by Neil Anderson
Which is more important, purpose or perfection? Let me ask it another way. Let’s say two men are walking to a destination. Both left from the same place, at the same time and walked exactly the same speed. Neither deviated from their course and, despite using different walking styles, they arrived at the same destination at exactly the same time. Incidentally, neither were injured during any portion of the walk, nor were they seriously at risk of injury. So, which of the two walkers is right and which was wrong?
Weird question isn’t it?
Somehow it isn’t weird to the vast majority of those in my profession.
In the health and fitness world there exist rules for things that aren’t based on purpose anymore. They are based on perfection. Nowadays, the perfection sought outweighs the purpose for which it represents. GPP has numerous movement demonstration videos online. Each of these videos show our opinion of what the most efficient and effective ways of performing an exercise are. Every so often, someone comes along and viciously criticizes our demonstrations as imperfect. They do this while never giving thought to the purpose of the exercise recommended. Profoundly showing their lack of fundamental understanding, education and experience in becoming healthy.
This little diddy is only 3 seconds long and we have taken mountains of heat from our peers over it. Still, we stand behind it for it's spot on effectiveness and efficiency of function. This movement is a fantastic core developer (stimulates core from all three planes of motion), provides nice shape to the arm (obviously) and developes coordination. All in 1 move!
They say, “Bad Form!” or “That movement won’t work.” What they don't understand is the videos we have online are not put out to the world as demonstrations of “perfect movements.” We do not value perfect form for form’s sake. Every one of our movements has a specific function for your increased development of health. These movements are very potent. They are very concise. They have perfect function. However, this perfect function of purpose is no longer good enough for the greater health and fitness world. It is really not even recognized. Instead, a strange new standard of movement has overtaken the purpose and function of moving. I call this new standard the “Faith Phenomena," or "The Protocol of Magic.”
The “Faith Phenomena," or "The Protocol of Magic” is enacted about the time a person stops seeing success with health and fitness. Maybe they NEVER saw it. Due to their lack of results they go out in pursuit of the deeply seated reasons that have surely caused them to fail, where (they suppose) others have succeeded. The unlucky (most), will seek out highly certified and educated individuals who were well-taught (read: well-indoctrinated) the rules of exercise. So, what is the first rule of exercise the unlucky are likely to be taught? FOLLOW THE RULES! They are told that those who follow the rules of exercise the closest, will see the most success. That the results they might see are contingent upon their perfect application and further understanding of these rules. That results may be slow at first, but “you’ll just have to believe. You’ll just have to have a little faith.”
That last part is where the whole thing falls apart.
It is the “belief” principle that gets most people off track. Not because they DO believe. But because they WANT so badly to believe. When you want very badly to believe something, you’ll find ways of doing so. And so they do. These ways? Not to question, “Why?” Never that. Instead it’s more study, more reductionism, more perfect movements. They are taught to believe that if they could but produce a more perfect movement, they would surely attain the benefits they seek. And so off they go seeking more and more perfection, secretly hoping that if they try hard enough, if they seek long enough, if they somehow PERFECT all movements, and show enough FAITH in the process, the MAGIC they so ardently seek will occur.
They have come to believe that the MAGIC of perfect movements they demonstrate will somehow BIND the universe to relinquish its health and fitness benefits. This is not unlike misguided religionists do when they pray so hard and be so obedient to their God that they expect to BIND their God to pour out specific blessings upon them. Is it?
Could there be a more selfish thought? Could there be a lazier way of approaching health and fitness? Let me get this straight. MAGIC is the answer. MAGIC is to trump common sense and purpose? Not to mention intensity, nutrition and rest. Unbelievable.
There can be no more valuable lesson than that of good form while moving. Proper form can save you from spinning your wheels and becoming badly injured. But, if you string that far enough out, somewhere down the line, the most important aspect of the movement gets totally lost. PURPOSE. It is the purpose of movement which is the point. It is purpose which will guide you to the right intensity, proper form and wrap it into great nutrition and rest. Not the MOVEMENT itself, nor its multitude of intricacies. That you may know a more technically accepted way to move, through uber reductionist techniques and high minded altruism only shows you to be much smarter than I. And WAY more faithful. I acknowledge this. However, after you are done boring me with your “Exercise is God” speak, we at GPP shall resume the highly functional and healthy lifestyle, devoid of wasteful intentions, efforts and purposes, that you may only ever dream of.