You’re going to do it anyway…
why not get good at it?
© Copyright Stephen V. Faris, Stephen Vincent LLC
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Important Disclaimer and/or Legal Notices from the Author and Publisher. The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate with which conditions change, the author reserves the right to alter and update his opinion based on the new conditions. The e-book is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this e-book, neither the author nor his affiliates/partners assume any responsibility or liability, implied or assumed, for any damages that may result from the use of this information and we assume no responsibility for any omissions, errors or inaccuracies contained herein. Any assumed slights of people and/or organizations are purely coincidental and unintentional.
Although the writer and publisher have taken every precaution to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this e-book, the author and publisher do not assume or warrant any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information in this e-book. This e-book is written for healthy adults who are 18 years and older. Readers should use their own common sense and judgment. If advice concerning health or fitness-related matters is needed, the services of a fully qualified professional should be sought.
Physical activity in its various forms obviously involves some inherent risks. We suggest the readers accept responsibility for their own safety and be aware of their own physical limitations. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, consequential, special or other damages, including, but not limited to, economic loss, injury or illness, that may result from any information contained within. It is of the utmost importance to confirm that you are healthy enough for any type of physical activity.
Many medical conditions may preclude some or any form of exercise without close medical supervision. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness or shortness of breath, immediately stop the activity and speak with a physician. If you have done no exercise for a long period of time, then we suggest that you get a physical check-up to determine your fitness and establish a sensible timetable for your exercise program.
The statements contained in this e-book express the opinions of the writer, based upon personal experiences and research. This e-book, including all text, photos and images, is intended to be used strictly for general knowledge, informational and educational purposes only.
Since we are not medical practitioners, this e-book is not intended to make any guarantees about any outcomes resulting from the use of this information. Any recommendations or routines outlined in this e-book are not to be construed as substitutes for any regimen that has been prescribed by your health care provider.
Any health-related information provided is intended only to heighten individual awareness and is not meant to suggest diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any condition or disease and is in no way a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Please always contact and seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care professional with any questions you may have regarding your own individual medical needs and conditions.
About the author
Stephen Faris, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)-certified personal trainer, is the founder of lo-fi Fitness, a new business Steve is preparing to open in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Steve has been active in swimming, running, biking and resistance training since 1984. He started competing in triathlons in 1988 and has run numerous marathons, some ultramarathons and more than a few Ironman distance races, all while experiencing very few injuries and minimal downtime. While he has developed a great deal of real-world experience through his years of training and competing, Steve is constantly searching for new and innovative ways to train. He has developed a system of fitness that will expose people to many varied forms of exercise, essentially offering a smorgasbord of activities. Steve is a hands-on trainer who actively participates in his clients’ activities.
Clients of the lo-fi Fitness program begin building a solid foundation of fitness by learning to control their own body weight through natural human movements and then progress to Steve’s endurance training strategy, which employs diverse resistance training methods. These methods balance the following basic components of physical fitness to cross-train the body and create a well-rounded base of fitness.
- Cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic capacity)
- Muscular strength (power)
- Muscular endurance (ability to generate power for a period of time)
- Flexibility (pain-free range of motion)
- Body composition (fat mass versus fat-free mass)
If we were to sum up the problems we plan to address with our lo-fi Fitness program in a single word, it would be diabesity (DIAbetes + oBESITY)—especially among aging baby boomers—and its role in the metabolic syndrome (sometimes referred to as "syndrome X"), a problem that seems to be ever-increasing among aging boomers. The formal definition of risk factors associated with this syndrome, such as a large waistline, high blood pressure and a high triglyceride level, is under debate. However, it seems clear that these risk factors are affecting many more people in the United States and have a significant impact on the quality of life of so many of us as we age.
There are no simple answers to the problem of obesity—a main component of diabesity—or the metabolic syndrome pandemic. The problem is much more complex than overconsumption of calories combined with prolonged inactivity. There are many factors that enter into the equation, such as genetics, activity level, social and behavioral environment, types of calories consumed, hormones, emotions, and perhaps still unknown elements. However, improving the mobility of aging boomers can only help to be part of the solution and improve their quality of life. This retention and enhancement of baby boomers’ mobility is the primary focus of lo-fi Fitness.
Why do we use the term “lo-fi”? When we know that today most people favor things that are high-tech, modern and state-of-the-art, why take a “lo-fi” approach to fitness?
“Lo-fi” (low fidelity) typically refers to music without slick production that is characterized by a rough or unpolished sound quality - producing a raw, authentic sound. Our interpretation of “lo-fi” in relation to fitness is this: simple to understand, uncomplicated, not over-produced, easily recognized and to the point—no filler, just what you need to accomplish your goals using basic movements done with attention to detail and good form.
