On Weight Lifters, Walkers, and Apes

The other day this TOJ was enjoying a nice workout with his kettlebells while listening to a podcast interview by Jimmy Moore, a guy who lost tons of weight on a low carb diet and hosts a website with some really good thought leaders in low carb living.

Moore was interviewing Fred Hahn, a strength trainer for over 20 years, about his new book on slow lifting, the kind I've talked about before where you lift a very heavy weight very slowly, for a very short time, until you reach failure and can't lift anymore. Anyone who's done this knows it's basically 30 seconds of torture with each lift. The technique seems to work for some people, if they can stand the discomfort. Hahn must be a true believer in suffering to be fit.

I was enjoying the interview until he started to criticize kettlebells because some people don't know how to use them properly and break their wrists or otherwise injure themselves. Of course, that's true with any piece of resistance equipment you if you don't know how to use it properly or how your body responds that particular equipment. It was hard to understand his point because kettlebells are a good overall strength training device.

But Hahn became really annoying when he started to bad mouth walking. There's a genus of trainer out there who thinks only bad-ass muscle building counts as exercise. It was especially strange to hear him so critical of walking when many who tune into Moore's "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show" might be listening in because they're working on a weight issue.

Walking is a valid weight loss exercise and great fitness activity for people of all ages. For many people, as any good trainer should know, it's the right place for them to start, even if their goal is to do higher intensity exercise someday. High intensity is beyond their safe physical limits or may be too difficult for people if they have a health issue. Fitness is important for wellness. What's the obsession with performance? Studies have shown that people who walk everyday live longer than the rest of the population.

Below is a great tutorial on the benefits of walking. We should all get out for more walks.

There are plenty of people around the world who will live long and happy lives and never subject themselves to arcane physical training theories that require torturing yourself in a weight room.

This TOJ likes to do harder stuff too, but still enjoys a nice, long walk because it's good for body and soul. Walking up on two legs is what separates us from the apes. That, and having the brains to avoid extreme forms of exercise.

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