02 Is Recreation Exercise?

InForm Fitness Podcast


The purpose of exercise is to build muscle as quickly and as safely as possible so you can live the
life you want. So, does performing the physical activities you enjoy like hiking, cycling, playing
basketball, golfing or gardening count as legitimate exercise?

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Intro:               You’re listening to the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with New York Times, best-selling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. Brought to you by InForm Fitness, life changing personal training with several locations across the US. Reboot your metabolism and experience the revolutionary Power of 10, the high intensity, slow motion, strength training system that’s so effective, you’d get a week’s worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session, which by no coincidence is about the length of this podcast. So, get ready InForm Nation, your 20 minutes of high intensity strength training information begins in 3, 2, 1.

Tim:                 Alright. Welcome into episode two of the InForm Nation podcast with Adam Zickerman. If you stumbled across this episode in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio or YouTube and have not yet had a chance to listen to our first episode, we invite you to go back, give it a listen because in that episode you’ll hear some important foundational information to help you understand the mission of this podcast and be formally introduced to all the members of the podcast team but we’ll quickly run through the room here and reintroduce everybody.

I’ll start. My name’s Tim Edwards. I’m the founder of the Inbound Podcasting Network and have been training with the Power of 10 system at the Toluca lake location in Southern California. Joining me here in the Los Angeles area, just a few freeways away from the Inbound Podcasting studio, is one of my trainers at InForm Fitness, Sheila Melody. Hey, Sheila.

Sheila:             Hi, Tim. How ya doing? I’m coming here from sunny Southern California.

Tim:                 It’s a beautiful day. It’s perfect today. Maybe not —

Sheila:             [laughs] Yeah. I’m just going to rub that in to our —

Tim:                 [laughs] Well —

Sheila:             To our New York cohorts here.

Tim:                 Yeah. As we record this through Skype we can see our other cohorts here wearing sweaters and jackets. So, probably a little chilly over there across the country on the East side of New York City. We’ll start with the GM of the Manhattan InForm Fitness location, Mike Rogers. What’s up, Mike?

Mike:               Hey, what’s up? Yeah, it’s like an arctic 50 degrees here right now. It’s hell.

Tim:                 [laughs]

Mike:               No, it’s actually not so bad. I just came back from Vegas over the weekend. So —

Tim:                 Nice.

Mike:               You know, I’m ready to sort of recharge, restart and —

Tim:                 And recoup.

Mike:               Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, but I’m excited about the podcast today.

Tim:                 [laughs] And of course, the reason we’re all here, the founder of InForm Fitness and author of New York Times Best Seller, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman. How you doing, Adam?

Adam:             Hey guys. Looking forward to this.

Tim:                 We got one under our belt and here we go with number two but before we drill down into today’s topic, the definition of exercise, Exercise vs Recreation, let’s quickly recap what we discussed in the first episode. Adam, if you don’t mind for our listeners who have not yet listened to that show, what is the Power of 10?

Adam:             Well, it’s the name of my book, Power of 10. There wasn’t a Power of 10 until the book came out actually. It was just Inform Fitness. The premise of InForm Fitness and then the book was to understand and put exercise in its proper perspective and what we should expect from exercise. Ultimately, the premise is that the sole purpose of exercise is to build muscle, to maintain muscle mass as we get older. That to me is the number one priority and the exercise plan. The whole book Power of 10 and the whole technique starts there.

The technique of course enters into intensity and safety considerations as well as balancing exercise, with proper nutrition and rest. There you have the Power of 10, balancing exercise, rest and nutrition, the three pillars we call it. On there that’s the foundation. Then there all your recreational pursuits, the life that you want to life, sits right on top of that. If you want to life the kind of life you want to live, an active life, a happy life, a pain free life, it starts with exercise, rest nutrition and everything else follows from there.

Mike:               Adam always says like, you know, the mission of InForm Fitness is to provide people with the exercise they need to give them the life that they want, you know, so —

Adam:             Thank you, Mike.

Mike:               Yeah. Yeah.

