The most sought after gym body, for example, often has “gladiator” pecs, “softball” biceps, and a “six pack” stomach. The pecs and biceps, however, are minor muscle groups that are not as important as are the triceps and muscles of the back. Because pecs and biceps are easy to see and showcase, however, they are given excessive attention during workouts. Although strong stomach muscles are important, lower back muscles also are important.
Another myth is that, to achieve maximum physical fitness, a person must work out in a commercial gym. Doing so, however, makes a person’s muscles efficient at performing somewhat artificial movements with maximum weights for a limited number of repetitions using gym equipment . Real physical fitness comes from performing the movements of real work activities for the appropriate number of repetitions and with the natural weight required. Barbell curls, for example will not maximize a prepper’s ability to dig efficiently with a shovel.
Gym workouts often focus upon working individual muscle groups, such as biceps, rather than upon working multiple muscle groups together, in natural work activities. Specializing, one at a time, upon individual muscle groups will give the exerciser less of an aerobic workout and will result in less coordination of the exerciser’s muscles when they must work together, in a natural work activity.
For some gym rats, the ideal physique has a large upper body when compared to the lower body. The most powerful muscles of the body, however, are in the lower body, and these leg muscles must be developed fully to exploit their power.
Gym weight workouts are good at building strength. Endurance, flexibility, and agility, however, also are critical for total physical fitness. Natural work activities are better at producing these total results.
What types of natural work activities help your total fitness the most? Please comment below.