Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jogging Delusion?

Okay, here's my justification behind that insensitive comment that got everyone's panties in a wad. While gender is biologically determined, the concept of masculinity is a socially constructed notion. And while the idea of masculinity varies somewhat from era to era and from one region of the world to another, masculinity is usually associated with superior strength, muscularity, speed, and power. The human body, as it turns out, isn't a very good multi-tasker when it comes to "S.A.I.D." (specific adaptation to imposed demand). It prefers to be either big and strong, or small and weak, (albeit with good endurance). True, some guys can manage to have it both ways, but if you find it challenging to gain muscle or strength, you're not one of them.

Jogging, as the bulk of studies have repeatedly shown, reduces, or at the very least, makes it more difficult to maintain or develop all of the masculine traits I just described. This is why national and World-level powerlifters and weightlifters - most of whom are jaw-droppingly jacked and three times stronger than you are - rarely jog or do anything resembling it. Maybe you're willing to risk minimizing your manhood to obtain the supposed benefits of jogging.

Interesting topic!

The Pro: it's both cheap and easy to "jog" or engage in running for endurance training.  I think running is in our DNA - there's a case to be made that we differentiated ourselves as hot summer running scavengers, in which we could reach the dead animals on the savannah faster than other predators since we have the best cooling system in the animal planet.

I ran for fun and fitness all over the planet for many years.  I didn't log huge miles, and I didn't often get to be very "fast" at running.  My life was always better as a runner than when I didn't run.

If you are a foot soldier, you must be able to run long and slow.

Running is better than nothing and in terms of being able to do work, better than walking - if you don't take it too far.

The Con:  He's right, taken too far endurance running makes most of us weak and frail.  Running confers no special benefit to heart health, it does not help most people sustain a fat loss, and it is not a boost to performance for most sport.  Which is to say, if you play soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, basketball, or other sports which place a premium on top end speed and explosive power, you'd be far better off skipping the long running sessions and focusing on speed and explosive power training.

If you like to run - cool!  I hope you enjoy the heck out of it.  I also hope you are not doing it because you think it's the bees knees for fat loss, heart health or sports performance.

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