I get asked all the time what the best way to lift or what style of exercise people should not do is.
For those who do not know, this is a big conversation in the exercise and health community. The real answer isn’t “CrossFit bad and my way good.” The real answer is highly dependent on your goals. We get lost sometimes in the idea that once we have chosen something, everyone else should see our side of the coin the same way.
My goals have changed as I have gotten older, and I hurt myself lifting on more than one occasion. My goals now are to look the way I want. Not having any injuries, being fully functional in the life I live, with the occasional odd physical needs, not taking a bunch of time, and above all else, allowing me to have the highest physical functional quality of life I can for as long as I can.
If those are also your goals, you should probably lift like me. You’ll need a different style if you want to be the biggest or the strongest guy in the gym. If you’re going to compete in a CrossFit games challenge, again, you’ll need a different style.
If you want to run a marathon, you’ll need a different style. None of these is better or worse than the other. They are paths to different goals. The way I teach, I feel, is more for the masses and those at the entry point and later stages of exercise and lifting.
They are not better or worse, and I DO NOT hate CrossFit or lifting heavy or long runs. I still teach it every day; it just is not what I would start with, so I don’t touch on it much. Although, to be fair to CrossFit, I find it hard to look at the CrossFit games and not think that there are many of our finest athletes.
So, concerning where it is due, It’s just not my thing. Try them all, find your path to your physical wellness goals and go for it.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
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