InForm Fitness: I Could've Been a Contender


Once in a while my wife and I watch movies together at home. We love movies that entertain us and provide some respite from life. Occasionally, I relate to a main character or they might strike a chord. One recent evening as my wife and I were watching The Contender, a 2000 movie with Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges, I was so struck – I could’ve been a ‘contender’ myself.

The plot: Second-term Democratic U.S. President Jackson Evans, played by Jeff Bridges, must select a new VP upon the death of his current VP. He nominates Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen. The investigation into her background turns up an incident where she was apparently photographed participating in a drunken orgy as part of a sorority initiation. Throughout the movie, Joan’s character, Lanie, refuses to confirm or deny the allegation, standing on the issue as irrelevant. Asserting that the question should not even be asked, she tries to turn the discussion towards political issues.

As you can imagine, things get ugly. While facts emerge that would undoubtedly clear Laine of all wrongdoing, she explicitly requests that the evidence be suppressed. She believes that by bringing the evidence to light that they would only be substantiating the acceptability of the investigation into her personal life in the first place. Instead, citing that President Evans is the one to address Congress, the predicament is used as a way to gather support for Hanson’s nomination.

No, I am not seeking a 2nd career as a movie critic. I share this with you because I related to Laine – she was misunderstood and, more importantly, steadfast in staying true to her belief even though the decision to was neither easy nor popular.

The movie, and Laine, got me to thinking about the Power of 10 and InForm Fitness Studios, and motivated me to share my beliefs, what we stand for, and what we practice throughout all of our studios. I am not wrong in thinking that some of my beliefs are misunderstood. So, I take this opportunity to set the record straight on some issues. I must also add that my opinions are my own, although I think all of InForm’s instructors would agree for the most part. I say ‘most’ because I have not hired robots, but rather intelligent thinkers, and as such, we don’t necessarily agree on all points.

So here they are:

  • Traditional cardio exercise is NOT the best method for building or strengthening muscle, or losing weight.
  • Daily exercise, or even exercise several days a week, is totally unnecessary. Just once a week is sufficient, as long as the exercise is intense enough to reach muscle fatigue.
  • Fat loss is different from weight loss.
  • Working out in hot environments does not “warm” the muscles and facilitate a better workout, you just sweat more.
  • Obesity is a result of eating sugary and processed foods, not from sedentary behavior.
  • Matt Damon is an over rated actor, while Chiwetal Ejiofor is an acting (albeit unknown) genius.
  • Simplicity is genius.
  • Neither sweating nor resulting muscular soreness are necessary earmarks of a good workout.
  • Not all saturated fats are bad for you; fats from well-raised and harvested sources are actually good for you.
  • I’m more approachable than you think – my eyebrows give the wrong impression.
  • Acceleration causes high-force exercise injuries, not mass. That’s why we go SLOWLY, to minimize force.
  • The difference between exercise and recreation should be made distinct.
  • Unless you want to be a Rockette, being super flexible is not a healthier state.
  • Stretching doesn’t prevent sporting injuries, but may actually contribute to them.
  • Exercise is about how much you need, not how much you can endure.
  • I believe in running, only because I know the practice to exist. But, I don’t believe that running is safe, efficient exercise.
  • All sugar is bad, but I still eat fruit in moderation.
  • The weights we lift at InForm Fitness are not “intensely” heavy. We lift extremely slowly, which makes the weightlifting sufficiently intense to achieve the desired level of muscular failure; and
  • Time is money!

Again, these are my beliefs, but hey…it’s my blog and that’s the beauty of it. No really, some of my beliefs are arbitrary, but some are backed by scientific evidence and years’ of experience in the fitness industry. My unwavering commitment to offer and deliver safe, efficient exercise demands that I remain steadfast in what I know to be true, and ensure the consistent practice of these principles throughout my studios, despite the challenges. That is why I too am a Contender.



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