Adam:             I could have just said that. [laughs]

Mike:               Could have said that but —

Tim:                 We need a little more [laughter], a little more detail. Of course InForm Fitness — Sheila, why don’t you chime in on that? If you don’t mind, why InForm Fitness?

Sheila:             I always say there’s a couple reasons for that. One is that we want to inform our clients always. We’re all informed. We’re informing them about why you’re doing this exercise, what it, you know, even to the point of what muscles are working at that particular time. Then we also are real sticklers on performing the exercise in proper form. So, I might find, you know, myself saying, “Okay. Stay in form.” Then I’ll go, “Oh, yeah. That’s our name.” [laughs]

Time:               It’s perfect. That is — we are calling our community, that we’re building here through the InForm Fitness podcast, to InForm Nation because that’s what we’re trying to do. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re enjoying what you hear and you’re becoming educated, becoming informed, we invite you to join InForm Nation. We’ll have more details on how you can do that at the conclusion of the show.

Now, this show is geared towards those who are looking to build muscle, lose fat, maintain cardiovascular health and maybe even improve whatever it is that you love to do which really ties nicely into today’s topic, Exercise vs Recreation. Briefly, let’s go around the room and discus, what are some of the physical activities we all enjoy that might be confused with exercise. Let’s start with you, Sheila.

Sheila:             What I really love to do, around LA especially, is hiking. Lots of hiking, lots of canyon hiking and tennis and yoga. Those are things I actually enjoy doing.

Tim:                 So, when you’re hiking do you ever go up to Runyon Canyon? Is that right? Up there off of Mulholland Drive and see some celebrities.

Sheila:             Yes.

Tim:                 [laughs]

Sheila:             I’ve gone up there. It’s definitely a very busy hiking area actually.

Tim:                 It is.

Sheila:             I prefer to kind of be out here in Malibu Canyon area because it’s way more wide open. That’s kind of the city hiking area but there are plenty of places here in Southern California to hike. As I’m sure there’s plenty of places in New York and the Upstate New York and surrounding areas too.

Tim:                 Are you a hiker, Mike, or what do you do for exercise or for recreation, I should say?

Mike:               You know, I like to take a hike often times in life. [laughs] [Crosstalk 06:43] —

Tim:                 You’re told to hike often. Yeah. [laughs]

Mike:               I love hiking. I don’t do it on a regular basis. It’s usually if I’m away or wherever. If I was in California, I’d probably be taking a hike. You know, I grew up with a lot of — very, very active. Every sport and I did soccer and lacrosse very competitively. As I’ve gotten older, I sort of phased into triathlon sports, like, biking, swimming and running. Love cycling the most there and even more recently, tennis and golf over the last few years. So, I do a lot of, a lot of stuff. I just have a problem sitting still. So, being active is extremely important to me. You know, using my body is very important to me, so —

Tim:                 Adam, what do you do? I know — I thought you told stories in the past, you liked to ski.

Adam:             I’m a seasonal, recre-ator. I mean, during the winter I pretty much are limited to skiing. In the better weather I like to hike. Actually, I go fish. I do a lot of fly fishing. I love fly fishing. We just got a puppy, just got a puppy.

Tim:                 [laughs] What kind of dog?

Adam:             A golden doodle. So, we’re going to — we have some beautiful preserves by our house and we’re going to start doing some more of those walks and hikes with the dog now.

Tim:                 Walk the dog. It will force you outside. Then in New York City too, do you drive through the city or do you do a lot of walking to and from somewhere?

Adam:             Well, that’s another thing. It’s a walking city for sure.

Tim:                 Yeah. Mhm [affirmative]. Boy, I got to —

Mike:               We’re on the move all the time.

Tim:                 I got to take up hiking just to keep up with all of you. That’s not something that I’ve really explored. All I do outside of what I do at InForm Fitness in Toluca Lake is I play softball once a week. Outside of that basketball with my kid and that’s it. So, I probably [laughs] need to get out a little bit more often and add to my recreation list.

