Survival of the Fittest and Personal Fitness

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Fitness in its truest definition is relevant to the macro-environment — how to survive it as a species. Fitness, in this sense, is no longer about having the physical capacity to fight off a saber tooth tiger, to hunt down a bison, or to pillage whole villages. The era of the gladiators are gone. And fitness is not about surviving an isolated incidence like being shot in a robbery or being hit by a bus (these things are unpredictable and aren’t integral to the macro-environment).

The survivability of the species has moved (rather quickly) toward education, economics, and technology. These things are pervasive and have changed the environment past the critical point. This leaves little to no requirement for breaking personal bests in the deadlift exercise or the high jumps. (Steve Jobs might not have survived a hundred years ago, but it’s not a hundred years ago.)

As for personal fitness, I believe there’s a minimum requirement of it for competency in hobbies and activities of daily living, for maneuvering quickly away from danger, and for functional retention as we age. This minimum requirement, though, may not be as high as many personal trainers, coaches, and fitness experts would make it appear, with efforts in double-body-weight squats, maximum-intensity training 6 days a week, or running marathons.

If you want to be incredibly strong, if you want to build maximum muscles, if you want to run a marathon in 3 hours or less, then that’s one thing and you deserve the highest respect for the time and work you must put in (I certainly like to feel somewhat strong and I work hard at it). But these things are not the vehicles to good health, longevity, or even weight loss and looking good.

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3 Responses to Survival of the Fittest and Personal Fitness

  1. Tomi says:

    Hi!
    My name is Tomi and I’m from Finland.
    I’ve been eating now 2 weeks “paleo style” and never felt better.
    Yor blog rocks, awesome information! Just one quick question, I read somewhere that you’ve been bodybuilder (i did too), how much have you body and muscles changed since then, when you were bodybuilding?
    I’m so done with obsessing about bodybuilding “life”, and already changed my training the way you do, feeling incredible…my only concern is loosing muscle..but I guess i have to reprogram my thinkin about my body:)

  2. Ogg the Caveman says:

    My muscles are now more compact and dense and the physique has taken on the classic athletic shape. You can see the picture here: https://cavemantoday.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/my-diet-and-exercise/

    I guess I’ll have to take some pictures and show you what my physique currently looks like after several weeks of even less formal exercise (about 2 days a week, one strength training, the other mostly bodyweight). I haven’t lost much muscle; but because of my dietary intake, I actually became leaner.

    • Tomi says:

      Thanks!
      New pic would be great inspiration for me as I’m still a little sceptic about my new training style (and new way of life) 🙂 I know I shouldn’t be because my body feels so much “natural” and healthu now after I dropped grains and bodybuilding routines.

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