Drug abuse for “fitness” is out of control. I want people to really understand what’s going on here. Humans have always been impatient with unrealistic expectations. But there is something different in the past few years. Listen to this panel (excerpt here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFjxw5qFUTI/).Everything you see is fake. Even if you rationally “know” that, you’re still unconsciously influenced. Clients will depressingly report that they hit a plateau or had an energy downtick in the past week. Uh... Yeah. THAT is normal. That is real. Heck, that is healthy.
Starting maybe four years ago, just regular people with no foundation, no discipline, and zero background will come in and say, “I want to get my pro card.” THIS is new. They’ll say, “I want to look like this [gesturing to some photo].” Even that person didn’t look like that when they took the photo. In the real world, anything worth achieving took years. YEARS. Not months. Not weeks. Not days. Even genetic freaks who maybe started training hard a year or two ago reaped the benefit of being a genetic freak for the prior two or three decades. We are witnessing ACCUMULATED benefit and outcome, IF we are witnessing anything at all.
At the many gyms and facilities where I worked and visited, ten to fifteen years ago, men and women of a certain age would train consistently hard for years and think, “man, I’m doing pretty well compared to my former self.” Nowadays, they’re comparing themselves to the visual look of twenty-four-year-old photoshopped drug abusers.
I'm not exactly sure how else to drive this home. Train for the RIGHT reasons. Train with REALISTIC expectations. Train for life. Train for health. Train with a healthy mindset.
As the panel says, you now have guys in their twenties with organ failure. Beginners are taking 10-12 different drugs in superhuman dosing. I’ve seen some execs, competitors, and models whom I formerly coached scoff at my slow-and-steady methodology. They go off to work with some nouveau “coach” only to get injured, lose their health prospects, and never again look as good as when I was just having them put in the work. People want fake. And they’re getting precisely what they bargained for.
People are making a very bad trade. I’m not averse to all medication. I’m not even averse to targeted drug use anymore, though I was strongly critical of it and discouraging of it for most of my professional career in the fitness industry. Informed adults should be able to weigh costs and benefits and make intelligent personal decisions. But that isn’t what’s happening. Laypeople with ZERO understanding of physiology are entering the fitness industry with the sole intent of becoming renowned as soon as possible. And then, oftentimes, they are becoming the next expert or influencer, setting the tone to an even worse position.
The human mind is impressionable. So we must remain vigilant. If we subject our minds to continual lies, continual fake stimulus, continual unhealthy comparisons, we will end up at the wrong destination. The average person spends over two hours per day on social media: https://www.statista.com/statistics/433871/daily-social-media-usage-worldwide/ . That's at least fourteen hours per week being conditioned to think a certain way. We don't even realize it, but we're constantly being brainwashed into believing all kinds of nonsense. And what I've found is that the people who think they subject themselves to the most "balance" in perspectives actually tend to completely avoid even a few minutes of opposing views. It's not even a conspiracy. The algorithms on YouTube gradually move somewhat intelligent people toward mentally unstable conclusions (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/08/technology/youtube-radical.html).
I'd use the frog boiling analogy, but that analogy isn't true. Plus, the slippery slope in ideological radicalization has ample real world examples everywhere. Otherwise normal and good people soon find themselves storming Pizza shops (https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/dc-pizzagate-shooter-apologizes-in-letter/18235/ ), because they've allowed themselves to buy into the lies, not because there was any evidence or cogent argument, but rather they're subjecting themselves to so many hours of disinformation that the mind settles into thinking these delusions and fantasies are true. We are all seeing widespread delusion right now where making baseless fraud claims is popular, even though there isn't a single piece of evidence. The "evidence" is merely inside of people's imaginations. And they imagine it, because they place themselves inside an echo chamber of the same nonsense for at least two hours every day. Even one minute of contrary realism is too much for them, since the lies are persisting WHILE the losing party's own experts INSIST that this was THE most secure election in American history: https://www.cisa.gov/news/2020/11/12/joint-statement-elections-infrastructure-government-coordinating-council-election#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20November%203rd%20election%20was%20the%20most%20secure%20in%20American%20history.&text=All%20of%20the%20states%20with,benefit%20for%20security%20and%20resilience..
As such, there are more lost people than ever. There are more radical zealots than ever. There are more extremists than ever. I might be one or become one. You might be one or become one. Only when we're willing to consider that we've possibly been misled can we right the ship. Only when we're able to listen and consider AT LENGTH contrary perspective can we protect our minds from extremism. Only when we pause to consider our media diet, how much of each flavor we consume, do we get a reality check. In fitness, it's no different. Our general understanding of fitness is lost, radical, zealous, and extremist. What we see and hear and "know" is based largely on drug abusing fakery and marketing campaigns. Realistic fitness is essentially absent in all of those hours of social media browsing. Healthy fitness is totally missing on the covers of magazines, headlines, influencer posts, and weight loss shows.
Thus, it's likely you've been radicalized to believe that fitness is what you see all the time, what you hear all the time. It's not. Fitness is what it's always been: capability. Build more capability. Don't lose capability. That's it. Everything else is overzealous extremism.