How is all of this different from exercise? All of these things that we’re mentioning, one would say, “Well, isn’t that exercise?” You’re playing tennis a few times a week. You’re hiking. Tell us the difference Adam. This is really — it seems like a relatively easy concept to grasp but you say there’s a difference between exercise and recreation.

Adam:             I think once it’s explained it seems easy but you still have a push back. It’s hard for people who have been told their whole life that you have to be active and be out there. They’ve been playing tennis their whole lives and playing soccer their whole lives, to tell them that’s not exercise. They’re not wrong by thinking it is in some sense and that is there’s an exercise effect. Again, exercise, specifically is to build muscle and get stronger.

There’s no doubt that a lot of these sports and recreational pursuits have an exercise affect in the sense that they do make you stronger. A tennis player is going to get stronger legs from it, a stronger arm or upper body in general from that sport. That’s not necessarily the goal of that recreational pursuit. The goal of that recreational pursuit is to enjoy that recreational pursuit is because you love it. Alright. That is the goal of that.

The goal of exercise is to make you stronger. The problem with recreational pursuits being perceived as exercise is that’s not the goal of recreational pursuits. They can get you stronger to an extent but it comes with its risks. It’s not comprehensive. It’s not going to do what you really want exercise to do. It’s not going to build your muscles from head to toe. It’s going to build them in a very specific way for that particular sport. That’s not a general conditioning program.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time to get strong. 20 minutes once a week without the risk of getting injury. As opposed to being a weekend warrior or maybe even more so and thinking that, you know, you join a bike club and you’re biking on the Wednesday night bike trips and you have the weekend stuff. You’re thinking you’re doing all of this because it’s in place of your exercise.

Tim:                 For people that are saying, “Well, I don’t need to work out,” or, “I don’t need to lift weights or do anything because I play tennis three times a week,” or, “I golf every week.”

Adam:             Right.

Tim:                 That’s the problem, people who think —

Adam:             We hear that a lot. We hear that — I’m sure Sheila and Mike and myself, we hear that a lot when we do an intake. We say, “So, have you exercised in the past?” They’ll say, “Yes,” and they’ll start listing the sports that they play. [laughs] Right. We get into that discussion. I said, “Alright, well, great. I mean, those are great things and I hope you continue to do them or maybe will want to do them again once you feel up to it.” That’s one way I make that distinction with people, to help them make that distinction. That this exercise program might get — especially if they haven’t done their recreational pursuits in a while because they don’t feel like they’re in shape to do them. [laughs]

Mike:               Or they may have hurt themselves in the process of doing them. Tennis players constantly, we have them all the time, like they had tendonitis, tennis elbow or golf —

Adam:             [Crosstalk 11:35].

Mike:               Golfers with back problems and it’s just like and it’s keeping them off the course. I mean, and to — and so I mean, that’s the thing. It’s walking like four miles and they get to miss out on type of thing. It’s unfortunate.

Adam:             So, what’s —

Sheila:             I have an interesting story just personally as far as I did — I’d done a lot of yoga and I was always doing yoga. Then I started to get into do this. Then when I got certified and I opened the Toluca Lake facility. Then it was like, you know, my life got very, very busy and I couldn’t go to my yoga class for over a year. So, and I go to this very hot, you know, the Bikram yoga which is an hour and a half. It’s very, you know, intense, kind of.

So, I finally made it to a yoga class after a year and this was the testament to me that this works as far as just building your muscle because I used to like go to the yoga class and then I’d be off for a couple months and go back and the first time back the next day I was so sore. You know, just from doing it. This time I hadn’t been in a year I went and even though, yes, it was a little more, like a different kind of endurance getting through that class, the next day I was not sore. That was like, “Oh my gosh. This is because I have been building my muscle and I’m strong.” So, it was a whole different eye opening thing for me.

Adam:             Yeah. I noticed it when the first time I went skiing and I went to high altitude and when you’re coming from the East Coast and you go out to Colorado and you’re at 12,000 feet, 11,000 feet, and you do a couple of runs you really feel it. My ski mates that were living in Colorado were always impressed that the East Coaster, me, actually hung in with them until about 3 o’clock. They went till five but the fact that I even lasted until three doing the runs that I was doing with them coming right off the plane from the East Coast, they were impressed.

