HELP REQUEST: Maximising workout gains

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Strap in people because this **** is about to get heavy...

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87 I will try to answer some of your questions. Please note that I am not part of Darebee team or an expert so take my reply with a grain of salt, but I do have some background in what you are asking (PT student).
    I understand and thank you for clarifying this not only for me, but for everyone reading.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87There are a lot of exercise libraries online (in addition to Darebee's) but they don't have all the things you want listed. Here are some examples:
    Thank you for sharing because I really wasn't aware of these. I will have to visit them one-by-one and see what each one offers and in which direction it is oriented, but otherwise, its great to have alternatives to compliment existing resources.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87As you can see, they are usually divided by regions, sometimes individual muscles (this is questionable unless isolation machines are used and even then we have the problem of stabilisers etc.) and some have difficulty listed as well. Energy expenditure for individual muscles cannot be calculated (as far as I know the technology doesn't exist yet) because the body works as a whole - that's why you usually only have references for broader exercise types, i.e. 1 hour of cycling, calisthenics etc. will burn X calories.
    Ok... so, so far we know that listing difficulty (even if its just relative difficulty) is possible. The question I have at this point, is this: "Would all coaches / trainers agree to what has been decided concerning difficulty, where that has been listed at the above mentioned resources?... Would you?...Would your professors/teachers agree?...or is this - yet again - subjective or dependent on statistical analysis [*1]"

    [*1] "We asked 100 volunteers for their rating from 0 to 5 and..." e.g. "...65% came up with these ratings"?

    Just for the heck of the following question: Assuming we found a way to overcome the boredom of e.g. 1hr of bicep curls, could the energy expended while doing that, be measured or is it a moot point?

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87There is a way to measure muscle activity (EMG, electromyography) but it requires needles being stuck in the muscles measured so this is rarely used due to discomfort and mostly for neurological issues (if a muscle works at all, not how much energy it consumes at contractions). It is not very accurate because the machine also records the background noise of surrounding muscles that co-contract with movement.
    I understand the difficulty in measuring the activity, given that a mechanical chain of muscle cannot exist in pure isolation ... (no volunteers for having all or most of their muscles removed via surgery just for accurately measuring e.g. tricep activity... but even if that was possible, its a result that is far from the truth, where when tired, I would be cheating using other muscles that might contribute to my activity (e.g. use my waist / hips /shoulders to cheat).

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87The best approximate you can use is to wear one of those watches/bands where you input your age, weight, height, sex etc. and it will calculate your overall expenditure based on average expenditure for your category (not you individually). For some exercises i.e. sit-ups you could find approximates online - not for a single rep but multiple (like 100) or based on time (5 min of sit-ups burns X calories).
    Those watches (activity bands) measure acceleration in three dimensional space, and based on pre-programmed assumptions, they assign value to what you have already fed them with (sex, height, weight, age). To give you an example of how inaccurate they are, if I used one on someone with chronic tremors (parkinson patient) the results would be jacked up way higher than they would actually be and in no way would they relate to reality. Perhaps within the programming of the activity band they throw-away such "background noise / jitter" as constant tremors, and only keep the larger accelerations, but it would still be wildly inaccurate.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87Progressions are things you list under number 3 of your original post: various push-ups for example. Push-up against the wall is easiest, then incline push-up, then regular, then decline and so on. Each one is harder than the previous one because the body's (muscle and bone, joint) relationship to gravity changes, requiring more muscle work to push the body away. That's why I said that if you wanted to know exactly how to approach progressions, you would need to study the basics of kinesiology and biomechanics - our bodies are a system of levers where the muscles move the bones and their relatonship will determine how hard or easy something is, but the "hard/easy" part will also depend on the individual - a physical worker/athlete will need less effort to perform an exercise than someone who is mainly sedentary.
    I slightly disagree with your reasoning of difficulty.

    Being mechanically savvy, what you are changing in each and every case of the various iterations of a push-up you described above, is the reaction forces of the free-floating-body diagram. The true significance between the change of "stance" in each of the above iterations (or progressions if you prefer that term), is A) the re-calculated reaction forces because of angular changes (we are assuming the same athlete in all progressions) and B) the fact that in each progression, you are demanding an internal reaction from a different region of muscle which will compensate for the angular changes taking place.

