Monthly Archives: July 2012

When fat doesn’t mean unfit

Fitness professionals the world over have a nasty habit of driving people to believing that fit means you have low body fat and a six pack. It’s understandable. A six pack is a visual representation of all the hard work that you’ve put in. It shows others that you’re committed.

It doesn’t mean that you are exceptionally fit. Fitness, and specifically athletic performance can often benefit from lower body fat. Low fat levels doesn’t mean you are magically a great performer and more fit. By the same token, having higher body fat does not always make you a slovenly couch potato. Case in point is the Olympics. Watch any event and you will see bodies at the peak of athletic perfection. You will also see some folks who don’t match the Western definition of fit.

Leisel Jones of Australia qualified to represent her nation for the fourth consecutive Olympics in the 100m breaststroke. Over the last few weeks down under, there’s been a flurry of criticism implying that she’s fat, out of shape, and not serious about her event. All this conjecture is based on the fact that she does not look like a lean athlete.

On the flip side, five time US Olympian Dara Torres is often held up as a model of athleticism and fitness. She’s got an amazing figure and has delivered phenomenal effort over and over again.

 

This summer, Torres attempted to qualify for her sixth Olympics. She just missed out. Jones was able to swim strongly enough to qualify for the Olympics. Australia is a swimming powerhouse, so it is not like it was a gimme. You don’t select Olympians based on visual aesthetic. You select based on performance.

Jones has a chance to quiet her critics today with a solid swim. She also reminds us that it’s not always about how you look. It’s about how you feel and what you can accomplish.

 

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Limits

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We all have limits. No matter how you slice it, there is a cap on just how much you can get your body to do. At some point in time, you will hit the absolute edge of what you can do. There’s no shame in that.

So how can I say that and then tell you that your potential has no limits?

When you hit one end, you get to start a new beginning. You may find that you max out on squats. At that point in time you turn around and go do something new. Take up triathlons. Go for a French vacation and ride a bike up the side of a mountain. Maybe your physical health is deteriorating. You can’t run any longer. So what? Research alternatives and do something new. Take up an adaptive sport like curling. Challenge yourself to walk 20 minutes a day. Push until you find that new limit. Then go do it again.

When you reach the limit see it for what it is. It’s not an end, it’s the edge of a new beginning. That is how you stay truly limitless.


Wordless Wednesday- Change


Exercise in the morning

 

The best workout is the one you get done. It doesn’t matter if research says you’ll get better results working out in the afternoon, or you will burn more fat in the morning. If you do not actually get up and get it done, the fat is going nowhere.

Get up, get it done, and stop figuring out new ways to skip your workout.