“The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community.”
This was posted on crossfit.com in the journal 20 years ago.
As someone who’s been exercising and pursuing my health for 13 years, this phrase has always resonated with me.
There are levels to exercising and gyms. So long as the gym isn’t actively hurting people with irresponsible trainers or programs, I’m in the camp that all gyms and all exercise is good. It’s better than the alternative, which is doing nothing. I do believe, however, that not all gyms and exercise programs are equal (I’ll give you one guess as to what I bias towards.)
With that being said, let’s pull this phrase apart a little bit.
“The magic is in the movement”
Movement function. If you are exercising and you’re still doing isolation based exercises, you’ve missed the boat (unless you’re a bodybuilder or doing supplemental accessory exercises to solve a specific problem, I.e. hammer curls to improve the ability to flex the elbow to help you do a strict pull-up, or something like that).
There’s a reason “functional fitness” has blown up over the last 10 years, and that’s because 20 years ago a crazy personal trainer started teaching his clients to backsquat, power clean and do L-sits. Stuff reserved for college football players and high level gymnasts. “Our needs differ by degree, not kind”.
Functional movements will make your body feel better, look better, and you’ll see progress faster across the board.
“the art is in the programming”
This is where the creativity and experience of a good trainer expresses itself. It’s also where you will have the biggest opportunity to see reap the rewards of variance. Get creative and play around with your workouts. If you always do 3 sets of 10 reps to get a total of 30 reps in a given session, try doing 6 sets of 5 reps and up the weight. You normally rest 2-3:00 between sets? Try cutting that down to 1:00 and reduce the load as needed to continue getting the work done. You typically look at instagram while sitting on the bench between your sets? Go do as many pull-ups as possible in 1:00 then hop on stationary bike until it’s time for you to get back to work. Get creative. Force your body to adapt. Kill complacency.
“the science is in the explanation”
If you start peeling back layers by asking questions and looking for explanations as to why you’re doing what you’re doing, and the you can’t find an explanation that seems to make sense, move on. Whether it’s an exercise program, a gym or a coach, there has to be a why. Always ask why.
“the fun is in the community.”
This doesn’t need an explanation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up to my gym having a bad day, only to leave with a smile on my face and a fresh perspective. It’s hard to dread working out when you get to see a group of people who know your name and are happy to see you. We all need that “third place” in our lives outside of our home and work. A place to go be around good people and make yourself a better human being. Almost as important as what you’re doing is who you’re doing it with. That can’t be overlooked or understated.
I hope you have something or some place in your life that checks all those boxes for you.
Physical, Mental and Spiritual.