    For instance of A) by increasing the elevation of the feet, the reaction forces driven through the arms of the athlete are increased... by decreasing the elevation of the feet (keeping them below the horizon of the athletes hands) similarly those forces would decrease.

    For instance of B) if we continued to increase the elevation of the athletes feet until we stood him on his head, he would no longer be exercising his pectoralis (major / medium / minor) but instead he would be exercising his deltoids and trapezoid simply because the angular changes are so great, the pectorals are no longer relative to what is being asked of his body (discounting triceps and a few other muscles in both cases as they are a constant).

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87The alternative to studying in-depth is trusting that if you do a level 3 workout vs. a level 5 workout on Darebee, the second one will include harder progressions of let's say push-ups.
    That would be an individual decision for each and every reader of these lines. Trust is an individual "thing". I know that I could trust in your example right here.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87The problem with having an exercise-based vs. workout-based database is that for the first one, the users have to know what they are doing which indeed does mean knowing anatomy and training principles. There are university degree courses in this field (kinesiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, sports training etc.) because the subject is very complex and broad and it cannot be (excuse the word) dumbed down - there are of course those short "personal trainer" courses available but professionals do not work with such trainers for a reason, they simply don't know enough (but enough for amateurs with relatively simple goals like losing some weight/gaining muscle mass/running 5K etc.). Sometimess having a little knowledge is more dangerous than none, because you don't know what you don't know...
    I agree with you on this. The only way to know what you are doing is to read the same books / resources as those training in those university degrees. In some cases, perhaps public libraries have copies of those books... in others it might be an option to buy them if they are affordable.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87I would wager that an average person wanting to exercise does not have the time or interest to delve deeply into these topics (essentially becoming a personal trainer), they just need simple workouts to get them to move and that's where platforms like Darebee come in - the workouts are tested on volunteers and then posted to the website and the user just has to do them.
    I would wager that A PERCENTAGE of people working out, neither need, nor want to learn more about how their body functions. Of those that work out for whatever reason, I would wager that some - even if they don't know - should know how their body functions. Finally, you would be left with people like me, that despite not needing to know, are willing to learn more, no matter the time, effort and investment... because at the end of the day, its my body and I shouldn't expect from a doctor / trainer / whoever to know for me [*2].

    [*2] This needs a ton of explaining, and is part of a different thread that may or may not be started here as it is irrelevant with DAREBEE.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87Hopefully you can see why investing a lot of time and effort into developing the detailed database you suggest on Darebee doesn't make much sense - from what I understand, Darebee is all about being simple and accesible, not necessarily an in-depth education platform for sports training. But if you as an individual feel like this is something that interests you, then you can find resources to study on- or offline and create your own regime.
    I can understand the application of the 80/20 or 90/10 rule they [the people that created DAREBEE] applied in the startup of DAREBEE, gearing it towards the novice individual rather than the PT professional. Personally, I would prefer both, but I also understand that the 10% I am talking about, requires +9 times more effort than what has already been invested into DAREBEE.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87My impression is that you have the idea of human body as something rather static existing in a vacuum, which should then be trained in all different areas you mention in order to be "best". But the body is adaptive and it will adapt to what you (want to/need to) do.
    Not exactly... For years I have been under the impression that e.g. marathon runners were "single sided and single minded as they pursued endurance only and neglected strength and speed". The main misconception here, being that they actually have a choice vs physical limitations. I have had similar misconceptions for other sport-specific athletes. My previous goals involved training for ALL DISCIPLINES at the same time (speed, strength, endurance etc)... and it has been both exhausting AND a miserable experience (try doing speed after a strength session...or even worse after an endurance session when you have nothing left to offer... its the definition of fun).

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87You ask what takes priority, speed or endurance or strength - whatever you want and train for - you can't have it all at its maximum, that's why sprinters don't run marathons.
    Lets pause here and look at a few facts:

    Athletes training for a specific activity "have their work cut out for them". Its simple, because what they should be going after is dictated by their activity (their sport).

    However, the average Joe / Jane which has no such orientation, is subject to a much more diverse workout "menu" given the lack of orientation. So what should the average Joe / Jane that doesn't have a loose nut / bolt (e.g. poor self esteem and therefore a need to have big muscles) go for?

