Screw the Gym… Who Needs It Anymore?
If Quarantine has taught me anything… it’s the fact that you don’t really need to waste nearly as much of your life at the gym as you think. Here’s my story during the shutdown and what I learned about fitness
For this week’s video, I’m going to ask you to be as open-minded as possible… I’d like you to disregard what you think you know and allow yourself to focus on the facts of the story I’m about to tell you; just the facts. I say this because we, as humans, have this tendency to create our own reality by blindly inserting preconceived ideas into what we want the truth to be, instead of processing events as they actually happen. So I guess what I’m saying here is… just hear me out before you get your panties all up in a wad…
Quarantine… it’s been going on for how long? A couple of months? I’m not even sure I know how long exactly, but I know it’s been a while. In fact, I think the gyms in St. Louis closed around the middle of March. And I say this because I bought my Home Gym equipment on March 17th, which was in direct response to the shutdown. So I’d say we’ve been doing this for at least 2 months… possibly longer.
And here’s where I’m going with all of this. Today I am just as strong as I was 2 months ago. Today I’m just as big as I was 2 months ago. Today I am roughly the same weight and body fat percentage as I was 2 months ago. And today I’m going to explain why none of this makes a damned bit of sense. And after that, we’re going to discuss why this phenomenon was even possible.
But first we have to rewind. 2 months ago I was going to a state of the art gym… best in St. Louis if you want my opinion. Cardio machines as far as the eye can see, more free weights than you could possibly lift in a week, and at least 5 machines for every single muscle group. Free razors, shampoo, Qtips, mouthwash… huge sauna, hot tub, indoor pool, outdoor pool, multiple basketball courts, rock climbing wall, Cafe, they even have a full salon if you want to get your hair and nails done on your way out.
I don’t mention this to brag. I mention it because I can’t imagine a better environment if you want success. Everything you could possibly think of is in this facility. In fact, there are things at this place I still don’t know how to use.
So in order to work out every day, I’d make the 20-minute drive from my house to Lifetime Fitness, I’d spend about an hour or so on weights and then 20 minutes on the treadmill. I’d shower, change clothes, and finally make the 20-minute drive back home. Over 2 hours… actually well over 2 hours of my life, every day, was allocated to fitness. And why? Because it produced results. It’s what I thought was necessary. I didn’t feel like I had the right to talk to people about how to change their lives if I wasn’t willing to make an effort to change my own.
And then one day… the world came to a screeching halt. The gyms closed their doors. What I had religiously done on a daily basis for over 2 years, suddenly ceased to be an option. I researched alternative solutions and eventually settled on a BowFlex. I wasn’t even going to pull the trigger, but the wife was persistent. So I bought enough fitness equipment to compliment a treadmill I already owned and 5 business days later the items showed up on my doorstep. I was now the proud owner of a makeshift gym. While it was a pitiful substitution for what I was used to, we must adapt and overcome when faced with adversity.
So I decided to split my routine into a Push, Pull, Leg configuration; rotating between the three on a daily basis. Now, Fast forward to my Quarantine workout today where I literally walk downstairs, watch the news on my iPad, while working out on the BowFlex for about 30 to 40 minutes. When I’m finished, I glance at the treadmill, walk right past it, and go upstairs to shower. A two-hour rigorous fitness routine has been reduced to a 30-minute weightlifting session… with cardio being nothing more than a distant memory… and yes, I’m really trying to work on that.
Now I’ve said this before, I don’t work out to get strong. I work out to look as good as I can when I’m naked. And there are three people in this world who have opinions I care about… myself, my wife, and my doctor. I‘m not looking for a life of caloric restriction and excessive workout routines. I want a life of periodic indulgence and just enough exercise to meet my objectives. That’s not lazy, that’s efficient.
So, circling back to my original question… how is it possible that I now work out for a fraction of the time, yet still get the same results? I have a theory… It’s because my hormones are balanced. My body is working efficiently. It’s easier for my body to retain lean muscle and since my metabolism has become optimized again, I’m far less likely to store nearly as much fat as probably should be. And believe me… since this quarantine has started, my metabolism has been working overtime.
Do you want a magic solution to looking and feeling better? It’s not the latest fad diet… it’s tuning your body to work like a well-oiled machine. That’s all there is to this. That’s the secret sauce, the answer to the $64,000 question, and it only happens through hormone optimization.
Do you still have to work hard? Of course, you do. Should you be doing cardio? Of course, you should. I’m not saying I’m doing it perfectly. I’m saying I’ve realized that busting your ass every day in the gym like you’re 20… when you’re actually 50… is apparently unnecessary… And how do we know this? Because we’ve all seen those guys in the gym that work their butts off and look like shit. And they will always look like shit until they fix the root of the problem.
So in the end, what I’ve learned during quarantine, is you don’t have to spend hours working out. You don’t have to count every calorie you eat. You don’t have to stress your joints, your ligaments, or your tendons. You don’t have to push through a list of nagging injuries to finish every lifting session. But you can. If that’s you and that’s what makes you tick… do it. The exciting part is, prior to quarantine, I thought killing yourself was a requirement… turns out, it’s nothing more than an option.
So when this pandemic clears and the world returns to normal… will I go back to the gym? I’m not so sure I will. I’m finding it difficult to justify the extra time, expense, and aggravation. I’d much rather use that extra time to learn something, get more accomplished, hang out with the family.
But regardless if you’re a Gym Rat or you just want to look better naked… one thing is for sure… You are Never Too Old to Live Like A Viking.