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Originally published May 9 2004

Many people approach physical fitness for cosmetic reasons; but real strength training is about body, mind and spirit, not good looks

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Do you jump right into a workout without warming up? Do you "jerk" the weights when strength training? Do you overstretch in Yoga class because you don't want to look like a noob? Editors from Fitness Magazine offer some tips in this article, but I'd like to go past the obvious and get to the real story about poor fitness habits. The worst habit of all is working out purely for cosmetic reasons. You know what I mean: pumping weights just to look good instead of developing core strength. Or hanging out in yoga class just to show off how limber your pelvis is.

I see it all the time in the weight room: guys pumping iron what have huge upper bodies but tiny bird legs. One look tells me these people are there just to get big biceps, not to enhance their health. I call these type of workout guys "punks," because that's all they ever achieve: the punk look.

If you never strength train your legs, you'll never achieve impressive strength. A strong upper body combined with a wimpy lower body is freakish. It's lazy. And it's not even a good strength training strategy either, because nothing will produce more Human Growth Hormone in your body than five sets of maxed out leg press. So many people pump weights in the hopes of generating more HGH in their bloodstream, but if you're not using your big muscles, you're short-changing yourself.

Not warming up is certainly a common problem, and so is improper form when weight lifting, but I think the biggest issue for most people is the fact that they're working out for all the wrong reasons. We should all be pursuing physical fitness for the sake of whole health: body, mind and spirit. Not to have eighteen-inch biceps that we can show off at the beach. Looking good is the side effect of being healthy, it should never be the aim.


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