    Should he/she strive for speed simply because he/she has watched too many Bruce Lee and ninja movies?
    Should he/she strive for strength because its beneficial one way or another?
    Should he/she strive for endurance because it would allow him/her to tire less whatever he did?
    What combination of the above should he/she pursue given that his lifestyle is more or less the same with mine, yet at the very same time, different than mine based on sex, age, weight, circumstances, environment, work, family, etc?

    How does someone that is non-specific in his activities determine what he should aim for and therefore determine his/her goals?

    Should he choose the training direction with the least of injuries?
    ...the most gains in muscle mass?
    ...the most speed?
    ...the best coordination and balance?
    ...the most endurance?
    ...the highest metabolism?

    This is not just a rhetorical question. It is a very REAL question that attempts to do-away with misconceptiops, illusions, delusions (I am never going to be Bruce Lee even if I actually wanted to... so there goes speed) and introduce reality and practicality.

    What would be considered physically fit... well rounded concerning training... what combination of the aforementioned attributes would be a "good" balance between them?

    To this, there is another aspect of training, I think I understand [but I would like to state here and be corrected about it if needed because it addresses what you said about "the vacuum":

    If you train exclusively for strength, you will have benefits in terms of speed and endurance.
    If you train exclusively for speed, you will have benefits in terms of strength and endurance.
    If you train exclusively for endurance, you will have benefits in terms of strength and speed.

    So, in this interconnected matrix of results, where, improvements over A, mean also benefits of B and C etc etc, a reasonable question is the following:

    If we arbitrarily assign percentages of improvement in these areas based on BEFORE-AFTER measurements, it would make sense to compare our end results in A, B and C and choose our future direction of training, based on the most improvement of the end-state we achieved.

    For example: If we trained purely for strength over 4 months, and saw the following results:
    Strength: +30%
    Speed: +10%
    Endurance: +5%

    While if we trained purely for speed for the same period of time, we got:
    Strength: +10%
    Speed: +15%
    Endurance: +5%

    And while training purely for endurance for the same period of time we got:
    Strength: +5%
    Speed: +5%
    Endurance: +15%

    Its a no-brainer that we achieved the most while training for strength (overall improvement of 45% vs 30% vs 25%).

    This might be a valid distinction in what I am looking for.

    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    M87There are some sports which encompass more of these areas than others (martial artists need to be strong, fast, flexible, whereas a sprinter needs power and speed) but if you compare a martial artist to a power lifter, the second one will be stronger, because they train for strength specifically, most of the time. Muscle fibers change based on your activity (there is also a genetic predisposition), that's why I keep asking what your concrete goal is - to have big muscles like a bodybuilder, to run 10K, to lift 100kg, do X amounts of push-ups? Pick a goal and train for that specifically - there is no "ideal" training for the body if it doesn't know what tasks it needs to perform. If you don't have a specific goal but want good overall fitness (be able to run 5K, do 20 push-ups/squats, lift 20 kg etc.) then you just do various types of workouts/programs from the DB database (DB is Darebee) or other online resources like Youtube, either from day to day/week by week/month by month - the more variety the better to challenge not only your muscles but also your nervous and respiratory systems, the brain etc.
    Well here is the crux...

    There is no "specified activity criteria" (like being able to do x reps of pushups, or run 10K...or something similar)... and that SUCKS because it means I have no loose screw / bolt that dictates how I should train myself.

    But lets take that and turn it around:

    If I decide I want to be able to run 15k, swim 5k, be able to do 30 pull ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats etc etc what am I setting myself up for? Success? Disappointment? Failure? Injury?...

    If I am the only person that decides what "physically fit" means for me, I can very much set the bar as high (or as low) as I wish. And that means that we are all taking a step into the twilight zone, with personal rules / dogmas being applied on each and every one of us.

    Don't get me wrong. I am both for A) the FREEDOM to choose and B) the accompanied RESPONSIBILITY of that choice. But my choices need to be "an educated guess". Not a whim / wish / illusion / delusion.

