Jim sent this in (along with a question for another day):
“BTW, a really impressive thing about you and your web site. It is amazing how many different things you have studied. Handstands, heavy partials, old time stuff, bending steel, etc. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else with such a diverse experience. Great stuff!”
Thanks Jim. That brings up a good point.
Why do I do such a diverse amount of things?
And should you too?
Let’s start with diversity. The way I look at training. The reasons why I do it are for the following things, specifically in this order:
Health is first. Performance is second. How you look is third.
Now, most people who are strong do NOT rank things in this order. They put performance first.
And bodybuilders, well, many of them don’t care about health or performance at all. (Steroid use would be one example of putting performance or aesthetics above health.)
Now, I often say things depend because, well, they do. But I see the above as a principle, and thus non-negotiable.
If you don’t have health as numbero uno, your priorities are off.
Because without your health you can’t perform or look good. Not in the long term. And I’m playing the long term game.
So, while I’m definitely about performance, health comes first. (And basically, I let the aesthetics take care of themselves, which if you’re after #1 and #2, they will do for you too.)
So, when it comes to health, what is best in training?
To do lots of movement in healthy ways. In other words, the answer is no one thing. There is no one system that covers everything. There is no one tool that covers everything.
Not old time strongman stuff.
Not qi gong.
Not (insert anything here).
Not bodyweight. (Nor the many systems of bodyweight training that exist.)
Not even Crossfit. (Which is labeled as taking everything from the other categories, but in the end, while more diverse than most systems, is still its own set of movements that are done to the exclusion of others.)
That is why I do such a diversity of things. For health purposes.
I move well and am strong, because I have done so many things over the years.
Sure, I could be great at one thing…but that would come at a cost.
That and it’s all fun to me too!
While you can get pretty good health results and great performance results with any one thing, you can get great health results by being locked into one system, tool or style.
If you want more on this topic, there’s a lot inside of Deceptive Strength, as well as a wealth of different types of exercises across many methods.