Mike:               Yeah. I get that as a testimonial. So, like, probably more often than any other in regards to sports performance or recreational type of performance in regards to their strength and endurance and ability to stay out on the slopes. I hear it all the time and I just heard it last week from one of our clients. He specifically said, “It’s night and day. Night and day.” He’s a very athletic person already but he said, “It’s absolutely so clear that the strength training that he did here,” for only a couple months too, maybe about 8, 10 sessions previous to his skiing, he said, “It was unbelievable.” Frankly, over the whatever how long I’ve been here, thirteen years, I think I’ve heard that the most. At least, you know, a few times a season I hear that. Especially from new clients.

Adam:             Yeah. So, this is a thing I want to say. Alright, what Mike just said is very interesting as far as what I would want to know is why. Why? What is happening? What is it about this exercise in particular that is actually preparing somebody in some sense to be able to handle a ski trip at high altitudes for the first time even when in the past they would need at least three days to adjust to the altitude. What’s actually happening there physiologically and what is it about our exercise program that’s causing that?

Before we get right to that I just want to sum up the difference between exercise versus recreation. Alright, again, exercise has a very specific goal to build muscle and to do it without undermining your health at the same time. When I say not undermining your health, I’m not necessarily talking about getting hurt right there on the spot. That is part of it of course. The acute injuries that can happen from lifting something too fast or the wrong way and then boom, herniated disc, torn muscle. That happens.

I’m also talking about the insidious things that occur that when you don’t realize are happening. When you go for those runs and runs and runs, five days a week and everything feels okay but you know, your knees are sore from time to time but you know an ice pack, an Advil later and it’s okay. You’re feeling that year after year, next thing you know it’s getting a little worse. It’s getting a little bit worse.

Fast forward another five years or so and you’re still doing all that, you’re being told you need hip replacement, knee replacement, you have arthritis here, you have arthritis there. Your neck is hurting you now. Your shoulder’s hurting you from the repetitions. Tennis isn’t fun anymore. Alright, the back is killing you after a tennis game, the knees are killing you, the shoulder is killing you, the elbow is killing you —

Mike:               These are our experiences. These are direct observations. We’ve heard these all through the years. It’s unbelievable. You know, I think we have a front row seat to these type of complaints too all the time so.

Tim:                 These are primarily — these are people that looked upon their recreational activities as their exercise as opposed to making their exercise foundation.

Adam:             And now they’re realizing — exactly. Yes. But now they’re saying, okay, this is great. So, the pressure’s off. I don’t have to look at these activities or feel guilty that I didn’t play tennis this weekend or I didn’t run this weekend. I don’t have to feel guilty about that. As long as I took the time, 20 minutes, about and worked out really hard, really intensely which is the whole reason and the whole way you should be exercising because what we’re finding is all this magic that occurs. All the strength that we get, all the endurance that we build comes from the magic of pushing your muscles to a level that they rarely get pushed to. When that happens, all that magic happens. All that change, all that positive change actually occurs.

Having said that, also, exercise is not about entertainment. The purpose of exercise is to build muscle as quickly and as safely as possible so you can live your life. If you want to have something that’s not boring, join a book club, join any kind of group where you can have fun but when it comes to your exercise just work out. Do what you have to do. You know, trying to make exercise not boring is kind of like trying to make brushing your teeth not boring. You know, you don’t consider that because it’s ridiculous to try to change the way you brush your teeth just so you’re more entertained during the process despite the risk you take of having rotten teeth.

Tim:                 Mhm [affirmative].

Mike:               This is the challenge though. Like, Adam’s points are absolutely valid and that’s the way it is. I mean, people have to consider that if they’re really, really taking seriously their health and thinking about it. I think some of the challenges sometimes is A, helping people believe that you can actually get a workout in 20 minutes. And we know you can and we have hundreds and hundreds of testimonials that you can but it’s — but sometimes people I think just plain don’t believe that you can do it in 20 minutes. That’s A.

