The future of health and fitness?

I made the switch from bodybuilding to functional fitness around 9 months ago now, and I’m not the only one. I’m seeing more and more people make the move, clients I’ve coached and figures I follow via social media.

But why the change? In the last ten years people have cared about the way they look more than ever, men and women alike. That’s why I started lifting in the first place. Now, I feel like people are starting to care more about health, not just from an aesthetic perspective, but an overall perspective.

“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” — Joyce Meyer

I’ve experienced first hand that the bodybuilding industry can be a very egotistical and self obsessed scene. People want to be like, and look better, than everyone else. That’s not to say everyone in the industry is like that, but in my opinion that’s not a healthy mindset. Here’s a picture of me when I competed in mens physique at the age of 19.

I look back at this photo and laugh to some extent, thinking about how unhealthy and unsustainable I look (and felt).

I was ill as a consequence of an extreme calorie deficit, but more importantly I didn’t feel healthy. Sure it was a mental challenge, and I learnt so much about my body. However, I’d never do it again. I have friends that compete and have nothing but massive respect for, because I know first hand, just how hard it is.

Weight training is a great way to release stress and exercise, it’s still a huge part of my training, just the way I go about it and the end goal is different, and so I decided to move onto a more functional and overall approach to health and fitness so I could really reap the benefits. More and more people are learning now that those fruit and vegetables aren’t just going to help you trim some pounds, but they’re also doing wonders for things like your mood, your skin, and cognitive health. (see recent post ‘let’s talk food.’)

Training like a bodybuilder felt like I was trying to achieve one never ending purpose, to look bigger and better than I did last week, I didn’t see the point anymore, if you’re never truly going to be happy with your physique then you’re onboard a never ending cycle that’s only going to get worse. Besides training like an athlete is way more fun anyway, oh and guess what? If you train and eat like an athlete, chances are you’ll look like one to, and they’re not in some big calorie deficit either.

The more we’re educated and learn about why health is physical, mental and social. The more we adopt an holistic approach to the matter, we know the benefits of meditation for example, and that’s starting to become a norm in people’s everyday lives. If someone was meditating ten years ago I would have thought they were some hippy, now it’s all changed and it’s how I start my morning. Companies like Headspace are changing the health game, and people are reaping the rewards.

What’s really going to matter in 10 years time? Those huge 19 inch biceps, or a healthier all round high performing body? Answer seems clear to me folks.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” — Buddha