    And this is where I stand half way in and half way out of whatever decision concerning setting my goals. I need criteria. And if not me, other people reading these lines, because where will they get their criteria? TV...? the movies...? shiny magazines?
    Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
    Damer, I am also tagging you in case you can help and provide your input here.
    Damer I am not discounting you or neglecting answering to your points / comments. I just want to read your article first before doing so.


      M87 you may want to take into account in your post above motivation. Neurobiologically there are mechanisms that make us do something uncomfortable (like exercising to extremes to achieve a superior performance) and these depend upon biochemistry that activates the brain's reward system. Without that nothing will happen for very long or at any length. Motivation requires an understanding of who you are and where you want to go which then helps define what you want to do (and what price you're prepared to pay for it). You cannot divorce the physical from the mental and, these days, we know there is a complex neural feedback loop that changes the mind as it changes the body and vice versa. More simply put: without a specific goal which has a specific meaning for you it becomes very difficult to train hard for anything and, even more important, it becomes difficult to achieve meaningful performance gains even if you do train hard. I can explain this in more detail if necessary but at the moment I don't think it is and adding it here may only take focus away from the discussion so far.


        Having read through your suggested article on strength (posted within your quoted text)... Here we go!

        [QUOTEamer;n610578]Ann-Core thank you for the tag and I have been following this discussion since it started. I haven't added anything because A. It is actually a really good thread with all the questions and B. I understand M87 is new to all this and the discussion, from that exploratory perspective alone is of value to him and those who have contributed and, obviously, anyone else who will come across it in The Hive.

        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        M87 I understand what you're trying to do in principle. Unfortunately the body is a nested system. Every study since 2000 shows that the balance (and development) of one part cannot take place without the support of and attendant change in other parts. This makes the body a complex nested system whose components are interdependent and whose ultimate goal is homeostasis (the attainment of a dynamic, sustainable balance). To understand some of this consider the relatively 'easy' subject of strength I covered in a post before:
        Concerning the article you wrote on strength, I believe you have left out probably the most important of factors that lead to strength:


        While it doesn't escape you that size does not equal strength, what does escape you, is that it is to be expected. Allow me to explain:

        The vertically challenged Joe / Jane Doe of "average" - or even short - height, has a clear edge over their taller counterpart, all thing equal, or even all things proportional.

        To explain this to the average reader, would require me to draw diagrams of power vectors on triangles, which would represent the axis of human bones, our natural fulcrums (portions of our bones being held perpendicularly away from the axis of the bone... e.g. your kneecaps), the anchor points of power vectors [muscle tendon anchor points] and the point of force application [the other end of the muscle involvedm which is of-course the other tendon].

        Given that [adaptations aside] the muscles, tendon, bones of an NBA player are pretty much the same with those of the average Joe / Jane, the much shorter Joe / Jane has a clear edge over such "giants" because of the biomechanics of their own body. Case in point: Weightlifters.

        Weightlifters are short, stout, people, with exceptional technique allowing them the manipulation of Center Of Gravity (from now on COG) to leverage (literally) the competition weights off the floor. They are strong [yet not as bulky as someone would expect... like bodybuilders] and powerful, able to focus their effort in a single coordinated full body explosion of force that leads into the vertically accelerating competition mass. The specifics - even though interesting - are not as important for the average reader, which can safely take away the following:

        If two "twin" [in all things identical other than height] brothers ever existed, and competed in terms of strength against one another, the taller one would not hold a candle to his shorter brothers strength.

        Alternatively, in a much simplified manner of explaining what demands a good trigonometry refresh along with composition / decomposition of power vectors, please remember the golden rule of mechanics... "what you lose in travel you gain in force" which is exactly what is at play here.

        That aside, I will take for granted the other points you have mentioned (technique, intermuscular coordination, voluntary activation, physical change).

        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        M87What all this means is it is virtually impossible to focus on one part because that part is connected to many other parts and training it on its own may not provide any increases in performance and might even be counter-productive. For example, world-class footballers struggle with hamstring injuries when their quads get really powerful. At the same time drilling down into body parts in a system that is, quite literally, more than the sum of its parts opens up a path with no end in sight. For instance, were you to say, target sprint speed and focus on the development of quads only (and hamstrings obviously, to bring the leg back quickly) you need to look at ligaments as well as muscles and then you need to start thinking about bone density and then about anchor points and cartilage and then about circulation and aerobic capacity and then about fuel reserves and nutrition. And you'd then need to look at macronutients and gut flora and inherited microbiome. This is why most fitness goals are performance orientated (needing to feel stronger, healthier better and be able to do specific things in better time or greater quantities). The broader approach delivers better, more tangible results.
        Understood... You would always be addressing the weakest of links in a complex chain of parameters, such as those you mention here.