Most importantly, our lo-fi Fitness system doesn’t require a huge financial or technological outlay on the part of our clients. And the lo-fi label certainly doesn’t mean that we’re avoiding high-tech tools such as heart rate monitors, GPS systems and MP3 players, as all of these technologies are well-ingrained into our training methods.
The lo-fi Fitness credo
lo-fi Fitness, our planned health and wellness facility in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is committed to improving the quality of life of our clients by helping them obtain optimal physical and mental well-being through engaging in varied physical activities while surrounded by like-minded individuals. We want our clients to live life with passion and vigor and not be regulated by counting calories, fanatical diets, avoiding foods they love and being chained to long, tedious exercise sessions.
Our particular niche is working with aging baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) like us. We’re convinced that if you slowly begin to lose your mobility—the ability to get down to the ground and get back up again—you could soon become dependent on others to care for you, and this loss of mobility could cost you your freedom and independence. We’re quite concerned about the overwhelmingly large percentage of boomers who are not only overweight but also extremely physically weak—a dangerous combination.
We plan to create a fostering environment for boomers to begin building a solid foundation through body weight training and then move on to add various forms of resistance training. One unique aspect of our training philosophy is the addition of endurance training, especially incorporating triathlon training methods, as a way to cross-train the body and reinforce mental steadfastness. We intend to offer a kinder, gentler form of the many HIT (high-intensity training) and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) programs on the market today. Unlike some programs, injury prevention is the primary tenet of the lo-fi Fitness approach.
We hope to establish a refuge of sorts, offering a nonjudgmental community where egos are checked at the door, an atmosphere free of petty jealousies, cliques, unnecessary whining and adolescent-type drama. An environment where friendly competition is encouraged, but where we also emphasize the only butt really worth kicking is your own.
The lo-fi Fitness methods
Our methods are simple and easy to understand. We suggest paying attention to what you have to do anyway, and put some grace and forethought into everyday movements and daily living activities. Even the most inactive among us still have to lay down to sleep and rise to wake, climb stairs, get in and out of furniture and cars, carry groceries, kids and grandkids, and so on.
We think you’ll be amazed at how fluidly you can move with a little practice and relaxed attention to detail. That’s what we mean when we say, “You’re going to do it anyway…why not get good at it?” By addressing three things that you must do anyway—controlling your breathing (depth, duration and frequency), staying adequately hydrated, and relearning how to properly squat—you can begin to positively change your life today.
We don’t like to use the word “exercise,” referring instead to “physical activity.” To maintain a healthy mind and body, consistent, wide-ranging physical activity is not optional but rather a prerequisite—normal maintenance for the human body. lo-fi Fitness helps our clients reassess their approach to physical activity, to see it not as something we choose to do or not do, but rather something that is inherent in our being, the same way a child looks at play.
We suggest that our clients live life as a responsible adult but never forget how to play like a child. Children don’t warm up and stretch before going for a run. They push open the front door and go! They don’t see a hill and worry about falling down as they climb. They want to see the view from the top and run down as fast as they can. We want you to have the same mentality, and we apply stair-step methods to build your fitness level gradually to a point where you can safely play like a child again.
The proposed lo-fi Fitness facility
We’re focused on helping our clients maintain their bodies through gradually ramping up activity levels, attention to a good diet and adequate rest, and encourage them to berate themselves as little as possible. We feel that we produce effective results using uncomplicated methods based on timeless principles, much in the same vein as the physical culture movement of the 19th century.
The look and feel of the proposed lo-fi Fitness facility will be much like the gymnasiums of yesteryear; similar to the image in Figure 1 that depicts a turn-of-the-century gymnasium. These gyms contained apparatus that allowed people to perform natural movements using their bodies as a unit to lift, carry, jump, throw, push, pull, punch, kick and climb.
All of the natural movements of lifting, carrying, jumping and similar movements are basic to our evolution and have allowed us to survive and adapt to this point. However, few of us today could even attempt to use the equipment depicted in Figure 1. And that’s why we’re suggesting that our clients relearn basic movements such as squatting down, climbing and descending as if they were a toddler again—learning from the beginning. We like to use the term “toddler conditioning” in reference to beginner-level adult fitness training for the deconditioned among us. We help you start over again at square one and gradually build from that point.
Keeping it fresh
Throughout this e-book we provide links to relevant data, journal articles and products, as well as links to websites maintained by individuals active in the fitness arena whom we feel possess keen insight and a depth of experience on various subjects—our mentors, so to speak. We’ll update these links as we learn from our results and make adjustments in techniques used with our client base, providing new perspectives and highlighting advancing scientific knowledge as it becomes available. We developed this e-book to be a living, breathing document. Periodically we’ll verify the links appearing here and provide new copies of this e-book to our subscriber list.