Step Into the Exercise Matrix

Those who have watched the movie The Matrix (starring Keanu Reeves) know the Latin phrase Temet Nosce, translated as “Know Thyself”.

It is at the moment, Neo enters the kitchen of the Oracle for the first time. He is looking for the answer why he is the chosen one. The sign hangs straight above the door post inside the kitchen. The often mystical words, uttered by the Oracle, flow towards Neo while he is being asked to look inside himself to know the answer of his question.

I will not to go further into detail and flood this post with spoiler alerts. Just in case you have not seen the movie yet. It is ad remains an all-time favorite of mine. As soon as my schedule allows a sci-fi break, away from it all, to work on my productivity levels again, I regularly load The Matrix in my Blu-Ray player.

Know Thyself.

The discomfort with knowing the truth, and what lies within you, are two strong words resonating through my coaching experiences. You often know you have the answers in yourself. Yet we seem to rebound back to not knowing yourself when setbacks and not seeing results.

The media draws us in like a star into a black hole. Resources aplenty adorning the World Wide Web with promises that it is all possible. With affirmations stating that as long as you commit to it constantly, success is a given. With abs crunching away our mobile or tablet, with supplementary oil rubbed into it to give it that even more glamouring look, YouTube seems to be the to-go channel.

Taking on the fitness chapter of YouTube, channels like Frank Medrano, Iron Wolf, Athlean X, and others have amassed an amazing amount of followers. I cannot determine the overall subscribers and their fitness status. These subscribers tend to be drawn to their muscular physique and often complex workouts. Their solution to join the fit squad. And with access granted to all, we think that some of these YouTube tutorials are the home-based solution to get dream body we always wanted.

It can pay off when watching some of these videos. There’s always a truth in their way to contribute to a healthier lifestyle. But not all of these videos suit the overall population. Putting these vids on their big screen and mimicking their trained-to-perfection sets and reps is drawing in viewers like a magnet.

I am not saying at all that these YouTube contributions are “bad”, but know thyself…

When I look at some of them, I have given some a go. I was drawn to their statements that these reps can be done easily at the comfort of your own home. I’ve been training and moving constantly since 2018 (3-5 times per week) and even I struggle with some of their complete exercise regimes. 

Wondering why these videos get so many hits while many may not even do one pull-up? It is because these “show-off” videos are crafted with a steep incline of complexity and endurance. We believe that complexity is the key to success.

These guys and gals are professionals. These musclular persons receive money for hitting an x amount of subscribers. They are sponsored to promote their own brand or supplements, connected to a better performance. Do expect that they have been doing this for years. Trained to execute and with degrees in fitness and exercise under their sub 10% fat-level belt. It is no secret they can do what they do.

Know Thyself.

When you start your journey to thrive again, these resources may be a motivational one. But they are a far-cry away from where you are, right here right now, on the fitness continuum. I am talking about inaccurate posture, recruiting the wrong muscle groups, and not having properly trained core muscles. To add to the ‘complexity’, failing to understand that a good warm-up is essential. In short, these tutorials videos may lead to increased chances to get injured while leaving you demotivated to continue.

While these internet celebrities on in the fitness world may tell you that all this can be done within the comfort of your own home, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Unlike some adult sites – where a minimal age level is required to enter – I am a firm believer that similar practices should be instilled on such physically challenging videos. Not on age, but on training expertise, one’s physique, and other aspects of your physical wellbeing. Or a warning notification that these exercises are not for your Average Joe.

It won’t happen, unfortunately.

The commercial drive is often stronger than being a responsible channel, targeted to the right clientele to gain more followers. And thus more income. 

Know Thyself.

It is truly impressive of the muscle mass these men and women have amassed. The discipline, and relentless hours of perfecting their technique. On the flip side, they had to make a lot of sacrifices to get where they are now and what they want to achieve in their shredded state. By the looks of it, the nutrition part has been a crucial part of staying lean from head to toe. Exercising through Youtube tutorials sounds fairly easy but do expect some caveats.

Don’t take these channels for granted that you too can jump onto their bandwagon and do muscle-ups in 2 weeks. It won’t happen. If you are not aware where you are now, you cannot determine whether you can reach that muscle-up in 2 weeks.

Seek professional guidance from a personal fitness trainer to assess your body from multiple angles. Go on and give up 4% of your day, 2-3 times per week, to understand the kinetic chain of movement. It is all about becoming stronger and leaner in a sustainable way. 

Don’t think you are, know you are (The Matrix – Morpheus fighting Neo during his education at the dojo).

To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom | Socrates

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