A friend posted this article (http://reembody.me/2013/09/10/the-6-most-shockingly-irresponsible-fitspiration-photos/) and I felt the need to respond, as there are great points to most of the memes being thrown out as the worst of the worst. I may have even used some of them in past blog posts.
I am not inserting all the photos, check them out and then read here.
First, let’s start out with the author’s cover photo: You are stronger than you think you are. Meaning you can do more than you think you can if you stop letting your mind get in the way. Remember that as we discuss.
#1- The idea of getting angry when you are tired to allow you to push harder is crap because you might overdo it and get hurt. So you should stay inside your preconceived limits and not ever push harder. I particularly loved this line:
“Pushing your body’s limits just because you want bigger biceps is sort of like setting your house on fire because you’re cold.”
Sorry, pal. I don’t want bigger biceps. I want new limits. And getting angry at where I am can be a powerful force in the right direction, provided it is not overused.
#2- this one I agree on. Moving on.
#3- We should not ever confuse dedication with obsession, and if you are being called obsessed, you are obsessed.
Sorry to break it to you, but anyone who is even marginally dedicated to something that lazy people refuse to go after WILL be called obsessed. Dedicated people won’t call you obsessed, they will generally pull you aside and explain that they think you are overtraining and you might make better gains with more food and more rest.
#4- You must never ever have any bad response to what you are doing to your body.
While I will agree that throwing up is a sign of something wrong, throwing in the towel is not always the correct response. There may come a day when you have to complete the task at hand sick, injured, weakened from loss of blood, who knows. Because the world is a rough place and bad things happen. While anything can be taken too far, and pushing that hard EVERY day is not a wise choice, every so often pushing past your limits is needed if you are going to expand your limits.
#5- The fact that they used thin girls with muscle tone invalidates the idea of strong being more important than skinny.
You must consider the target audience to understand the imagery being used. If your target audience is a girl trying to be “skinny” and thinking that lifting will “make her look like a man,” then you want to use models that both fit the skinny-sexy model and have some visible strength. The key is to give them something within the realm that they know, but also lead them in a more strength-based direction. Using the powerlifter (while she is badass and I applaud her) is too far out of the realm of the target audience.
#6- If your mind or body says stop, you need to stop right then.
Going back to the cover photo, if you stop when your mind stops, how can you be stronger than you think you are?
We all have a tendency to stop when we are uncomfortable. We want to stay safe and not go too far. But that means that we will never see what we are truly capable of. Again, this can be taken too far, but what is too far is open to debate.
I will end by telling of a training demonstration used by several police departments, and one that the author doubtless would be truly appalled by.
“Your body contains about 1-1/2 gallons of blood. You can lose roughly a third of that before you lose hydraulics and pass out. Take a half-gallon jug of strawberry milk, dump it out and see how big of a puddle it makes. Quite a big puddle. If you have not made a puddle that big, it is not your body giving out, it is your will.”