I’ve been doing a lot of research on workout apps lately by downloading and fiddling with the most popular ones I can find.
I’m doing this because I’m in the process of creating a brand new app, one that’s not just a port of the website over to the phone, but with a new approach and new features to make my methods easier to follow and more accessible and that aren’t really conducive to the web.
This, like many of the things I’ve been putting out lately i.e. the Active Office Worker series, the follow-along Daily Routines I’ve published in the Academy, etc are a result of the survey I sent out back in April.
One trend I’ve noticed is how many apps promote either their huge library or limitless variety of workouts as a key feature.
“Get access to over one thousand workouts!”
“Never be bored with your workouts again with new workouts to follow everyday!”
This mirrors our culture’s obsession with more and the latest and greatest as an integral part of a happy life.
I deem that they are not.
In fact, these two ideals (more more more and limitless variety) can be in direct opposition to this goal.
What they are great for is giving you that little shot of dopamine that gets you feeling good. However, you can get hooked on this feeling and start to crave it exactly like people get hooked on opiods.
Because our culture makes it easy to instantly satisfy every craving we have at the click or tap of a digital button, we can get stuck in this loop.
To me, being in a near constant state of wanting is the exact opposite of being happy.
The old saying, “Happiness isn’t getting what you want – it’s wanting what you have”, is truth.
We don’t need more more more, we need to learn to be happy with what we have because there’s always more, newer, better, faster, shinier, louder or quieter – it never ends.
However, there’s a missing piece here (outside of relationships), which I think is this: happiness with one’s life is directly correlated to the amount of time and effort put toward achieving a worthy goal.
If it comes too easy or quickly, we’ll undervalue it.
This isn’t a flaw – it’s human nature.
But when we pick a project, path or meaning for our life and keep chipping away at it, when the results eventually show up we value them more because they’re made up of our blood, sweat and tears.
When it comes to the physical body, moving freely and without pain is a path worth pursuing. Ask anybody who can’t go up or down stairs without their knees hurting and they’ll tell you the same.
Movement longevity comes not from endless options and variety, but finding what will take you where you want to go then doing it over and over. And over.
Yes, we need variety, but not nearly as much as we tend to think.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments, neuromuscular pathways – they all require repeated and increasing stimulus for long-term adaptation.
Doing exercises or workouts once or twice before bouncing to the next will quickly have you plateau because instead of adapting, our body is simply being tested.
The moral of today’s story is to fight society’s never-ending push to have us focus on more being better and always doing something new.
Instead, determine what’s worthy of your life energy and put your head down and get to work.
There’s no better time than now. In fact, there’s no other time than now.