Wise words from Ross Edgley. Build yourself a body fit for a purpose. I bring this topic up after a conversation with a young man in the gym today, he asked ‘Does it not bug you that you are losing strength and size whilst training for your run?’
'No (I say to some initial surprise to myself). You know what it really doesn’t bother me. I thought it might but it really doesn’t.'
A body is being built for a purpose. In this case the body being built is one that needs to be lighter with better endurance, flexibility and stability whilst maintaining a decent level of strength. There is little to no concern for aesthetics or huge levels of strength. Aesthetics are subjective. I personally have an appreciation for all types of physically fit physiques whether it is big and strong, slight and lean or all that is in between.
To be overly concerned with size, strength and aesthetics for a goal such as what lays ahead would be neglectful to the task but mainly it would be pandering to the ego. When size, strength and aesthetics is the primary goal is this really about achieving a goal or is it about fluffing up your ego? This may ruffle some feathers but hear me out.
Training to become big, strong and aesthetic is a legitimate goal. It is the purpose, the underlying reason why that determines the validity of the goal. Are you training for a competition, a show or for the love of the process, or are you training to be big because your ego is telling you that’s what you must be?
Are you training to be a little bit more badass* (legitimate) or because you have to be the sexiest man or woman alive, everyone must love you and you will neglect other factors of life to be liked by everyone else, because everyone will love you if you are huge and ripped (ego) imagine all the likes you will get! Oh dear.
*By being a little bit more badass I mean becoming pretty strong, maintaining or improving health and have a decent appearance whilst still living a life you love.
So am I saying that all super jacked people with backs like paving slabs and arms the size of my waist are driven by ego? No, not all of them. The difference here is some people will attain or get close to this driven by their ego, the desire to pander to what others think of them and get likes on their Instagram page. For others (usually the biggest and strongest guys and girls) do it because they love the process. They probably couldn’t care what other people think of them, they just love to train like psycho’s, eat with precision and push their body to the limits. I imagine it like their own science experiment, I can see them now in their white lab coats measuring out there dinner to the nearest gram. I know I am taking the piss a little here but I do have a genuine appreciation for those that do this to such detail if they are doing so for the right reasons.
It’s not the goal (what) that is important it is the purpose (why).
It’s not what you do it’s why you do it.
The biggest and strongest man in our local gym hasn’t trained to be like that for the admiration of others or to fluff up his ego, its because he absolutely loves the process, he loves to train hard and push his limits. He’s not doing this for anyone else. He does it because he loves it.
The uberfit Crossfitters don’t do it to show off to others that they can lift more than you, run further and faster than you and do handstand push ups. they do it to push their limits, they enjoy the process and they probably aren’t concerned with the thoughts of others.
Ross Edgley didn’t swim around Great Britain to show off his swimming skills and ridiculous endurance. He did it to inspire people, to show people what humans and therefore they are capable of. He probably did it because he absolutely loves fitness, probably treating it as an experiment and study whilst pushing his limits.
Build a body that has purpose, build a body that has meaning to it, a task to complete or a limit to push. Build an implement. Don’t build an ornament for people to take a glancing look at and then carry on with their day not really caring. Do something that matters with your mind and body.
- Do something that inspires people to get fit and healthy.
- Do something to be a fit, strong and healthy human being.
- Push your limits to see what you are capable of.
- Do something to inspire others to push their limits.
- Do your own science experiment on yourself for yourself (keep it safe obviously).
- Do it because you love it.