I didn’t say it. Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister did. He is the author of a book entitled, Manthropology: The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male. Now, before all you ladies start nodding your heads, let me put this in context. He was doing a comparison of our ancestors of the Neanderthal variety. They were physically superior specimens when compared to modern man. Although modern man has dispensed with using their mate’s hair as a transportation method, so I think it all equals out.
Why is this the case? The demands placed on our bodies are much lower. Our bones are thinner because there is far less stress placed on them. We are slower since we rarely have to chase things to eat or run from things who want to eat us. Our ancestors all could probably beat Usian Bolt in a footrace without breaking a sweat. In fact, day to day life was probably more stressful of a workout than even the most elite athlete today.
Tens of thousands of years have decayed the performance capacities of our bodies. However, if you are someone who sits in a chair all day and does not bother to make time for exercise, you can see this decay in a matter of weeks. Our bodies are meant to adapt to our environments and the stress we place upon it. If you live like a couch potato, you will eventually become one.
I challenge you to make the most of your “inadequate” status. Make sure you are doing the following:
- Do at least 30 minutes of activity every single day. Some people think that doing moderate activity 3-4 days a week is enough. I think your body is designed to more. Our ancestors did not have the luxury of taking days off.
- Constantly challenge yourself. You must continuously increase the intensity and variety of your workout routines as you become more fit.
- Be aware of the SAID principle. SAID stands for “specific adaptations to imposed demands” and is one of the seven granddaddy laws of fitness. Your body is very efficient and will conform to the lifestyle you choose to live. If the most demanding thing you do is get up from your office chair to get a donut, that is the body you will create for yourself.
If you are feeling inadequate, it may be your body, and your more thoughtful mind, telling you that you are not living up to your potential.