2013-12-24

The Goal Is Self-Exploration

A few weeks back, I had the good sense to add the "Find A Workout..." page to the blog. That page currently captures the most up-to-date suggestions I have for constructing a workout regimen. There, you will find information on how to train for a marathon (probably not your first marathon, though), an eight-week general fitness regimen that I developed to get in shape for a beach vacation, advice for runners both novice and experienced, tips on how to train for your first 10K, and how to build your own workout.

That's a lot of information. Let me further add the caveat that I am not really trained to be giving out all this advice, if by "trained" we mean "formally schooled." One of the reasons I find the "fitness world" so distasteful is that a lot of it consists of weird, cultish marketing. Mark Sisson wants you to "swallow the red pill" and eat like a caveman. Dr. Atkins wanted you to eat more bacon. Tony Horton wants you to make P90X a lifestyle. Others would prefer that you juice, or make shakes, or make smoothies. The Crossfit crowd is notoriously cultish. The list of examples is far too long.

If I wanted to be a fitness guru, it wouldn't be difficult for me. First, I'd acquire the aforementioned formal schooling, and that has become so easy in this day and age, that it really amounts to nothing more than a few weeks of self-study online courses. Maybe I'd buy a red t-shirt and some track pants, and take promotional photographs of myself with my arms folded and big, cheesy smile on my face. I'd develop a special conceptual language to advance my key messages, and to facilitate the sense that my book - and perhaps my DVD set - is part of a larger community of active, fit, happy people who all think uniform thoughts about how to run and how to work out. 

And how to eat. My, how we eat! We eat clean. (Not cleanly. I guess that's different.) We eat a special, scientifically tested, peer-researched (ha, ha, get it?) blend of carbohydrates, protein, and fat tailored to the exact physiological requirements of the human body, based on... oh, let's say evolutionary principles and archeo-culinary design. The recipe book that I've written to compliment the workouts you find on the DVD is yours free with any purchase from my line of dietary supplements, all of which make their own special appearance in recipes themselves. I take the guess-work out of eating clean. In fact, that will maybe be the subtitle of my book; or maybe it's just the QVC tagline, I'm not sure yet.

The point is, I could tell you how to eat, and train, and supplement, and think, and read so that your whole life would be wrapped up in this Stationary Waves running business.

I could, but I won't.

I suppose one important reason I won't do that is because, as I said, I lack the formal schooling to argue from authority. Another reason is my firm belief that every individual body is a little different and requires some tailor-made changes that only you yourself can be aware of. The workouts I've collected here are the workouts that I do myself. When you try out some of the 8W workouts, or when you attempt my 18-week marathon training, or when you get ready for a 10K by starting out one minute at a time, you really are working out right beside me. Thus, in a certain sense, you're getting workout ideas that are tailored to my own unique needs.

In light of all that, I'd like to write some more posts like the Stationary Waves Guide To Designing Your Own Workout. My goal here is not to convince you to workout my way, but to try to pass along the building blocks of information required for you to do some fitness self-exploration of your own.

I won't tell you how to eat. I'll tell you how I work out, but I won't argue that this is The Path to better health and wellness. What I'm really trying to do is get you started on a fitness Stationary Waves journey of your own. How do you know when to take a rest day? How do you know when you're starting to injure yourself? How do you know when to increase the intensity of your workouts? How do you know you're ready for a marathon?

You can go anywhere to learn how to do posture-perfect leg raises. You can decode the secrets of the paleo genome in any other corner of the internet. Here at Stationary Waves, we're not really interested in that. What we're striving for is a point where we all have the knowledge to develop our own unique approach to training.