Over the weekend, I helped move some filing cabinets. It was fun (yeah, I know; not everyone has the same sense of fun I do) and I wasn’t in charge of making things fit, so it went well. The thing is, filing cabinets, like most things, are not shaped like dumbbells and barbells. They are bulky and awkward and sometimes sharp and poky. Moving them around has only a tangential relationship to what I do when I work out.
Keeping the relationship between workouts and real life tasks in mind can make workouts more relevant. I’m not suggesting outfitting a home gym with filing cabinets and boxes of books and unwieldy bags of dog food, although there would be a certain novelty in doing that. The point is that we don’t, generally, lift weights to get better at lifting weights in the gym, but to have a better experience in the rest of our lives.
When we do whole-body exercises during workouts, when we change direction or twist during a movement, when we work with ropes or medicine balls or other objects, we are practicing for the real world. Let’s get strong for living.