Being Generally Specific

Good morning!

Just a quick post for today to help you with how you approach your fitness goals.

It’s important to know the details – how to squat, how to maintain a neutral spine, etc – but it’s important to have a bigger picture sense of how to get the kind of results you want, as well. That could be a very long post, possibly even a Tolkien-length hardcover book series, but we’ll keep it short.

There’s a hobbit joke in there somewhere… 


1. Being General

I can’t think of a fitness goal – and that includes physique goals, weight loss goals, strength goals, everything – that wouldn’t be well served by you being generally stronger and healthier. Push things, pull things, pick things up, carry things, sit and stand with weight, move faster than a walk a couple of times a week. If your routine doesn’t have some of those, consider adding them.


2. Being Specific

There’s a thing called the Principle Of Specificity, which sounds like it escaped from an Isaac Asimov novel but just means the results you get are very specific to the training you do. Annoyingly specific, in fact. Outside of the general truth that having more muscle and cardio health will make you better at everything, your body adapts exactly as your training routine asks it to.

What does this mean? An example: if you’re 65 and starting to have trouble standing up without help from your arms, half an hour on the treadmill is not at all specific to that. Slowly sitting and standing for a few sets of 5-10 repetitions and gradually adding weight over time is extremely specific to that.


Take a look at your usual exercise routine today. Think about what you want to happen. Does your routine look like it will help you with that exact thing? Worth spending some time on that with your coffee.


See you on the gym floor.

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About Jonathan

Being strong and mobile has enormous effects on your physical and mental well-being; and it's never too late to start! You may also catch yourself winking suggestively at your reflection from time to time...