        I also partially agree with the broader approach of being performance oriented. Why? Because "performance" can be a very specific thing (e.g. 100m sprinter), or unspecified (e.g. average Joe / Jane).

        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        M87The goal of Darebee is to help everyone be the best version of themselves possible. We do this by focusing on exercise performance.
        Not sure I am understanding what you are saying here: Exercise performance sounds like "100 push-ups is a greater ability than 90 push-ups", which technically speaking is true, but other than having decent triceps and pectorals speaks very little about fitness or the myriad of other abilities of the human body..

        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        M87Incidentally the training technique you mentioned from Paris has been around for a long time. Competition training includes finding the edge of muscle load and then pushing it in terms of speed and minimizing recovery time in order to increase strength, power and endurance. This, popularized, is what has led to the more accessible HIIT training. Without explaining the science behind it in detail, specific exercises when combined with fatigue and change in performance angles increase the load subjected on specific muscle groups.
        HIIT is only one of many training methods. Is it the "holy grail" of training methods? Maybe... Maybe not... That can only be determined after subjecting the average reader to ALL TRAINING METHODS, while recording Before / After stats, and comparing to see where they saw the greatest progress overall concerning several objective metrics (strength, speed, endurance to mention the most basic). To that list we could probably add recovery time, injury tendency, and others.

        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        M87I hope my input has helped here a little and thank you both for this discussion thread.
        Your - and anyone's input - is valuable. Eventually, we will get to the point of asking the right questions to our coaches / trainers, and knowing EXACTLY what we want from our workouts.


          Originally posted by Damer View Post
          M87 you may want to take into account in your post above motivation. Neurobiologically there are mechanisms that make us do something uncomfortable (like exercising to extremes to achieve a superior performance) and these depend upon biochemistry that activates the brain's reward system. Without that nothing will happen for very long or at any length. Motivation requires an understanding of who you are and where you want to go which then helps define what you want to do (and what price you're prepared to pay for it). You cannot divorce the physical from the mental and, these days, we know there is a complex neural feedback loop that changes the mind as it changes the body and vice versa. More simply put: without a specific goal which has a specific meaning for you it becomes very difficult to train hard for anything and, even more important, it becomes difficult to achieve meaningful performance gains even if you do train hard. I can explain this in more detail if necessary but at the moment I don't think it is and adding it here may only take focus away from the discussion so far.
          On this - and without actually going into it I think you are touching up on probably one of the most important factors (Drive). I would rather read what you have to say entirely on the subject AKA taking advantage of your offer

          Originally posted by Damer View Post
          M87 ...I can explain this in more detail if necessary ...
          simply because its my fault for not mentioning it in the beginning. The floor is yours.


            M87 my academic background is in Chemical Engineer with an MSc in Flow Dynamics in Quantum Mechanical Processes. I understand the seduction of looking at the body as a purely vector driven artefact where mass, bone length, joint angles and skeletal muscle size/density/angle are sufficient to provide us with the expected outcome. Sadly they're not. Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world is a mechanically flawed product. He suffers from scoliosis and has a length differential of one inch between right and left leg and an uneven stride which in sprinting orthodoxy should slow him down. It doesn't.

            I will start with one clarification: Fitness is not muscle size, strength, aerobic capacity or cardiovascular excellence. It is the ability to fulfill a particular role or task and/or the ability to simply feel in control of your body. Muscle size, strength etc - all the 'metrics' we're discussing here are immaterial to it in the grander scheme of things. The Darebee philosophy, which I mentioned as "exercise performance" is to allow the individual to define it, credibly and tangibly for themselves. Both "credible" and tangible" are important here because, as I will explain a little further down, they affect motivation by providing a measurable progression that has a positive impact upon the individual's perception of self. Muscle size, body type and gender has nothing to do with it. Everyone's on a fitness journey which we all share with each other. Everyone is at a different point of that fitness journey. We each have different reasons we're on it, different goals, different experiences and capabilities.

