Essentialism: A Way of Living and a Filter for Exercise
Greg McKeown’s book, “Essentialism” provides an excellent framework for how we approach both our work and our personal lives. McKeown describes essentialism as, “A systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter… It’s about doing less, but better in every area of our lives.” I encourage you to read McKeown’s book and consider using the mindset of Essentialism as a filter for understanding exercise information and navigating your fitness decisions.
There are a myriad of forms of physical activity or exercise that we can engage in, each with it’s distinct benefits. Although McKeown doesn’t address exercise specifically, if he did, I’m convinced he would define resistance training (or more commonly, strength training) as essential exercise.
McKeown’s motif, (and a mantra for your approach to exercise):
Less, but better
It’s more than just resistance training but that is certainly part of it. I think the essential elements of physical fitness are threefold.
1. Strength (progressive resistance)
2. Flexibility (yoga-ish stretching exercises)
3. Endurance (HIIT, high-rep movement)
Paul, what is interesting is that strength training through a full range of motion and to momentary failure actually accomplishes 2 and 3 on your list. When you train through a full range of motion you are getting a full stretch around all of your joints. That’s not to say you can’t do yoga, you can, it’s just you don’t need to if you are strength training through a full range of motion. For endurance are you referring to cardiovascular endurance?