B, I think some people, they really, they need to feel like distracted if they’re exercising unfortunately. That’s why they need to be in a spin class with the music pumping and the candles and whatever. That’s the challenges that we do have being, you know, before you experience InForm Fitness, it sounds very counterintuitive to what you’ve been taught to make yourself healthier but when you experience it you realize that what Adam said is absolutely right. It really is just like brush your teeth, you know, you want your teeth to be healthy? Brush and floss and you know what, drink water.

Sheila:             You know, on that note, from a female perspective, I have found it to be very fun. Are we stopping? [laughs] I found it to be very fun because it’s challenging. Women don’t typically go to the gym and try to like, you know, compete or lift heavy weights or I mean for the most part. I never did. I feel like it’s just kind of like a fun little victory every week when I come in and you see other clients — our clients have developed friendships. You know, they’re seeing each other coming in and out. They love telling a new client, you know, like, “Wow, I’ve been coming for 62 sessions.” You know, and it’s just — they’re so proud of themselves. You know, that’s what I see. It becomes fun.

Adam:             Not the process. Not when you’re in that leg press. What’s fun for you —

Sheila:             True. [laughs]

Adam:             Is the results from it. What’s fun for you is the culture of InForm Fitness because we all feel we have lightening in the bottle and we have this big secret and no one knows about that you can get in the best shape of your life in just 20 minutes. That’s all fun. That’s all something to be very proud of and very enthused about but when you’re on a leg press, those last ten seconds on a leg press, I mean, I don’t know, I’m not thinking fun at that moment.

Sheila:             That’s not fun. No. [laughs]

Tim:                 [laughs]

Adam:             To me, again, I think a lot of people appreciate the very direct approach about this as far as, you know, saying listen, I understand that you think exercise has to be fun and I can understand your reasons for wanting it to be fun especially if you’re going to spend three hours a week doing it. [laughs]

Mike:               Right.

Adam:             You know, I get it. I get that feeling. Here’s a relief for you, you can have fun without the guilt. You can have fun without mixing it up with your exercise and just do your exercise for 20 minutes not thinking about fun but get it over with in 20 minutes. I’m going to show you and convince you that 20 minutes is enough for that. That’s how you start the consultation. That’s how you start your introduction. Right now you have to believe or want to believe that 20 minutes is enough. All it’s going to take for you is to follow my lead for six weeks and you’ll get it. You won’t have to have me have to talk you into it anymore. Then you’ll be like, wow this is great. Now I can have fun the other how many minutes or less in that week.

Tim:                 Well, that certainly is what first attracted me to this workout, minimal time investment, great returns. In just a few months I’ve shed a few pounds, my clothes are fitting better, and more importantly, I’m getting stronger. As a matter of fact, we’ll include the PDF of my progress in the show notes. That way you can see how each week I’m lifting, pulling, pushing more and more weight. I love it.

Alright. There’s the music which means that we’re close to the 20-minute mark in the podcast. So, if you began your slow motion, high intensity workout at the start of this podcast, you’d be finished by now for the entire week. So, as Adam just said, you can have fun the remaining 10,060 minutes of your week. Great discussion today.

Remember, if you’d like to ask the team a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10, it’s very simple. Just shoot us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to podcast@informfitness.com . You can also leave us a voicemail by calling 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That’s 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. All feedback is welcome. Speaking of which, if you enjoyed the show, the best way to support it and ensure that we continue producing additional episodes is to subscribe to the podcast and please rate the show and leave us some feedback and a review right here in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast, YouTube or wherever you might be listening.

To join us here at InForm Nation, give this work out a try for yourself. Just visit informfitness.com for phone numbers and locations nearest you and please tell them you heard about the Power of 10 from the podcast. I’m Tim Edwards reminding you to join us in the next episode, The Importance of Muscle, and we’re not talking about just looking good at the beach but all the physiological benefits that come from losing fat and building muscle. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, thanks for joining us here at the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends, here on the Inbound Podcasting Network.