            Metrics such as speed, muscle size and lift performance always create a leader board which will inevitably have "winners" and "losers". This is the philosophy and approach of other fitness philosophies but not ours. Here everyone matters, or no one does. So, by focusing on helping the individual to be the best possible version of themselves we share knowledge, experience, support, enthusiasm and practical exercises.

            Now you mentioned size (and weightlifters in particular as being "short, stout people"). That's not true for everyone. There are world class weightlifters who top the 6ft mark and some who are under 5ft and each lifts different weights. Weightlifting, where mass is pitted against mass, is perhaps the one area of physical performance where size truly matters. Bigger muscles produce more power. Isolate the movement by reducing its dynamic parameters as in the deadlift technique for example and a bigger weightlifter will be able to lift more than a smaller one, which is why we have weight categories in Olympic weightlifting. The equalizer happens when we have dynamic movements where other variables kick in and they level the indisputable advantage of pure mechanics such as mass, acceleration and vector forces. We know, for instance, that active, focused visualization of an exercise delivers physical benefits that are similar to the exercise itself having been performed. We also know that actively focusing on an exercise while performing it delivers better physical results than mindlessly performing the same exercise, even when the performance is to the same level.

            The question of "why this happens?" leads me naturally to motivation or drive, as you called it. The only reason we are motivated to do something is so we can go from a state of dissatisfaction to a state of less dissatisfaction. This lessens the cognitive dissonance created by our first state which is energy intensive and leads to a more satisfied state that is marked by a reduction in squandered mental and physical energy. The process is guided by the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, in the brain. Dopaminergic action, in particular, leads to the encoding of memories which associate rewards with particular actions, which is how we form habits.

            The brain is designed to work like this regardless of what we do as long as the homeostatic tendency of moving from an energy intensive state towards a lesser energy intensive state holds true (which pretty much follows the 2nd law of Thermodynamics). To do that it tries performance strategies. The ones that are deemed successful it retains as memories. The ones that are unsuccessful it forgets. As an example of this consider that when you learn Darebee combat moves or even a dance, though you have the complete information you need to perform it correctly, initially you can't. Your body needs to develop muscle memory. To do that it needs the brain to create neural pathways that guide it. The body can only do that if there is a specific goal in mind: i.e. to learn the dance, to perform the combat move, etc. The specific goal allows the brain to assess which of its performance strategies is successful (because it incrementally leads towards goal completion) and retain it, and which one to forget. In order for a goal then to be of use it has to be achievable with tangible, incremental steps leading us to it and it has to be measurable in terms of how close it gets us to our goal with each iteration. These two elements are crucial. When the goal is undefined (i.e. to get fit; with no understanding of what that might entail or look like or to get rich via playing roulette) the brain also undergoes the same process of performance strategy formulation and execution but because the goal is undefined (fitness without a specific goal is fairly meaningless and using luck to gain wealth is not a real strategy or goal) the brain's motivational system then focuses on the act itself rather than the goal. Dopamine and serotonin are released but not because of where we are heading with our actions but because of what we are doing.

            That leads us to the clinical definition of addiction (whether it is to exercise or gambling) where we're motivated beyond our control to do something citing a reasonable goal (i.e. to get fit and healthy, to get rich) which is, however, unattainable by any means we can control and leads us to the opposite: exercise addiction leads to bad health and poor fitness and a gambling addiction is more likely to make someone broke than rich.

            Motivation is key to sustained exercise and sustainable fitness goals. The Darebee approach to this is through self-determination theory where we help those who exercise grow, develop and be "better versions of themselves". This is why The Hive is such an amazing place for getting support, help and people who just cheer for you and why we strive to make everything as much fun as possible and avoid any kind of leader board, though there are some notable exceptions such as our annual snowball fight where two armies clash for supremacy and cake.

            I will finish by summing up here: the best sustained and sustainable approach to lifelong health and fitness is to make exercise fun and make it part of who you are. Fitness is a holistic mind/body thing. You cannot divorce one from the other. I hope this is helpful. Ask any questions that may arise.