Men's Journal has a very interesting and in-depth article on the web. The posting is by Daniel Duane from the November 2010 magazine, but I just found it through one of my RSS feeds and I thought I would write a little about it. The general theme of the article is trying to debunk myths about exercise. Now, Men's Journal, Men's Health, and several other similar magazines aimed at men, women, and both genders have articles like this all the time, right? Usually the articles are ridiculously superficial and based on little to no scientific evidence.
This article is also a little lean on evidence, but the general approach is refreshing. For example, rather than encouraging "some cardio" and "a little core strengthening" the author dismisses these vague statements about how to approach fitness. Instead, he dismisses them as bogus and goes on to skewer "big corporate gyms" and point out how much of what they do is not really aimed at getting people healthy, but at getting as many people as possible to sign up so that they can turn a profit on the people that pay dues and never go to the gym, or pay extra for personal training. Instead, the author encourages you to have a goal and train for it. Pick a sport that you can gear up for and then go do that sport and get out of the gym!
The author talks about why the gym is over 90% "machines" and you have to go out of your way to find the free weights. Free weights are dangerous and invite liability for the gym. Much easier to buy fancy and shiny machines that anyone can use and promote the heck out of them.
These are a couple of the sidebar images from the article, but check out the full text, it is worth your read.
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