Myths about Self Employment and Strength and Fitness

One of the myths about working for yourself is that you have tons and tons of freedom.  Not really.  Your schedule goes where the market goes and you’re always at work because you don’t really leave it behind. 

In the back of my mind, I plan out new feats of strength.  I got the idea for my “Strongman in the Box” feat by watching an escape artist a year or two ago when my wife took me to see the Illusionists 1903 show.  It also dominates my mind everytime I go to Home Depot.  With every bit of hardware I see I think to myself “Can I break it? and if so, would it be cool in a show?”

Strongman in the Box, I’m trapped inside of a wooden box constructed of 2×4’s and held shut with locks and chains. The only way out is using my strength and breaking out.

I also have a hard time leaving the personal trainer in me at home.  A week or two ago, I was out with my wife and daughter and overheard a conversation about training and had to bite my tongue. I’ve been a personal trainer for around 15 years now, I’ve distinguished myself and was asked to teach at personal training certification courses nationally and internationally, given advice to celebrity trainers, trained people that were on MTV and am a world record holding professional performing strongman.  Basically, I know a thing or two about training. They already know this but I kept quiet because I knew that even if I explained in detail, they simply wouldn’t be ready to hear it.

If you are open minded, keep reading 🙂

Myth

“Strength training makes you inflexible.”

Nope.   Here’s the deal.  Your strength and your flexibility aren’t really about the muscles themselves.  Both of them are regulated by the central nervous system.

Just like this gif illustration shows the central nervous system telling the muscle fibers to “contract”, it can also tell them to “relax” into a longer length. They are like a yin and yang of each other.  Your muscle fibers are already long enough to perform full splits and things that contortionists do, but what stops them is that your central nervous system doesn’t perceive what you are doing as being safe and hence puts the breaks on.  Your nervous system remembers the positions you are in habitually (if you don’t use it you lose it). With regular strength training, alongside regular flexibility training, you don’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul.

Myth

“You need to do lots of different stuff”

Nope, variety in training is overrated.  Everything you do, competes with every other thing you do for growth and adaptation.  The jack of all trades is the master of none.  The high bang for the buck exercises will carry over to the things you don’t regularly train (we call this transfer and it’s the reason athletes have strength and conditioning coaches and not just skill coaches).  Doing heavy deadlifts, transfers to making you better at most things.

Myth, kind of

“You don’t need to lift more than 5lbs”

Technically, yes.  You need food, water, air, and to a certain extent human connection.  You don’t need to lift more than 5lbs to survive…but why just survive when you can thrive?  Thriving is partially about growth, improvement, and expansion.  If you want to change your body, you need to challenge your body.  You need to do something that tells your body “Hey, we need to get stronger so that we are better equipped to handle this (the stimulus) in the future”.  And strength carries over to multiple goals.  Using weight loss as an example, heavier weights burn more calories than lighter weights.  They also deplete more glycogen and tell your body to release more of those hormones that keep you lean.  You don’t “need” to get stronger, but you “should” get stronger if you want to improve yourself.

I also find that many people come to me for weight loss, and they lose weight but are more excited about the all-purpose strength they gained training with me.  And as Mark Rippetoe famously said;

Strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general

If you need help with this, I have a one-week trial membership available.  Text me at 973 476 5328 to get started.


Eric Moss is a world record holding professional strongman, author, speaker and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is in Boonton Township New Jersey with Lewandowski Chiropractic and is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, and Parsippany New Jersey.

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