Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister makes this arguement in his book entitled "Manthropology, the Science of the Inadequate Modern Male." ( ISBN 0733623913(978-073-362391-2)
RRP $35.00 August 2009
Hachette Aust Paperback (C))while I have yet to read the book, but it is at the top of my Amazon list, it looks fascinating.
We all are very aware of the fact that humans are extremely inactive compared to our ancestors. But as a species we are becoming weak, and feable. Apparently, in the book, McAllister provides good anthropological evidence for how humans don't even have the potential, anymore, to perform at the levels they once did. Further, with modern training technology, our ancestors (from thousands of years ago) could easily shatter all of our Olympic records. Did I mention that I am excited about reading this book!
While McAllister makes his arguements (more like confirmation) of our inferior physiology, I continue to see the current decline in physicality. Recently, I was shocked to see a dad of some elementary-aged kids actually knocking out some pull-ups and dips at the park. I do "play" on the playground with my kids, including using the monkey bars and pull-ups, but never see any other parent do the same. In fact, I joke with my kids about how the parents are 'required' to sit on the bench while the kids play.
But, jokes aside, it is pretty sad to see the shape of most people. I see men and women in their 30's and 40's with back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, horrible posture, and lack of muscle tone, stereotypical guts, and the strength of a wet kitten. These people have had their testosterone drained out of them. They have become fragile, stiff, obese, wimps... to put it bluntly.
As a trainer, I am aware of this current issue, and have had to revamp my training programs accordingly. Trainers walk the fine line between pushing people and hurting them. Now, so much more time is spent with basic mobility exercises, corrective exercises and scaled-back versions of traditional exercises. But, I am more than happy to do this, if it is to help a client who sincerely wants to improve. I guess one good thing (gulp) from The Biggest Loser is seeing people willing to do whatever they have to in order to improve their bodies. As some friends have said, the show is inspiring. These people have come to the realization that they need to change their priorities and their lifestyle.
Hopefully, more people will realize that their diminishing 401k and fantasy football league is a lesser priority than reversing the alarming transformation from Homo Sapiem to fragile, disease-prone Homo Wimpien.