When I was younger, I had no problem leaping onto the nearest soapbox or eviscerating people who didn’t agree with my point of view. Girlfriends (and especially my wife) and years have mellowed me a bit, as I now pick my battles. This is such an occasion.
I was alerted to a local column called “Fit City” in the Austin-American Statesman. This column features “fit” Austinites and they were in need of some younger folks for future postings. Channeling my inner Tim Ferriss, I saw this as an opportunity to pimp Efficient Exercise, since it’s still January and people are out there thinking they have to train 6 days a week with most of that being long drawn out cardio. I wanted to show how little activity, combined with a real food diet, could yield great results, so I sent this:
My name is Skyler Tanner and I think I fit the bill for young at 27 years. Regarding how I stay fit, I keep it simple with 2 high intensity training sessions per week and intermittent fasting combined with a real food diet (sometimes referred to as paleo/primal/evolutionary). I maintain the condition you see in the photo on less than an hour a week of exercise. I hope this fits what you are looking for.
If it’s relevant, I also teach proper exercise at Efficient Exercise here in Austin but that is instructing with little to no training along.
With the above I included this photo:
It’s a total myspace angle shot but it gets the point across. Again, I was hoping to show that people need not exercise themselves to death to gain strength, vitality, and leanness. This was the response I received:
Thanks for sending this in! You are definitely young at 27. Do you have another photo that shows you doing a training session, perhaps? I’d rather run that then the one you sent. And you do no other activities besides the two training sessions? Any running or walking or basketball or hiking or something else we can mention?
I really don’t do much else, so I elaborated:
What’s the time limit on this? I’ll be having another training session this Saturday so I could take a less “bodybuilder-esque” shot then.
Really, I’m fairly lazy away from the gym. I walk my dogs, which is really a leisure activity for me, and maybe play basketball a few times a year. I’m typically up at 5am to teach clients starting at 6, so I’m on my feet all day. It’s not a workout but it’s certainly not sedentary.
I feel that pretty well clarified my situation: I train 2x per week and my job has me on my feet all day. However, I do no other forms of “exercise” during the week. It’s similar to what Nassim Taleb would say: I either do too little or too much. Of course, this isn’t sufficient and I received this in return:
There’s no time limit at all. I just run them as I get them.Since I posted the call for new entries I’ve gotten a flurry of submissions, so there’s a lag of a couple months now.
I’d suggest rewriting your entry a little to include the dog walking, which is a great form of exercise (emphasis mine), and maybe mention the working on your feet. I don’t want people to get the idea that laying around on the couch the rest of the week is a good way to stay fit. So, just resubmit when you have a new photo and a few minutes to rewrite your paragraph.
What. The. Fuck? This person wants me to “beef up” my activity resume so that nobody “assumes” that I just work out twice a week and keep the level of fitness. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m saying: I train hard twice a week and do fuck-all the rest of the time. While it would behoove people to be on their feet more, it’s not exercise. While going out for a walk with the mutts is a peaceful moving meditation that lets my wife and I enjoy each others company and conversation, it’s not exercise (unless you’re sedentary, 95 [and not Jack Lalanne], and/or have recently had your hip replaced). Walking is human, it’s something we should all be capable of without attaching any sort of “exercise” tag to it.
It’s this type of OCD tomfuckery that keeps people fat year after year. People who write fitness columns in newspapers tend to be those spastic type-A people who absolute HAVE TO GET THEIR WORKOUT IN! In this city that almost surely means running and/or biking at Town Lake. Fine. Great. Awesome. But when these people start believe that their way is the only way, that everyone needs (NEEDS!) that level of activity to get in that great a shape. False. I’m in good shape but if you want to see someone in really great shape on minimal activity, look at Martin Berkhan. He spends more time drinking and fluffing protein in a given week than he does working out.
My point is this: You can get in great shape spending a lot of time on the couch IF you’re not eating shit (or eating way too much real food), making your workouts count, and being consistent. So no, I’m not going to claim “dog walking” as exercise because that type of nonsense is what keeps people thinking they’re “on the road to fitness” only to end up just as fat (or likely fatter) than they were the year prior. I’m not going to beef up my activity levels to meet some predetermined “necessary” activity level to be in great shape. It’s bullshit.