Real Men Have Mobility
I’m going to open this article up by blatantly stating a few things. First, I have my own very specific assumptions about what it means to be in shape and this article is written based on my assumptions. Second, with that being said, based on my assumptions, nobody can present a logical, sensible, legitimate argument for why having more mobility isn’t beneficial. At least if your assumption of training is to optimize your body for enhanced function and longevity. If we assume your only goal is performance and strength with no regard for how you perform, then yes, sure, more mobility wouldn’t be beneficial. However that’s an extreme example, at least in my opinion. I’ll clearly acknowledge my assumption of performance for the sake of the rest of this article. This way I’m not being completely biased. I’m also giving you permission to disagree wth me, in fact I expect quite a few dude-bro’s to think I’m plain wrong.
Alright, with that being said, real men have mobility. Or in contrast, the average man has no mobility. Time for a jab. All you guys who want to be above average, you, and I’m including myself in this, can start and continue by addressing your lack of smooth, meaningful, graceful and elegant movement quality. No offense, but stiff, gym-bro posture (you know exactly what I’m talking about) might look appealing (to other bro’s) but it rarely translates to structural integrity, biomechanical excellence and a fluidity and mastery in movement. Now, to be fair, if having more of those characteristics is not attractive to you, state it loudly, own it and keep bench pressing and bicep curling. However for those of you who are looking for a nuanced, distiguished, elevated and bespoke approach to your training, your body and your physical competence, keep reading.
Being athletic and looking athletic are not the same. You can buy your supplements, your fitness swag and expensive gear, but in the end, your ability (or lack thereof) to move with finesse and grace will be obvious. Drinking more pre-workout won’t help you move more masterfully. Having a six pack won’t help you move more masterfully. Adding 30lbs to your bench won’t help you move more masterfully. Sorry. I blame the media (and the gullible, non-critical guys who listen). Men have been successfully sold, and continuously fall for, the idea that if they look better, stronger, leaner, sexier, whatever, that they’ve attained some level of status. I’m here to say, and it’s only my opinion (for those that will disagree) that I think that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s grade school level, one dimensional thinking. If you aren’t attending to how you move, your joint health, tissue quality and abundance of pain-free unrestricted movement, it’s going to bite you in the ass (or maybe not because it won’t be able to reach your ass). Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, or maybe in 30 years. I’ve seen it again and again, dudes that look phenomenal in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s but suck at moving. They have tons of pain, stiffness, achiness, lack of range of motion but, hey, they can bench a lot and they’re super vascular! There are lot of guys impressed by how good some older guys look. I’m not one of the them. I know it’s only part of the full picture. Show me how well you can still move and I will have tremendous respect for the discipline and commitment to an evolved level of fitness you have demonstrated over the years.
Would an elite athlete benefit from only looking the part? Nope. We call those people models. Do athletes make it their top priority to train only to look good in their uniforms? Nope. Do they train for the function and performance aspects of their sport and develop athletic, fit bodies in the process? You bet your tight hamstrings they do. Now does that mean that they don’t still workout to look a certain way? Absolutely not. But the top priority is always making sure that the exercises they do translate to better performance on the field or the court. If someone were paying you 14 million dollars to perform at the highest level possible, you might behave differently too. Here is an important point; You don’t just have to train to move and perform well. Of course you can train yourself to look a certain way. But you’re training will be dramatically enhanced if you simultaneously condition actual performance. Otherwise you’ll be like the guy with a sweet looking, tricked out Honda that makes a lot of noise and doesn’t really actually go that fast. Versus, the hyper car that looks the way it does because of what the engine allows it to do. You get to choose. And the funny part is that you can spend more time in the gym and actually move worse because of it! Not how I want to spend my time thank you very much!
You don’t think it’s sexy to do yoga, or pilates, or stretch? Ever? Don’t think it’s sexy to practice moving more effectively? That’s cool bro, but while you’re lifting and grunting and benching and trying to look good, I, and those that value how they function, will be playing the long game. While you’re busy trying to look athletic, we’ll be busy being athletic. While you’re busy chasing all the tips and tactics and muscle isolation techniques, we’ll be crafting smooth, well-coordinated, widely applicable and transferable movement skill. Time will not treat us all the same. Now of course, I have no guarantees that I will escape dramatic physical decay and dissolution of the body. No one does. But, I will do what I can to mitigate unnecessary habits, shitty movement patterns and bad posture. I want to help the men on the bleeding edge reshape what it means to be a fit man.
Because real men have mobility.