Time brings knowledge, and knowledge brings progress.
The tremendous progress, especially through technology, that the human kind has seen in the last 100 years is incredible, almost science-fiction movie like. Functional, artificial limbs can be provided for those who lost them, fully automated robots can do all sorts of crazy stuff, we can Skype people from across the world and so much more. Just imagine your grand-grand-grand-father would see how you live your everyday life: he would probably think you’re some alien or have magic powers.
You would think that more information and knowledge available would result in less ignorance and a generally higher degree of knowledge amongst people, but it seems that the contrary is the case.
How many people nowadays still know which plant in a forest are edible, which have a special use and which are dangerous/poisonous? We have computers that do the thinking of us, we have Wikipedia that knows everything, so why bother learning or remembering something by heart? We can look it up anyways. It sounds strange, but that way more knowledge available causes less knowledge around.
Walk into any commercial gym. What do you see? Some very skinny people, some obese people doing cardio, a few people with really great bodies, but a large majority of people looking just normal. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with looking just normal, since, well, it seems to be normal. The problem is that, most of these people have been working out for years! 3, 4, maybe 5 or more times a week! Some look normal, some kind of athletic, but the people who look really great are a small minority.
Sure, not everyone does sports just to look good, but the (sad) truth is that most people in gym’s do!
So, if the purpose of your regular exercise is NOT directly related to some athletic endeavour (like if you’re an athlete in some type of sport), or you’re NOT exercising because of medical reasons (say rehabilitation), but you work out only because you want to look good at the beach, and you DON’T look amazing at the beach, clearly, something is wrong!
Why do people become fitness ignorants?
The problem is that usually if you join a sports team, no matter what sort of sports, you will be instructed about HOW to perform this sport. Whether you start out with basketball, gymnastics or track, there will be technical traning, conditioning, agility and other forms of preparation or training in addition to actually performing that sport.
In regards to weightlifting in a gym environment, this is not very usual. The weights are there, anyone can sign up to the gym and say “No, Thanks” when they are asked about a personal trainer instruction (since that usually costs extra) and just start lifting weights. This is why people start copying routines from magazines, imitate the workout the “big dude” in the gym does or fall into the pattern of overly isolating certain muscles (mostly pecs and biceps), while totally neglecting others. Most people just have no clue about how the human body functions and how it is properly trained.
While you don’t need a degree in exercise physiology or a similar discipline, it is very easy to see how many people in a gym are serious about working out and who is a fitness ignorant: You just have to look at how many people perform multi-joint exercises such as pull ups, bent over rows, squats, snatches and deadlifts, as well as at how many people actually train their legs at all.
And even though I personally prefer extreme calisthenics for upper body workouts, if you prefer weight lifting that’s fine, but then you ACTUALLY have to LIFT WEIGHTS instead of playing around with biceps curls all day.
You’re smarter than that!
Don’t be one of those people who think that working out is all about lifting heavy weights. Learn about how your body functions, what exercises are best based upon your goals and how to properly exercise those exercises. Don’t be a fitness ignorant, or you’ll end up being frustrated by the lack of results or even worse injured because of incorrect training!