I recently watched a video/podcast by Lewis Howes, a former professional Arena Football player and author of School for Greatness, and Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, arguably the most popular fitness phenomena in the world today.
A couple of comments made during the entire hour and twenty minute interview really caught my attention. I think you’ll find them interesting too.
I found the most interesting comment to be around the subject of the number of injuries that come out of the Crossfit program as well as other exercise programs. Of course there is the potential for injury in all forms of exercise, from doing jumping jacks in elementary school to sports like rock climbing, football, skiing, and other active sports.
Glassman noted that approximately 70% of Americans will die as a result of chronic disease, long before their expected lifespans have run out. 30% of Americans will die of other causes including old age. He said that although there is a likelihood of injury in any form of exercise, Americans should be willing to trade a few strains and sprains to offset the risk of dying prematurely as a result of chronic disease. He said that to bring the injury rate from exercise down to zero, you would have to cut back on the effectiveness of any fitness program.
Glassman cited a British Exercise Scientist who observed that our modern times are the first times in history that people had to “exercise” to find health. Our ancestors got all the “exercise” they needed from their daily routines. He said that nobody “invented” the chin up — our ancestors knew how to climb trees just fine. Nobody “invented” the dead lift. Our ancestors were always picking up heavy things off the ground.
That same British Exercise Scientist also cited a study of British bus operators and noted that the stand-up ticket takers has less heart attacks and lived longer than the sit down drivers, even though they may have been hired at the same time and received the same pay. Interesting. Is sitting really today’s smoking?
Glassman suggested that Crossfit’s program of fitness is the most elegant solution to the problem of people contracting and dying of chronic disease. I think this would apply to any program of exercise.
There’s a lot of good food for thought about the benefits of exercise in that interview. If you want to watch the entire hour and twenty minutes, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts94YY7VNoY.
Glassman said that it’s hard to measure the benefits of exercise and fitness against the costs of chronic disease. He said that we’ll never count the heart attacks that never happen or the Alzheimer’s that never develops. Well said.
Thank you for reading.