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MODERATION & HUMILITYTwo Unlikely Keys To Unlock Physique Excellence

Being the observant type, there are two traits that I feel would benefit the vast majority of men and women working out in gyms in the 21st century. Women are much less guilty of one of these traits. However, the trait of moderation would benefit the majority of both sexes of gym users that I see and have seen over the course of my training time which now exceeds 40 years. Both traits are also getting worse than they were in the dim distant past when I began to workout.

Everything in life can be developed and refined through the balancing of opposites. Let us look at the humility/pride continuum first.

Pride – Humility

I think I am safe in saying that too much pride is an unattractive trait in humans leading to a distorted and arrogant self-image and the same can be said for being so humble that people trample you underfoot. The key is balance. Somewhere in between. What I am discussing here works across the whole of our lives in totality although I am using a health and fitness example. If you consider yourself perfect already you can stop reading now. However, if you feel that you could develop by becoming either more or less of one of these opposite traits you are in the right place. I would say that if you do consider yourself perfect you are suffering from excessive pride and should probably read on. Maybe only your best friend will tell you. There are sweet spots for exhibiting pride and humility, they do shift with situations but becoming aware will ensure you avoid both the self-deprecation of too much or fake humility and the ugly narcissism of excess pride.

Gym – The Academy of Life

We teach best what we need to learn! I plan to be less proud and more humble in the gym setting as it is the place for me where I seem to exhibit shadow behaviours unusual for introverts. I plan to be less posy and aggressive, remaining more covered up and less demonstrative in general while we work out. In a nutshell, I am a show-off at the gym. It is the place my shadow comes out to play. I do not let it affect my form or try to lift weights that are too heavy. And this is what I mean by it being one of the keys to physique excellence. A high percentage of gym users lift much too heavy with the worst possible form and have horrible physiques and attitudes as a result.

Tip number one –

Drop the weight you are using and perform the exercise in its purest, most results-producing form and you will reap the benefits. The humility comes in when you have to drop the weight you are using and you feel everybody sees you as weak. They don’t. They mostly are not thinking about you at all or they will think it was about time that dick-head trained properly.

Tip number two –

Train for yourself, not others. The temptation will be for you to want to show all and sundry how big, strong and fantastic you are or how you might be small but you are strong. You will want to compete with everybody if this is you. STOP IT! You are stunting your progress. Get real. Get the body your hours in the gym deserves. Strength is a by-product of good form for anybody training to change the shape of their physiques. Trust me you will get strong just don’t make it your priority unless you are entering competitions to lift more than others. Different goal altogether.

Our next balancing of opposites act is Moderation – Excess. Excessive pride and weights used when physique shaping won’t take you very far. But what else can we moderate to improve?

Moderation – Excess

Once again moderation and excess are on a continuum and as we live in the land of plenty most of the people I see at the gym that exhibit excessive pride are also very much over-weight. Or fat to be blunter. Bigger and more at all costs is a disease that blights the 21st century. It is visible everywhere and fitness centres across the land are infested with show-offs getting fatter and behaving badly. Ooer!

Tip number 3 –

Moderate your eating habits and any other habits that would lead to health and physique benefits just by moderating an existing habit. Less is more. Intermittent fasting is effective and you wont lose muscle. Resist the capitalist profit mongers encouraging you that you need more food to get the body you desire. Nobody is fooled by baggy shirts and carefully thought out colours. Maybe start by putting the damn weights away when you have finished with them(humility). That is a bit of extra activity that will not go amiss. Move more – eat less and the majority of us gym users will find a ripped physique under the layer of protective lard. Sad to say this is then made worse by excessive steroid use by an ever increasing band of users that struggle to attain mediocrity even when chemically enhanced. Not to mention the number of guys that have no legs to speak of and over-developed traps, deltoids and chest. This is the exogenous testosterone favouring the muscle groups that develop in pubescent boys aggravated by poorly balanced training schedules performed by lazy, greedy trainers looking for short cuts.


It has been more common in my 40+ years in and around gyms to witness people training badly for years and for their physiques to get worse than it is to see trainers exhibiting good form and improving month to month. How sad is that? That is so frustrating for me when the solution is so simple. I used to try to help when I would see poor form but it became the norm and I just don’t have enough time to help everybody and poor form was soon back as they were not humble enough to take a step backwards by dropping the weight to make that giant leap forward. I have struggled to learn to ignore the atrocious exercise form I see each day but it has taught me to be able to let go of petty annoyances that I have created in my mind. And I have a much more understanding take on what I see around me.

The “BRO” Split

There is even a training split fondly nicknamed the “bro” split – this regime is a body part for each day trained over the week. And it is so common there are days when it is virtually impossible to find any person not training the assigned body part on that day. Julie and I were in the gym recently and 99% of the guys(bros) in there were training chest. This is laughable as there is literally an infinite number of routines and schedules one can perform. Imagination is the limiting factor. But more than that if you are doing the same as all others you will never be original or unique.

You are your own experiment

There are no right ways or the best ways to shape your body. There are many and varied possibilities and part of the experimental fun is finding what works best for you. If you take what others are doing you are depriving yourself of the chance of ever finding your unique groove and ultimately reaching your genetic potential. I know this because I trained with a guy when I began working out doing most of what is fundamental and that he favoured and thrived upon. We were like chalk and cheese physically. But who am I to question the experts?

Having faith in your original experiment

We had to stop training together due to lifestyle changes and I began to develop my own routine and exercise style. The next time we met I had changed so much he asked me dozens of questions but the crux of the matter was that I trained more suited to my tall physique and enjoyed and believed in what I was doing 100% – this belief is worth a hundred routines. I am certain that if you believe in what you are doing and enjoy the time spent training you will progress quicker than if it is considered a chore coupled with the feeling that I have to do this or that exercise because the experts say it can’t be missed. It can! My ex training buddy also began to train with a more open-mind and he began to make progress once more.

Develop a strong character and your body will surely follow

Okay, I think I have upset enough people now or at least made a lot of people start to look at where they can benefit by balancing PRIDE AND HUMILITY & MODERATION & EXCESS in their gym lives. This mentality can transfer to the rest of our lives.

The best physique is not the best person in the gym it is the person that lives the details of a health & fitness lifestyle for themselves and loved ones regardless of peer pressure and capitalist greed for profit. Eating and drinking crap just because that is what others are doing is never going to produce results. As the saying goes “would you stick your head in the oven if everybody else did?” I hope not but maybe you would if you don’t want to stand out.

We can all benefit and develop by balancing our opposites. In my books and blogs I will discuss many of the opposites that we can work with to move forward in our lives and progress until the day we move on to the next great mystery. You are never too old to make a new start.

Often the last thing you want to do is the first thing you need to do.

Ask yourself – Where can I moderate behaviour and gain some long term health and physique benefits from it? The beauty of this moderation approach is that it costs nothing and often saves you time in the gym and money as fasting and a less is more mentality rarely cost much money.

Less is often more in the long run.

AGREE OR DISAGREE! If you like my writing or it at least gets you thinking – please check out my books here.


Adam Senex -x-