with them -- launching them onto higher and better.  That is why so many, squander good fortune no matter how much they have.  It is never enough -- because they will always find a way to undo their advantages.  And that is why it is important and necessary to be able to discriminate and distinguish the good from the bad, and act appropriately, rather than in declaring that there are no differences in everything.  Predictably, that is the surest path to disaster -- as places like San Francisco and Portland, Oregon report the follies of their ways daily.

What is the quality of life when the cost of living is astronomical while the possibilities of enjoying any fruits of their labors are zero?  The smart ones leave town as soon as they recognize the pattern -- as it will be more than a lifetime for the Detroits and Baltimores of the world to turn around -- and there is no sense in wasting a good life, even if that is where one is born in.  But that is the reason people move around to find their best environment and most favorable conditions for health, happiness and success.  

I know the media is full of stories telling us otherwise -- but it is up to each to determine the best for oneself -- and not merely serve the ends of the most exploitative defenders of the status quo.  People who move, generally do better than those who stay in one place all their lives.  They get to discover the many choices and options available -- and not merely settle for whatever situation they find themselves in -- as the best of all possible worlds, if not the only one.

On the other hand, it is quite possible for one to travel the world over -- and only live the same life and do the same things no matter how different the opportunities.  Such people will want to return "home" no matter how short their vacation from the only life they have known -- even planning for their next vacation while on their present one.

Obviously, such people are never truly "there" wherever they are -- but are always somewhere else.  Because of that "absence," they do not see the urgency and significance of each present moment -- when the world is encountered and resolved in the actuality.  They think all those problems and challenges will be resolved in some other time and place -- while we continue on doing all those things that are the problems.

In some places, that is even building massive transit systems to nowhere -- because they provide a few short-term high-paying construction jobs for the next administration to tear down.  That is because the funding is available and if they don't grab it, somebody else will.  So we need to look beyond the funding to see what really needs to be done -- and do that instead, even if nobody else pays us to do it.  We do it for ourselves -- as our greatest good.

Obtaining maximum funding, is not the same as solving a problem.  In fact, that often ensures that the problem is extended into perpetuity -- because the money is so good, it would be stupid not to take advantage of it.  But then those problems grow out of control and threatens to destroy all the good with it.  And so the solution lies not in the money derived from it, but other measures of success as the real tangible payoff.

How is that measured?  That is the quality of life -- apart from the cost of living.  An astute observer will even observe that they may be inversely related.  "The best things in life are free," and it is human ingenuity that makes it so.  That is the resolution of any problem -- rather than its continuance -- no matter how profitable.  Obviously, that is the post-money economy/society,  in which people directly produce what they value.  If that is health and prosperity, that means doing what needs to be done above all else -- and not waiting to be paid by others to achieve it for oneself, because that will never happen.

Some things can only be achieved for oneself, by oneself -- and not by doing all the wrong things, and hope to be bailed out by all the others.  That's not going to be a society (government) that works.  Instead, people will be rewarded for all the wrong things -- and the results are obvious.  Those cities become unlivable -- and the smart ones flee -- for the proverbial greener pastures.  Thus the question uppermost in many people's minds, is where are those places now?

Those who truly know, are not saying -- lest they also be ruined.  "Paradise" is where you don't want to be.  The mass media, as usual, will always be the last to know -- dependent as they are, on asking somebody else.  If they knew, they wouldn't be telling anyone else.  That's not what they get paid for.  Rather, somebody pays them to sell their "damaged goods."

Once we are clear on that, we can see through to the unsaid.  Therein lies the truth of the matter.  One has to do their own homework and research -- but has access to all the records anybody else does -- including the studies, and how they were conducted.  Many things will not add up and make any sense -- but some things will -- and make the world rational and whole again.  That is the process and evolution of thought, otherwise, the world seems to fall apart.  It requires a higher understanding than the conventional view can fathom.